Why Is The Mass. Unemployment Rate Twice As High As N.H.’s?

At the Waterhouse Restaurant in southwestern New Hampshire, soft shell crabs were on the lunch menu and business was brisk. But General Manager Linda Quintanilha said she can’t fully re-open the restaurant in Peterborough because she can’t find enough staff. “Half the patio is closed and half the dining room is closed,” Quintanilha said. New…

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The Flavors of our Neighbors: At Lalo’s In Lebanon, The Taco Is King

Eddie Morán’s loved tacos for as long as he can remember. “They’re simple, easy and fast,” Morán says. He even has a taco tattoo on his left wrist. At his restaurant, Lalo’s Taqueria in Lebanon, he makes food that’s pretty (and Instagrammable), locally-sourced and affordable. At lunch time, pop music plays as customers check out…

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Connecticut To Join Massachusetts, Vermont As Higher-Tax State For Marijuana

When Governor Ned Lamont, as expected, signs a bill legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Connecticut, the retail tax rate would be at the high end for states in the Northeast. Cannabis will be subject to three different taxes in Connecticut: the standard state sales tax, a local tax collected by communities with dispensaries, and…

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Overtime: How Valyria Lewis Juggled Work, Family, Music And Grief

For Valyria Lewis, the music didn’t go away when she wasn’t able to perform in public during the pandemic. She’s always sat at her piano to sing, practice and play. “Being on stage is great and having the light and the energy from the audience is awesome,” said Lewis, who goes by Miss Vee when…

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After Shedding Jobs Last Year, Maine Restaurants Struggle To Staff Back Up

Tourism took a big hit in Maine during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. But this summer could be different: many Americans are newly vaccinated against the virus and eager to enjoy the state’s rugged charms. But there’s a big question hanging over this tourism season: will Maine have enough workers to serve up…

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Housing Options For Middle-Income Vermonters Worsen During Pandemic

Vermont’s housing market, which was tight before the pandemic, has gotten even worse. The number of homes available in Vermont dropped by almost 70% over the past year, according to the Vermont Association of Realtors. The trend has jump-started conversations about supporting more middle-income housing across Vermont. State officials have spent a lot of time…

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In Berkshire County, Tourists Needed And Expected This Summer

People are dreaming of a less sequestered summer, and with COVID-19 restrictions easing, the Berkshires will be a destination for many. Business owners count on tourists coming to this relatively small region, rich in live music, theater and museums. For them, last summer was brutal. This year, it could almost feel like the old days.…

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How Harvard Square Businesses Survived: Hang On And Be Nimble.

When COVID-19 shutdowns began last year, college students were sent home and tourists largely vanished. A place like Harvard Square depends on both, so it wasn’t surprising that local businesses owners were nervous. But more than a year later, out of 291 pre-pandemic businesses, roughly 85% managed to stay open, according to the Harvard Square…

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