The retailers association award noted that more than 60 new businesses have opened in the downtown in the last three years. Much of that success can be attributed to the willingness of the city to experiment — on ferry service, improved parking and a longer, more family-friendly Halloween season, to name a few areas. Larger businesses and nonprofits, ranging from the Peabody Essex Museum to mixed-use developers played a large role, as well. So did the state, which decided to keep its new courthouse complex in the city, thanks in large part to the yeoman work of The Salem Partnership.
It’s an example of what can happen when elected officials, civic leaders and businesspeople see each other as allies, not enemies.