Biz Briefs: Mr. Tire, Tax Holiday, Business Directory
|Don't worry, Mister Tire will still be here when the snow flies.|
Tired of Rumors
Larry Davis of Mister Tire in North Adams is assuring his many, many patrons that the 38-year-old family business is definitely not closing.
"It's come to our attention that the rumor about town has us closing our doors, or being sold to the highest bidder. We'd like to take the time to assure the community that neither of these things are true," the company posted on its Facebook page.
Rather, Davis will be spending less time at the shop, with his children Matt, Mike, and Tori, and general manager Scott taking over more of the operation.
"Larry's children will continue to provide the best service and pricing in the Berkshires," the post states. "As always we'd like to thank our loyal customers for their years of trust, and look forward to the future with you all."
After quibbling about the potential revenue loss, the Legislature on Friday passed a tax holiday weekend, just live everyone knew it would
This year's tax holiday is Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15-16. Purchases under $2,500 will not be charged the state's 6.25 percent sales tax. It excludes vehicles, motorized boats, tobacco, meals and utilities.
The tax holiday has been instituted yearly since 2005, with the exception of 2009. The Legislature has been called on to make it an regularly occurring event, but lawmakers seem reluctant to give up the annual "will they or won't they" suspense.
State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli says the holiday is a boost to the economy, drawing in visitors from nearby states to spend money.
"Historically, we have seen people from neighboring states with higher tax rates come into southern Berkshire and Hampden counties to shop during the sales tax holiday weekend," he said. "While they’re here, they eat at our restaurants and make a day of it. That's money coming into these small towns that wouldn't be there otherwise.”
Supporting Hilltown Business
Next year's edition of the Hilltown Business Directory is soliciting listings. The 30-year-old directory published by the Hilltown Community Development Corp. is delivered the 16,500 households in 21 towns in Berkshire, Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin counties each January.
It annually lists more than 300 hilltown businesses and is designed to promote and support local business. "I had a tremendous response last year. I will definitely advertise again!" says one local business.
Reservation forms are available at www.hilltowncdc.org or from Seth Isman at 413-296-4536 ext. 112 or at email@example.com. The deadline is Sept. 14.
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Toyota Honors K-M Motors for 50-Year Partnership
Derek Dubie, left, Dennis Dubie, Cooper Erickson and Nancy Kolac pose with the trophy for the 50-year partnership between Toyota and K-M Motors.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A lot has changed in the last 50 years, but K-M Motors' relationship with Toyota hasn't.
For that, Toyota Regional General Manager Cooper Erickson awarded the shop with a glass trophy during a brief ceremony Thursday morning at K-M Motors' Curran Highway showroom.
Nancy Kolac received a gift certificate to Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in recognition of her 50 years on the staff.
Kolac said some things are still the same. Her appreciation of customers, who she considers more as friends than customers, as well as the challenges the store and those friends face.
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New North Adams Taxi Service Begins Operations
Guy Cariddi demonstrates how the driver can use the tablet to communicate with the dispatcher and use other features, including GPS.
Guy Cariddi's Tunnel City Taxi received three city taxi cab licenses on Tuesday after months of planning and hit the road Thursday.
In addition, the driver can use a touchscreen to communicate with the dispatcher and a program will map out the route and determine the price prior to the ride.
Cariddi stands next to the 2003 Ford Windstar.
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Gas Prices Up 50 Cents Over Last Year
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — One week after showing no movement, gasoline prices in Massachusetts are back up this week, the ninth week out of the last 10 in which prices have risen, according to AAA Southern New England.
AAA's Feb. 7 survey of prices in Massachusetts found self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $3.119 per gallon, one cent higher than last week. The current price is a penny below the national average for self-serve unleaded of $3.12. A year ago at this time, the Massachusetts average price was $2.65.
The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 26 cents, from a low of $2.99 to a high of $3.25. AAA advises motorists to shop around for the best prices in their area, and to make sure they and their passengers buckle up — every time.
Find the most up-to-date local gas prices with the AAA Fuel Finder by logging onto AAA.com and clicking on Gas Saving Tips & Tools.
|$3.11($2.999-$3.259)||Regular Unleaded||$3.22 ($3.169-$3.269)|
|$3.22 ($3.109-$3.399)||Midgrade Unleaded||$3.33 ($3.299-$3.369)|
|$3.33 ($3.209-$3.499)||Premium Unleaded||$3.43 ($3.399-$3.469)|
|$3.55 ($3.459-$3.699)||Diesel||$3.61 ($3.589-$3.659)|
|AAA Fuel Saving Tip of the Week
Plan ahead. When running errands, try to combine multiple tasks into one trip. Several short trips starting with a cold engine each time can use twice as much gas as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Also, plan the route in advance to drive the fewest miles.
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Carbone Dealership Empties Lot
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — All the cars at Carbone Ford-Mercury on Route 2 should be gone by the end of the weekend.
On Friday, staff began driving the vehicles to a brand-new $4 million location in Bennington, Vt., which will open on Monday. Carbone Auto Group purchased the former Haddad dealership about two years ago and constructed the new location adjacent to its current Toyota lot on North Bennington Road.
"We are moving cars as we speak," said Michael Larochelle, a sales associate for Carbone, on Friday. "We should be completely out this weekend."
Carbone Ford-Mercury is the latest Berkshire County dealership to close. The dealership will reopen in Vermont.
Closing the State Road location has been in the works for about three years. In 2008, Carbone purchased the dealership from Haddad Motors with the plan of moving it to Bennington. The company was expecting construction to last shortly more than a year.
Construction on the new 27,000-square-foot showroom began in April and was not expected to be complete until the spring 2011. Ahead of schedule, the dealership will have a soft opening on Monday.
"It's a brand-new location. I think I heard it cost $4 million," Larochelle said. "I assume they'll do some type of grand opening."
New car dealerships have continued to leave the county, or consolidate. North County is now down to three new-car dealerships — K&M Toyota in North Adams, McAndrews-King GMC in Adams and the massive Bedard Brothers Auto Sales in Cheshire.
In 2007, Bedard Brothers Auto Sales purchased and consolidated Gateway, formerly known as Shapiro Chevrolet, on Union Street. That dealership was added to the company's Cheshire location. In 2009, Berkshire GMC in Sheffield closed when GMC closed 1,100 of its dealerships.
The dealership at 179 State Road was known for years as Dick Scarafoni Ford and later as Calgary Motors. Carbone's consolidation leaves another large, empty commercial property in the city. The former Gateway site still has not found new tenants although it is being used for leasing vehicle storage space. Both locations are owned by Scarafoni Associates.
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