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Local Businesses Benefitting From The Big E

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — You can find pretty much anything and everything during the 17 days at The Big E, including a strong representation of local businesses.

Many local restaurants and retailers set up shop hoping to take advantage of the hundreds of thousands of people who attend New England’s largest fair.

“We see big crowds it’s a change of pace for my staff.  It’s fun to be here,” said EJ Barkett, White Hut owner.

The White Hut restaurant is in it’s eighth year in the food court.  The popular burger joint closes up their Memorial Ave location and calls The Big E home for the more than two week event.

“We do have a bunch of people that come find us … throughout the years since we have been here and come back as regular customers and we still see our regular customers from the store come here to eat even during The Big E,” said Barkett.

Skip’s Outdoor Accents doesn’t shut down their Agawam or Sutton store, but they do set up a full display with several sheds, pavilions and patio furniture.

“Where else can I put myself in front of a million people in 17 days.  That’s essentially The Big E in a nutshell.  It’s a place where we build relationships with people who aren’t from around  here.  People who never see us on TV or read about us in the paper or see our advertisements,” said John Ansart, Skip’s Outdoor Accent owner.

Ansart says the relationships they build at the fair also help with business once the gates close for the year.

“There is a contractor in Boston who over the years has purchased thirty to forty storage sheds from us for his customers,” said Ansart.

Many of the businesses stay open for 12 hours during each of the 17 days at the fair.