Business owner blames MGM for drop in business

Robert D'Agostino wants compensation to keep his business afloat

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A business owner in downtown Springfield is blaming MGM for a drop in business, forcing him to close, but he’s not going away quietly.

Robert D’Agostino put this sign up in the window of his downtown Springfield business hoping to get someone’s attention. He says MGM moved about 30% of his customers out of the area to prepare for construction and he’s now financially falling short and needs help.

“I positively cannot survive the next 3 years, this was the last week as of Friday that I took money out of my pocket to make payroll,” D’Agostino said.

He turned his lights off and closed his business for good on Friday. He told the 22News I-Team, previous agreements with MGM led him to believe they’d help him mitigate the impact of the project, but his calls for help have gone unanswered.

“Their delays have cost me several thousands of dollars. Tens of thousands of dollars and everytime I talk to them they just spin me in a circle,” he added.

He’s not alone. Earlier in the summer McCaffery’s Public House reported a drop in business because of the lack of parking. They’re still threatening to close.

An MGM spokeswoman told the I-Team they have no legal obligation to compensate D’Agostino but understand there are unwanted impacts of having a business near a construction zone. She said they will continue to do their best to bring foot traffic and patronage to these businesses while prioritizing safety.

Not the response D’Agostino is looking for as he decides whether closing his business is permanent.

Below is a full response from MGM in the matter:

“We have been communicating with and supporting Springfield businesses for four years to prepare for this interim moment of construction. We think local, buy local and support local as much as we can.

“Still, we understand that a few South End businesses are feeling the unwanted effects of being adjacent to a large construction site.  And we will continue to do our best to bring foot traffic and patronage to these businesses while prioritizing safety as more structures start to come down and active construction ramps up on the way to a bright downtown future.”

— Carole Brennan, MGM Springfield Spokesman

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