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Klara's Gourmet Cookies is one of three local businesses to be celebrated on Sept. 19.

Biz Briefs: Three Local Businesses To Be Celebrated For Growth

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Rural Small Business Initiative

Berkshire County comprises 931 square miles, making it the second-largest county in Massachusetts. Census estimates a total population of 126,313, with approximately 135 residents per square mile within this large land mass - creating many economic challenges in a mostly rural county.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center will celebrate three local small businesses that have received free counseling from the MSBDC and successfully acquired SBA financing to grow their business. The three local businesses to be highlighted are: Klara's Gourmet Cookies, 195 Water St., Lee, 1:30 p.m.; Lenox Fit, 90 Pittsfield Road, Lenox, 2:30 p.m.; and Green Apple Linen, 316 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield, 3:30 p.m.

"Local economies can be built one business at a time. These three businesses are great examples of what can be done in rural areas where there is strong government and local support," said MSBDC Berkshire Regional Director Keith Girouard.


Bank partnership

Berkshire Bank is partnering with GreenPath Financial Wellness to offer its employees, customers and communities with practical resources and tools to improve their financial well-being. The goal of the new partnership is to enhance Berkshire Bank's ongoing commitment to helping individuals realize their financial goals. Funding for the new collaboration was made possible, in part, by a contribution from Berkshire Bank Foundation.
Berkshire's new partnership with GreenPath features no-cost access to personal and family budgeting; credit report education, including how to improve your credit score; and counseling on debt repayment, and avoiding bankruptcy, foreclosure or repossession. In addition, Berkshire launched a dedicated website and phone line 866-692-2659 to support individuals on their financial journey. GreenPath resources will also be integrated throughout all areas of the bank. The bank also plans to deliver financial education seminars across its markets on topics including: Money Concepts for Teens and Young Adults, Identity Theft and The Psychology of Spending.


Branch renovation

Greylock Federal Credit Union's first branch at 75 Kellogg Street, which was completed in 1971, will undergo a complete renovation beginning Sept. 24. Work is expected to go on for at least six months. While construction is in progress, members will have access to tellers, a member service representative, and the complete range of credit union products and services at the nearby Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA) building right next door at 81 Kellogg St. The PEDA building will serve as a temporary branch until the Kellogg Street branch is completed with hours Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Kellogg Street branch's renovation will transform the outer architecture to a more contemporary energy-efficient design and create a new, customer-friendly layout inside the branch. It will feature interior decor with artwork and color schemes that pay tribute to the neighborhood's history, highlighting the GE tradition and industrial legacy of the Kellogg Street area. Additionally, there will be a new parking lot and an easier-to-access drive-up window. This renovation is the latest in a series of makeovers Greylock has been performing at branches around the county to create a better experience for members.

Because the temporary branch is smaller, service may be slower than normal. The credit union encourages members to temporarily do their banking at one of Greylockis other nearby branches whenever possible. Additionally, there will be no drive-up window or ATM at the PEDA building. Members are asked please utilize nearby drive-ups at the Elm Street and West Street branches. ATMS are also available at other branches and throughout the area. Visit the website for information on branch locations and ATMs.


New TelePharmacy Services

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center has entered into a new partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Connected Care Center for overnight TelePharmacy coverage. The switch aligns TelePharmacy services with the other TeleMedicine services Dartmouth-Hitchcock provides to SVMC, including TeleEmergency, TeleExpressCare, TeleNorthshire ExpressCare, TeleICU, and TeleNeurolgy.  In addition, Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s experienced acute-care pharmacists and state-of-the-art technology offer improved connectivity, prompt order entry, and pinpoint accuracy.

The service allows medical staff at SVMC to order prescriptions and speak with a pharmacist 8:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays, when the volume of prescription orders decrease  to a level that makes it difficult to employ a pharmacist onsite. Dartmouth-Hitchcock pharmacists review and reconcile orders and consult with physicians at SVMC, when necessary. Their team can collaborate with SVMC’s pharmacists on complex cases and provide specialized expertise.

"We have built great relationships with the physicians at Dartmouth-Hitchcock," said Dr. Trey Dobson, SVMC's chief medical officer and medical director of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians. "Their pharmacists share our commitment to patients and have the skills and tools necessary to deliver excellent service."

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