Some business owners agree with decision to cancel Big E, but it will hurt financially

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The decision by The Big E to forgo its 2020 season is having economic repercussions among those who provide food services for visitors to the great New England fair.

It’s been 16 years since EB’s restaurant in Agawam became part of The Big E food court landscape. EB’s owner Ed Borgatti told 22News EB’s has done very well having a presence at The Big E all these years, and the loss this season will hurt.

“We’ve been so much a part of the food court, we did very well there. It’s a big hit for us and our staff and a big hit for the Big E and everything that comes with it. It was the right thing to do, the health and safety is number one and a credit to The Big E, they waited as long as they [possibly could knowing the impact that it has,” Borgatti told 22News.

Bernat’s polish meat products in Chicopee has been a relative newcomer to The Big E selling food specialties on the fairgrounds these past four years. But Bernat’s also stands to take a significant hit losing 20 percent of expected revenue with the cancellation of the Big E season. Owner of Bernat’s Polish Meat Products, Gregory Bernat, explains the amount of exposure they received during The Big E.

“We’re a local business, so we get a lot of exposure before we were there. We saw it dip off during The Big E because everyone would go to The Big E,” said Bernat.

The owners of these businesses told 22News together, as much as it will hurt them financially, they salute The big E’s decision to cancel the season to protect their patrons and employees from the coronavirus pandemic.

“I felt a little bit relieved and I didn’t think it was going to be a good situation this year for public safety reasons,” Gregory Bernat added.

It’s not just the blow to their bottom line that the owners of EB’s and Bernat’s agree on. They salute The Big E for making the right decision in the interest of public health factors, for visitors and employees to make the painful decision announced earlier this week.

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