Business Planning

A Small Town and a Forced Sale

A business planning story from a colleague in New England:

It’s a typical New England river town – once a thriving center of manufacturing, now it’s just a tired downtown, magnificent but abandoned brick mill buildings scattered on the riverbanks, and the rundown Victorian homes of the owners and execs. Even the river has seen better days.

It started its long trek downhill during the late 1920s. The advent of air-conditioning and rise of cheap labor in the South quickly stripped away businesses that had been thriving since before the Civil War. The final nails in the coffin were the Great Hurricane of 1938 and devastating floods in the mid-1950s.

By the 1970s, downtown was almost completely boarded up. It's too far from a city for people to commute to work and there were no jobs in town.

Then, two brothers came along. They looked like twins – they’re both tall, thin, avuncular, with pleasant, laugh-lined faces – though they were three years apart in age.

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