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Every time a credit union member signs up for a Wildcats debit card, Greylock makes a donation to Lee High School, generating $2,130 for the school since 2016.

Biz Briefs: Greylock's Lee Wildcats Debit Card Generates $2,130 for School

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In their debit

In July 2016, Greylock Federal Credit Union introduced a new debit card featuring the Lee High School Wildcats logo and school colors. Since then, every time a credit union member signed up for a Wildcats debit card, Greylock made a donation to Lee High School, generating $2,130 for the school.

Lee Middle and High School Principal Gregg M. Brighenti said the funds have been used to purchase furniture for the library, to fund students who couldn't afford school trips, to pay for two dinners the students served to senior citizens, and to buy a small cookie oven for the Lee High School booster clubs to use at games as a fundraiser for their programs.

This news comes on the occasion of the Lee branch's 20th anniversary, which will include promotions including a special rate on home equity loans, giveaways on Wednesdays, Sept. 12, 19 and 26, free refreshments on Fridays,, Sept. 14, 21 and 28, and giveaways at the Taste of Lee event on Sept. 14 and the Founder's Day Parade & Latino Festival on Sept. 15.


Listings sought

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires is seeking listings for a new publication aimed at helping nonprofits efficiently access information to business products and services. Connecting nonprofits to the resources they need is part of the NPC's mission and also serves to stimulate the local business-to-nonprofit economy.  

The Nonprofit Resource Guide features nearly 100 categories of business used by nonprofits. Listings are free. Simply send an email with your business name, address, phone, email, website, and a 12-word description of your services. Businesses can also purchase a business-card size ad for $100 to help them stand out and to support the production of the booklet, which will be distributed free to nonprofits. The deadline for listings is Oct. 12.  

The Nonprofit Resource Guide is the third publication initiated by the Nonprofit Center since its founding in 2016.  The NPC also publishes Berkshire Nonprofit Connections Magazine, and Giving Back: Your Guide to Philanthropic Opportunities in the Berkshires.


In confidence

Berkshire Money Management recently released the results of the quarterly Berkshire Business Confidence Index, which revealed that the nasty spring "hangover" that many local businesses were feeling is now just a memory, if that. This quarter, while the national economic growth rate (as measured by Gross Domestic Product) went gangbusters, Berkshire-based business owners also felt the strength of that growth. In response, area businesses are stocking more inventory in anticipation of continued expansion.

From the last survey (April 2018) to this survey, overall confidence was up slightly, from 56.1 to 58.6. The most notable improvements came from respondents’ view of overall business conditions from the last survey as well as year-over-year sales. Notable improvements in the view of overall conditions have prompted businesses to build inventory.

Additional results from the BCI include the intention to hire, which fell 3.2 points to 58.9. That is still above 50, which indicates growth. The number of respondents with modest-to-substantial hiring plans dropped from 32 percent to 27 percent. And once again, increased costs continue to be a powerfully negative component among local decision makers.


Top honors

Berkshire Bank was honored by the Boston Business Journal as one the Massachusetts' most philanthropic companies during the 13th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards ceremony on Sept. 7.  The Boston Business Journal recognized 100 companies who each met the threshold of at least $100,000 in philanthropic support to Massachusetts nonprofits in 2017. Combined, the 100 honorees gave approximately $273 million in charitable funding last year.

Berkshire Bank ranked #51 for total financial contributions with over $1.2 million donated in Massachusetts and more than $2 million donated overall. Berkshire Bank’s Massachusetts employees also donated nearly 26,000 hours of volunteer service. Berkshire Bank joined a select list of statewide, national and international companies honored at the event.
The award recognizes Berkshire Banks' commitment to philanthropic investments in the community through charitable grants, corporate giving, scholarships, in-kind donations and employee volunteerism. Annually the company and the Berkshire Bank Foundation provide more than $2.4 million to community organizations throughout the Northeast, as well as scholarships to high school seniors with a record of academic excellence and financial need. In addition to financial support, the XTEAM, the bank's nationally acclaimed employee volunteer program, provides employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours.

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CHP Physician Leads Resolution Declaring Health Care 'Basic Human Right'

LEE, Mass. — The Massachusetts Medical Society has adopted a resolution first introduced in 2017 by Dr. Michael Kaplan, who works at CHP Lee Family Practice and is a longtime advocate for health care justice.

The resolution reads: "The Massachusetts Medical Society asserts that enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, in all its dimensions, including health care, is a basic human right. The provision of health care services, as well as optimizing the social determinants of health is an ethical obligation of a civilized society.

Dr. Kaplan is a family medicine physician who is also certified in geriatric medicine. His commitment to health care advocacy is evident through his work at CHP and in his roles as an officer of the Berkshire District Chapter of the Massachusetts Medical Society and as a member of the MMS Legislative Committee. He is also vice chair of the Single Payer Member Interest Group of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The MMS is an influential organization representing 25,000 Massachusetts physicians and students and bringing a strong voice to matters that have an impact on patients and health care providers. Its resolution reflects similar positions of the AAFP, the World Health Organization and the United Nations, and the Constitutions of many nations that provide universal health care to their citizens.

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