Letter to the editor: Birong is a positive force in Vergennes

There are a few things you might not know about Matt Birong.
Most people know he is a successful businessman. His restaurant Three Squares is at the center of Vergennes’s historic downtown and is a hub of activity 24/7. Matt hosts professionals, business leaders, families, high school students and tourists and the lively atmosphere draws people into the City and fosters a sense of community and prosperity. He is a positive force in the community, well known as being interested and engaged in everything that makes Main Street, the region, and the State a special place to live, work and visit.
But you might not know what goes on behind the scenes. Matt consistently hires people who need a second chance. Perhaps it’s a man down on his luck that has struggled with substance abuse and done some time during his youth. Or a mother of two toddlers who has lost her housing and is trying to put her life back together. Or a new American, highly skilled in her own country but struggling to find good work in a land where everything is different. Maybe it’s someone who comes without good references or even some bad ones. Matt hires people, trains them, and then supports them. If a child is sick, he understands. If someone needs some flexible shifts, he makes it work. He sees the potential in people and when he can, he offers advancement: a shift manager, a supervisor, or financial assistant. He provides more than a paycheck. He offers trust, dignity and a chance to be a valued member of the community.
Recently I was about to get out of my car and go into the restaurant. I saw a local man who works at Three Squares go in. I sat for a few minutes preparing for my meeting, and soon the man came out. He carried a big coffee and a paycheck, and he was smiling so happily to himself. I could tell that he had just been welcomed by his co-workers and customers, and was off for the day with a sense of belonging, of being a contributing member of a community.
Matt creates a positive can-do atmosphere in his business. He listens to and includes everyone. We can use more of that in Montpelier.
Elizabeth Ready

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