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Eggs & Issues Event Focuses on Rail Cars, Development
On: 12:10PM / Friday January 17, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold an informational breakfast titled "Eggs & Issues" at the Country Club of Pittsfield, 639 South St., on Thursday, Jan. 23,  from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

The event is sponsored by United Personnel and will feature David Curtis, economic development specialist at 1Berkshire.

1Berkshire is the county's designated regional economic development organization. In his role there, Curtis is the go-to person for businesses looking to expand, relocate or open in the Berkshires. Curtis will address the challenges and highlight the attributes of the region, outline the essential components to building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and discuss the MBTA Rapid Transit Rail Car Project.

The Eggs & Issues series was developed to provide member businesses with a forum to learn more about and participate in conversations regarding issues and initiatives happening in their area from local and regional experts and officials.

Guests will be served a light breakfast as part of the program. The cost to attend the event is $10 for Berkshire Chamber members and $15 for non-members.

To register visit www.berkshirechamber.com, email dthomas@berkshirechamber.com, or call 413-499-4000, Ext. 126.



     
Disaster Relief Grant Will Be Used to Aid Businesses
Staff Reports On: 07:54AM / Saturday July 13, 2013
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshires and Franklin County are teaming up on a grant to help small businesses in the two regions.

The project will be launched on Friday, July 19, with an event at 11 a.m. at MediTerra on Main Street.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a Disaster Relief Opportunity grant to the Franklin County Community Development Corp. with project partners Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. The goals are to support small businesses and entrepreneurs that are investing in their businesses and creating jobs.

Officials also see the project as a way to build economic collaboration between Northern Berkshire and Franklin County.

"Small businesses are the heart and soul of our community and this collaboration will bring together a wide variety of services and providers that will be available to our business owners," said Mayor Richard Alcombright in a statement. "Additionally, the ability to provide business planning and modeling along with access to capital and funding sources is a significant win for our businesses."

The mayor said he sees it as a team effort to ensure growth for North County.

The grant provides resources to support direct business technical assistance including individual counseling, trainings, financing, connections to available resources and industry experts for existing businesses and entrepreneurs with business startup ideas. The 18-month grant also provides resources to facilitate capacity building with collaborators in Northern Berkshire for enhancing sustainable business development.

Friday's event will include local and state officials, and Dan Johnson from U.S. Rep. Richard Neal's office.

"This project will serve and support local businesses that have been struggling to recover from natural disasters and the recession but are looking for an opportunity to create new jobs," said state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, who represents towns in both counties.

Collaborating organizations:

Northern Berkshire: Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Enterprises/Berkshire Community College, city of North Adams, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, North Adams Chamber of Commerce, town of Adams, and Williamstown Chamber of Commerce.

Franklin County: Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, Greenfield Community College and Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network

For more information: Amy Shapiro at 413-774-7204, Ext. 107, or amys@fccdc.org.



     
Neal, Business Organizations Sponsor Export Forum
Staff Reports On: 02:49PM / Friday January 25, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Small-business development organizations and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal are sponsoring a forum on how local companies could benefit from exporting their products.

The Pittsfield Export Forum on Tuesday, Jan. 29, will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza will feature two panel talks, followed by a luncheon with the congressman.

The forum sessions are free and open to all area businesses.

Neal will join the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce for a luncheon following the forum at the Crowne Plaza at noon in the ballroom; the cost is $35. Register for the luncheon here.
 
Neal will address the current fiscal situation, tax reform, exports, the recent AMT fix and energy independence.  

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network is encouraging those who currently export and those who are considering exporting to attend the event.

The panels will include business exporters from Western Massachusetts who will share their success stories. The forum also will feature an overview of a broad range of programs available to help companies with their international business efforts, including the opportunity of grant money available to small businesses to export.  Following the presentations, participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with government officials and local businesses to answer specific export questions.

Agenda

Welcome Remarks - Congressman Richard E. Neal

Panel One

    Tom Gradel, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment
    Paula Murphy and Ann Pieroway, Massachusetts Export Center
    John Joyce, Small Business Administration
    Melissa Branzburg, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Keith Girouard, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network

Panel Two

    Mike Supranowicz, President & CEO, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce – Moderator
    Mike Tweed-Kent, Vice President & General Manager, General Dynamics
    Virginia DuBois, Inside Sales Manager, Interprint
    Josh Levine, President, LympheDIVAs
    Lyn Biasin, Supply Chain Manager, Onyx
    Michael Hopsicker, President & CEO, Ray Murray, Inc.


Sponsors are Neal, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Mass Export Center, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, CONECT, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment and the Small Business Administration.



     
WMECo Survey Finds Low Cost, Skilled Labor Here
On: 02:58PM / Wednesday March 14, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Western Massachusetts Electric Co. has released its annual economic review of the four westernmost counties.

"Pioneering Futures: Western Massachustts Economic Review 2012" looks at the demographics, work force, education, lifestyles and industries of Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire counties.

"Western Massachusetts offers a prosperous future for businesses looking to move to the region," said Peter J. Clarke, president and chief operating officer of WMECo. "WMECo proudly produces this publication in order to expose the many appealing attributes of this unique location."

The report compares the region to other areas of New England and the nation. Some of its findings are not surprising, such as lower housing and costs of living, the high number of educational and cultural institutions and the proximity of urban centers and rail and air transport. The cost of living is near the national average but housing costs are 6 percent below. The per capita income is $37,888.

Among the reports findings:

* A third of the population 25 and older holds at least bachelor's degree
* Less than 10 percent of total resident employement is in manufacturing
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of colleges and universities
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of health-care related employment

Find the entire report online here or request printed copies by calling 413-787-9333.


     
Walmart Buys Curran Highway Site for $7.35M
Staff Reports On: 04:09PM / Monday January 09, 2012
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The final step in the development of the Walmart Supercenter was completed in December with the sale of the former gravel bank on Curran Highway.

Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust bought the property and an adjacent parcel at 1519-1525 South State St. for $7.35 million on Dec 19.

The property includes the gravel bank on Curran Highway and land formerly used by Berkshire Concrete Co.

The retail giant filed plans for a 160,000 square foot store last fall but purchase of the 23 acres was put off until some site preparation and cleanup was completed. Buying the land means the company will begin construction soon.

BVS 5401 Investors LLC, developers for the shopping plaza, purchased the property from the city in 2007 for $700,000. The parcel was one of several bought by developers Nigro Development LLC of Albany, N.Y., and Starwood-Ceruzzi of Connecticut several years ago. Nigro has since dropped out, leaving Ceruzzi Properties of Fairfield, Conn., in control.

Ceruzzi, acting as BVS 5401 Investors LLC, also purchased the Dellaghelfa properties at 1519 South State St. and West Road for about $2.2 million in 2007, and the former North Adams Plaza in 2004 for $2.5 million.


     
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News Headlines
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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 24-30
Atlas Private Wealth Management Moving to North Adams
Lanesborough Officials Debate School Spending
Adams Seeks Fix to Visitors Center's Ineffective Geothermal System
Mount Greylock Committee Taking Up Delayed Superintendent Search
North Adams to Williamstown Bike Path Public Meeting Set
Pittsfield Schools Review Teacher Evaluation Process

 


Bill Schmick separates the bull from the bears in his weekly columns on investing and market wrap-ups.



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