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Neal, Business Organizations Sponsor Export Forum

Staff ReportsiBerkshires

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

Panel One

    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

Panel Two

    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.


Grants Available for Berkshire County Businesses

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and BerkshireWorks Career Center have open seats for two grant-related sessions.

This first session will focus on safety grants with a presentation by Kathleen Manson, director at the office of safety of the Department of Industrial Accidents. The industrial accidents department awards up to $25,000 to organizations to fund workplace safety training. 
The safety grant session will take place on Friday, Jan. 11, at 10 a.m. at the second-floor conference room of 1 Berkshire Building (66 Allen St.)
Then on Friday, Feb. 1, from 9 a.m. until noon, Michael Corcoran, field supervisor, will present an overview of the three programs of the Workforce Training Grant Program, which consists of the Hiring Incentive Training Grant, the Express Program, and the General Program.
This session will also be held at the second-floor conference room of 1 Berkshire Building.
To register for either of these, email Barbara Emanuel at bemanuel@berkshireworks.org. For more info, call Emanuel at 413-499-2220, ext. 111, or Tom McDonough at 413-499-2220, ext. 138.



Workshop Slated on Handling Employee Leave, Injuries

LEE, Mass. — L.V. Toole Insurance Agency of Lee and Skoler, Abbott and Presser PC of Springfield is sponsoring a free workshop for employers dealing with employee leaves and injuries.

The workshop is on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Hampton Inn in Lenox. A continental breakfast will be served.

Susan G. Fentin, a labor and employment attorney in Springfield, will present "Leaves, Disabilities and Injuries: the Intersection of the FMLA, ADAAA and Workers Compensation Act." She will cover the basics of the workers' compensation and the Family and Medical Leave and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments acts to help employers understand how to handle employees whose physical or mental conditions qualify them for protection.

Fentin is an attorney with Skoler, Abbott and Presser, which specializes in labor and employment law and represents only management. She is an associate editor of the Massachusetts Employment Law Letter and regularly presents master classes on the FMLA to employers.

To register, email Heather Forman at heather@tooleinsurance.com or call 413-243-0089.

Chamber Sets Free Workshop on QR Codes

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will offer a workshop designed to help area business owners utilize cutting-edge marketing techniques to generate leads, sales, and overall interest in their business.

"Mobile Marketing 101: Decoding the QR Code" will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the Beacon Cinema on North Street.

Julie Fruscio, business development and marketing coordinator at Excelsior Printing Co., and Ashley Sulock, director or marketing and communications at the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, will lead the presentation.

The presenters will discuss QR Codes and help attendees understand how to best leverage these tools to bridge the gap between print and electronic marketing. Attendees are encouraged to bring their cell or or smart phones, although these devices are not required for participants to attend or benefit from the program.

The workshop is free to Berkshire Chamber members and $10 for nonmembers. To register: www.berkshirechamber.com, choyt@berkshirechamber.com, or call 413-499-4000, Ext. 10.

Tags: QR codes      

April Business Events

Staff Reports

Networking events, workshops and seminars for the month of April are listed below. Got an upcoming business event? Send it to info@iberkshires.com.

The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold an economic development breakfast on Friday, April  8, from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Crissey Farm, Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington. Admission is $25 for chamber members who register in advance, and $30 for nonmembers and walk-ins. Speakers include attorney Kathleen McCormick, Tony Patterson of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Sally Harris of St. James Place, and Tim Geller of Community Development  Corp. To register, call 413-528-4284 or email sbcc@rnetworx.com.

Berkshire Young Professionals will hold a networking social on Tuesday, April 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Underground, located at the Crowne Plaza, One West St., Pittsfield. Admission is $5 per person or free for BYP cardholders; register here.

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold a "Chamber Nite" event on Wednesday, April 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Mildred Elley, 505 East St., Ste. 107, Pittsfield. The event is for members only; go here to register.

The Lenox, Stockbridge and Lee chambers of commerce invite their members to a tri-town chamber mixer on Thursday, April 14, at Gateways Inn, 51 Walker St., Lenox, from 5 to 7 p.m. "Light fare" will be served and a cash bar will be available. A chance to win a door prize is open to anyone who brings their business card. RSVP to your own chamber: Barbara Zanetti, Stockbridge Chamber, 413-298-5200; Danielle Mullen , Lee Chamber, 413-243-0852; Ralph Petillo, Lenox Chamber, 413-637-3646.

The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold a business after hours event on Thursday, April 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Egremont Country Club, Great Barrington. Wine and cheese will be available; RSVP to Joy at 413-528-1510 or sbcc@rnetworx.com.

The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is offering a series of educational seminars, all to be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at Berkshire Community College's 353 Main St., Great Barrington location. The schedule is as follows:
Friday, April 15: Building a Marketing Plan
Friday, April 29: Branding Your Name
Friday, May 13: Creative Online Marketing

The cost to attend is $25 each for chamber members, or $60 for all three. Nonmembers must attend all three sessions, for which the fee is $80. Register to sbcc@rnetworx.com or 413-528-4284.

The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce will hold a breakfast meeting on Wednesday, April 13, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Waubeeka Golf Links, 137 New Ashford Road, Williamstown. The keynote speaker will be state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams. Admission is $18 for chamber members and $22 for nonmembers; call 413-458-9077 or email info@williamstownchamber.com to register.

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold a Good News Business Salute on Wednesday, April 20, from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, One West St., Pittsfield. Admission is $25 for chamber members, $35 for nonmembers. Register here.

The Northern Berkshire Business and Professional Women will hold a dinner meeting on Wednesday, April 27, at the Williams Inn, Williamstown. The keynote speaker will be Kara Lozier, community coordinator for American Councils for International Education, who will speak about the Youth Exchange and Study Program. The program begins at 6:30; the meal costs $25, with proceeds supporting the group’s community service. For meal choices and to make a reservation, contact Nancy Lescarbeau at 413-663-6083.

On Thursday, April 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce will hold a networking social at the American Legion, 117 Latham St., Williamstown. Snacks and a cash bar will be available. RSVP to 413-458-9077 or info@williamstownchamber.com.

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