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.
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.
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.