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These stories were written by high school students participating in NEPM's Media Lab, in partnership with MassLive.

Candidate for Chicopee mayor shares her thoughts on supporting small businesses

Delmarina Lopez after her interview at NEPM on July 18, 2023.
Jeremiah Merced
NEPM's Media Lab
Delmarina Lopez after her interview at NEPM on July 18th 2023.

This story was written by a high school student participating at NEPM's Media Lab Summer '23 cohort, in partnership with MassLive. It was first presented at Media Lab's Showcase.

During the dark times of the COVID19 pandemic, many local businesses and restaurants were affected due to the ongoing lockdown. Many of them were struck with bankruptcy and forced into foreclosure. Some of these places remain vacant or empty. Delmarina Lopez, a candidate for mayor in the city of Chicopee, shares her thoughts on this topic. She also shares how she hopes to implement change if she is selected as mayor.

Lopez is a 27-year-old woman who was born in Naguabo, Puerto Rico. Her family migrated over to Chicopee when she was just a little girl and she’s lived there ever since. She's an attorney, as well as a city councilor of the City of Chicopee, and is a consultant and founder/CEO of Delmarina Lopez Consulting. She is running against former mayor John Vieau.

“I know that each city has issues of their own, so I can think about Chicopee, and I can talk about how these small businesses have been struggling since Covid, before Covid, post Covid and now,” Delmarina Lopez says.

Lopez added that “small businesses are the backbone of local economies. I firmly believe that and I firmly believe that it is also the role of government and the role of municipalities to support small businesses and I do believe that Chicopee is not doing everything it could be doing for small businesses and there’s a lot of red tape. A part of my platform is cutting the red tape and providing technical assistance, providing resources to make it easier for these small businesses to thrive.”

Lopez talks about the changes and improvements that will be implemented into Chicopee if she becomes mayor.

“I am planning to actually revitalize our city, and I think part of it is bringing my passion and bringing a plan. For a long time our city has been just coasting without an economic development plan, we don’t have a small business administration office, we don’t have an economic development director, and so implementing the key people in positions that are actually supporting the backbone of our economy which are our small businesses is incredibly important to me and a huge part of why I'm running .”

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