Protect Historic Concord Center and Support Local Independent Businesses

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We ask the Town of Concord, Massachusetts to protect Historic Concord Center by extending the West Concord Center ‘Formula Business Bylaw with Caps’ to Concord Center. This would provide a limit on the number of formula businesses (chain stores) that can operate in the village center at any one time. 

Concord Center’s history dates back to the 1600’s. It remains one of America’s most historically significant and nationally recognized New England village centers, with vibrant independent shops warmly welcoming both the Concord community and its visitors. The unique and beloved character of the Center, however, is now threatened by the potential loss of the small local shops which are in danger of being displaced by chain stores. Many towns nationwide have adopted limits on formula businesses (as Concord did in 2011 for its West Concord Center).

We ask for the inclusion of a ‘Formula Business Bylaw with Caps’ in Concord’s Comprehensive Long Range Plan and for it to be considered by the Planning Board at their earliest possible opportunity -- as the best option to preserve and protect Concord Center’s well-documented unique characteristics -- and to maintain the current healthy mix of small independent businesses and formula businesses. Such a bylaw would be consistent with the goals and actions laid out in the Comprehensive Long Range Plan (2005 & Draft 3/5/18), and supported by the 2007 Village Centers Study which explicitly calls for a formula business restriction in Historic Concord Center. We respectfully submit that, in order to save this community-defining, irreplaceable, and historic Concord resource, the time to act is now!

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