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Patrick-Murray Administration to Host Small Business Forum in Holyoke

HOLYOKE, Mass. — The Patrick-Murray Administration will host a “Compliance Made Simple” small business forum on March 29 at the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce, 225 High St. to help educate and assist businesses with basic regulations and obligations where compliance can save owners thousands of dollars.

The “Compliance Made Easy” forums, which include insight from state officials with a strong background in applicable regulations, help provide small businesses with the resources they need to develop wage, benefit, and safety/health policies for their business, as well as help new and growing businesses identify and understand the specific state laws and regulations that apply to them.

“We want to be as friendly as we can to small businesses in Massachusetts,” Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier said. “Small businesses drive job growth, and we want to make sure that business owners take advantage of whatever help is available to them. I am pleased that this forum is being held in Western Massachusetts, and I hope that Pittsfield business owners will attend.”

The forum will be hosted by the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Executive Director Andre Porter and will be offered in two sessions, the first session in English and the second session open to English as a Second Language business leaders. The English-language session starts at 4 p.m., and the Spanish-language session starts at 6 p.m.

To learn more about the Economic Development Planning Council strategy visit: www.mass.gov/hed.
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NBT Bank Celebrates Opening of Lenox Office


Cutting the ribbon at the March 7 grand opening celebration NBT Bank Area Manager Daniel Kinney, left, Lenox Chamber of Commerce Director Ralph Petillo, Lenox Selectwoman Linda Procopio Messana, Lenox Branch Manager John Bortolotto and Miss Hall's School Chief Financial Office Susan Baumgarten.

LENOX, Mass. — NBT Bank officials and area dignitaries celebrated the opening in Lenox on Wednesday of the bank's fifth Berkshire County office.

The NBT Bank of Lenox, located at 2 Holmes Road, officially opened Feb. 7 and features a full service drive-up lane, night depository facilities, coin counting machine and a 24-hour ATM.

"We are pleased to announce the opening of our new Lenox Office that provides us with another opportunity to offer residents and businesses convenient access to our unique brand of community banking," NBT Bank Vice President and Area Manager Daniel Kinney said. "The opening of this office symbolizes NBT Bank's commitment to the local community and the Berkshire region."

NBT took over the former Legacy branches in the county after that finanical institution merged with Berkshire Bank.

NBT Bank offers personal banking, asset management and business services through a network of 132 banking locations in four states. NBT Bank and its parent company, NBT  Bancorp Inc., are headquartered in Norwich, N.Y. NBT Bancorp Inc. had assets of $5.6 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011, and is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol NBTB.
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Berkshire Insurance Group Revamps Website

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Insurance Group, a Berkshire Bank affiliate, has launched a "user-friendly" website at www.berkshireinsurancegroup.com. The new site includes a chat option and a client resource center through which customers can request a quote online. Berkshire Insurance Group offers auto, home, recreational vehicle, life, long-term care, as well as many types of business insurance and more.

"We think those visiting will find it user friendly and full of information and resources," said Jim Herrick, vice president of personal lines.

Additional features include:
  •     Network design to help visitors easily navigate across product and service offerings
  •     Opportunity to request a quote
  •     Live chat option
  •     Access to 24/7 Customer Claims Center
  •     Newsletter subscription

The site is linked to and from Berkshire Bank at www.berkshirebank.com.
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North Berkshire Banks Reopen Under New Name

ADAMS, Mass. — The new Adams Community Bank opened its doors on Monday.

Customers of what had been Adams Co-Operative Bank and South Adams Savings Bank may haven noticed the new signs for the merged institutions installed on Saturday at its local branches. Behind the scenes, new data systems and servers were being upgraded and converted.

Customers logging in can keep their old passwords but will have to chose new security questions and a new security image.

Bank officials said the institution was communicating with customers and using local vendors whenever possible during the merger as part of its committment to the area.  

The new name was developed through customer surveys and the signage manufactured and installed by a Berkshires company, said CEO Charles O'Brien. Bank President Joseph Truskowski said customers and community will always come first. "We are pleased to say that our merger won't change this philosophy — customers will continue to see the same faces, same places and only a new name."

To celebrate the merger, Adams Community Bank will be holding a daily drawing each business day for a month to give away new logo merchandise including coolers, stadium chairs, picnic blankets and auto kits. No purchase is necessary to participate in this drawing; just fill out a form and drop it in a ballot box at your local branch.

Adams Community Bank consists of seven full-service offices located in Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, Lee, Williamstown and North Adams.
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Insurance Agencies Join Forces at MountainOne

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local insurance company is going to become part of MountainOne Financial Partners.

Stevenson & Co. has joined forces with Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan and Collins, according CPDC President and CEO Timothy Dolan. CPDC is already a MountainOne Financial Partner. 

The two agencies will share common expenses and systems as a way to trim costs.

"This means we'll have more funds available to spend on service and product upgrades that benefit customers," said Dolan.

John Murphy, Stevenson's president and CEO, said the move will allow his firm to remain local and independent. "Joining forces with CPDC allows us to do this. And, we'll have an expanded team of service providers and offerings," he said.

Stevenson & Co. is currently located on North Street. CPDC also shares North Street office space with its fellow MountainOne Financial Partners Hoosac Bank and True North. Once the new MountainOne Financial Center under construction in the William Stanley Business Park opens, both CPDC and Stevenson will move into the new building and close their North Street offices. Stevenson customers will be notified in advance of the move.

Stevenson & Co. has been providing personal and business insurance in Pittsfield and Berkshire County since 1867.  CPDC, founded in 1927, serves personal and business customers through offices in North Adams, Adams, Williamstown and Pittsfield. 

MountainOne Financial Partners, a mutual holding company headquartered in North Adams, has combined assets of over $800 million and more than 200 employees. 

Check out the live construction webcam at www.stanleycam.net
.


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