It's now public knowledge that Berkshire County's only Apple authorized service center, Mad Macs, will be relocating from Downtown Pittsfield, to the Allendale Shopping Center. In a time where Apple products are a part of every day life for many of us, the locally owned business had grown tremendously since it's inception in 1998, already relocating once from it's original location on East Housatonic Street in Pittsfield, to it's current location in 2011, when they grew to include retail as well. They have also since opened a second location on Spring Street in Williamstown. 

A sign in the window at 317 North Street announces that the thriving business will relocate to the Allendale Shopping Center in Spring of 2018, citing a larger space, better selection and better parking for it's customers.

Here is my issue. The haters are everywhere! Since the news broke, I've noticed an abundance of negative feedback from people criticizing the business for moving with accusations of "abandoning" their downtown location. SERIOUSLY?? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?? What makes people think they have a right to essentially shame a small, locally owned business, for making a move that they obviously believe will benefit the business, as well as the customers and community they serve.

Listen, don't get me wrong, I LOVE downtown Pittsfield. I love frequenting the restaurants, bars and shops that line the street, I enjoy being able to utilized the newly re-branded Berkshire Family YMCA, and applaud the addition and success of The Beacon Cinema and Hotel on North. Do I want to see another empty store front? Of course not! But what I want to see is a local business CONTINUE to thrive, continue to employ local residents, and continue to contribute much needed tax revenue to the city.

Our decision to move to Allendale did not come lightly. We have made a large investment in downtown Pittsfield over the past 7 years and I personally have donated/ volunteered many hours to try and revive the downtown of our city...

We have out-grown our current location and have an opportunity to expand without leaving Pittsfield altogether. While some will disagree with our decision, we feel it is the best opportunity to increase our exposure. In an age when most people are buying much of their retail merchandise online, I am doing everything I can to survive and remain competitive as a small business in this retail apocalypse.

You can judge me if you like, but at the end of the day, my team and I work hard to provide the products and services we do and our goal is to preserve the best we can. In all honesty, and as I stated above, this was a very difficult decision and it took over 2 years to decide. I believe it is the best chance we have to not go the way of so many before us.

- Scott Kircher's public comments on "The Pittsfielder" FaceBook page

Since when are local business owners obligated to make decisions based on what's best for the city, and not for them? Need I remind some of you naysayers that the families of small business owners livelihood DEPENDS on their success, so excuse them for making a choice based on whats best for them and not the good of the city.  If they believe the move to Allendale best suits that continuation of growth, more power to them. To that point, what's wrong with the Allendale Shopping Center? Is downtown the only place we want to see businesses succeed? I have several close friends who own who own small businesses or work in that shopping center, and I argue it's just as much a valid and essential part of Pittsfield's retail economy. Further more, bringing an already established local business will only help existing Allendale store fronts more traffic and hopefully, in turn business. It's a win win people. Get off your trolling high horse already, no one needs it.