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.
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 email@example.com.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will present the 2013 Berkshire Home Expo on the weekend of March 8-10 at the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough.
Thousands come from all corners of Western Massachusetts to attend this annual event, which is open and free to the public during mall hours.
More than 20 exhibitors have already secured booth space, include those offering landscaping services; home renovations and expansions; appliances; financial services; and even "green" and solar options for your home. Booth space is extremely limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Director of Programs and Events for the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Christine Hoyt is confident exhibit space will sell out and encourages all interested parties to contact her directly at 413-499-4000, Ext. 126.
Neal, Business Organizations Sponsor Export Forum
Staff Reports On: 02:49PM / Friday January 25, 2013
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.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The newly formed North Adams Chamber of Commerce has elected Glenn Maloney of North Adams as president for 2013. Also elected as officers were Vice President Keith Bona, Treasurer David Atwell and Secretary Veronica Bosley.
"On behalf of the North Adams Chamber of Commerce I would like to thank outgoing president Brian Miksic for his vision and energy," said Maloney in a statement. "Over the last three years Brian has worked tirelessly with many members of the North Adams business community to grow the vision that was Develop North Adams. Brian's leadership was invaluable as we worked to transform DNA into the North Adams Chamber of Commerce. We all look forward to being the voice of and central hub for the city’s business community."
Maloney is service manager for McAndrews-King Pontiac Buick GMC Trucks in Adams; Bona is owner of Berkshire Emporium and Antiques on Main Street in North Adams and Bona Marketing; Atwell is owner of Desperados Fresh Mexican Grille in North Adams and Williamstown; and Bosley is director of tourism and community events for the city of North Adams.
"We have an energetic group of volunteers leading and serving on our board of directors," said Maloney. "This next year will be an important one as we encourage local businesses to join us to promote the city, build our downtown and other retail centers, and enjoy the revitalization that is the goal of so many."
Maloney noted that even as the chamber membership drive builds, the organization has collaborated with the city’s Office of Tourism to organize and promote Hometown Holidays. He added that other businesses have joined forces in a cooperative advertising and marketing campaign.
In addition to the elected officers, the chamber's board of directors includes Miksic, Michael Bedford, Blair Benjamin, Tom Bernard, David Carver, John DeRosa, Ryley Gaudreau, Steve Green, Paul Hopkins, Eric Rudd, Jana St. Jermain, Bill St. Pierre, Jonathan Secor and Gail Sellers.
The approval by the state Department of Insurance and with Retailers Association of Massachusetts will allow the state association to operate as one of up to six cooperatives authorized by law to work with insurance carriers in an effort to give small businesses and individuals more options for saving on health insurance by banding together to buy coverage.
Through MACCE, the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce has been approved as a qualifying chamber and will work with insurers in the coming months to create new opportunities for its members, of which nearly 85 percent are considered small businesses.
More information on this new member benefit will be discussed at MACCE's annual meeting this Friday, Jan. 6, at Cranwell Resort in Lenox.