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.
Welcome Remarks - Congressman Richard E. Neal
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
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.
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
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.
Aladco Installs New 'Green' Washing Machine
By: Andy McKeever On: 04:39PM / Friday February 18, 2011
Aladco contracted local companies to retrofit the 19th-century building to more energy-efficient technology.
ADAMS, Mass. — Aladco is the latest business to go green.
The linen company installed a new $700,000 washer expected to reduce water usage by 84 percent. The company tore out the equpment it had been using for 50 years and retrofitted its 19th-century Commercial Street building for the modern technology.
"It's really cool to see an old building get a third or fourth life," Kevin Ellingwood, the company's public relations spokesman, said. "This has been in the works for a year or so."
The Pulse-Flow washing system replaces four washing machines that held 400 pounds of laundry each with a conveyor belt system. Every three minutes, workers load 50-pound batches onto the corkscrewlike belt. The batches then go through the various steps of a wash.
"It took them a little while to get efficient using the machine. Workers used to just load it in and go get a coffee or something," Ellingwood said. "It will result in significant savings."
Previously Aladco used 10 washing machines that used 2.5 gallons of water per pound of laundry, using 1.5 million gallons of water per month. The new system uses .4 gallons of water per pound – reducing the monthly usage to 250,000 gallons. Additionally, the less water used, the less gas and electricity are required to heat it.
Berkshire Gas contributed a $50,000 rebate to Aladco for the project.
"The projected savings for this project of over 67,000 therms and nearly 1.7 million therms over the life of the equipment, are impressive, to say the least. To put this into perspective, the annual savings from this one project equates to the amount of natural gas needed to heat approximately 70 homes per year," Michael Sommer, manager of energy services at Berkshire Gas, said in a press release.
According to Ellingwood, Aladco is the first hospitality linen rental facility in the nation to make the change.
Additionally, Aladco recently introduced three new eco-friendly products: a lint–free microfiber wiping towel, microfiber mop system and the Environap, an alternative to disposable napkins for the same cost.
The company provides table and kitchen linens, bed linens, uniforms, entrance mats and dust control to restaurants, hotels, motels, hospital, medical service providers and schools and colleges.
PITTSFIELD, Mass — The region's major economic agents formed 1Berkshire last spring to coordinate efforts. Now they're looking for a leader to turn paper goals into action.
The organization, a unified head for the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation, the Berkshire Creative Economy Council and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, has finished its fundraising and laying out its goals. Now to start making real impacts it needs someone to take the helm.
"This is going to be the leadership position for development and growth in the Berkshires," Paul Haklisch, current chief executive officer, said on Wednesday. "We're looking for a highly qualified executive."
Haklisch has led the organization's establishment as a volunteer. To finish the job, he needs to find his replacement. The coalition was announced in April and has been in the organizational phase for much of that time.
"My job is to help them take initiatives from paper and put them to action," Haklisch said.
Haklisch said he is not interested in taking it on full time.
The group has a list of projects to embark on, including advocating for low-impact cleanup of the Housatonic River, he said. Local officials, communities, environmental groups and agencies and GE are debating the best way to clean the river of PCBs dumped there by GE decades ago.
"Just because we haven't assumed a public profile, doesn't mean we haven't been doing anything," Haklisch said. "One of the big things we're doing is taking on a principal advocacy role for the Rest of the River Project."
The job posting on Berkshirejobs.com lists the position's responsibilities, which include facilitating the collaboration of the four major economic forces with federal, state and local public officials, serving as spokesman, executing fundraising efforts and general oversight of the group.
The nonprofit has set its objective to promote economic growth in the county while developing "the Berkshires" brand and is funded by both public and private sources.
In April, the group announced that it would be a one-stop point to answer questions for prospective businesses and hoped to have a toll-free telephone number and website. So far, they have a minimal website presence.