Washington Post

After covid-19, giant corporations and chains may be the only ones left

Antonio's pizza-by-the-slice is a popular spot in the Pleasant Street district in Amherst, Mass. Foto: Photo by Tira Khan for The Washington Post

Antonio's, my kids' favorite pizza-by-the-slice joint, will be fine. The rest of downtown Amherst, Mass., where I live - I'm not so sure.

Antonio's is (or was, before March) perpetually swarming with high school and college students, local adults, and the occasional out-of-towner. It's a hub of the Pleasant Street district, which is, by my count, home to three cafes, three bubble tea shops, more than 40 bars and restaurants, a century-old stationery store, five hair salons, two bookstores, one toy store, five boutiques, one movie theater, and a florist. Maybe Pleasant Street isn't quite as hip as Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but it's a great place to meet friends, browse or get ice cream. The large majority of the businesses are owned by women and members of minority groups, according to the Amherst Business Improvement District, and have fewer than 10 employees...

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