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Shire City Herbals is one of two Pittsfield businesses to get tax incentives to aid expansion efforts.

Biz Briefs: Two Pittsfield Businesses Get Help to Grow

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There they grow: The city of Pittsfield has fully supported two local businesses, Modern Mold and Tool and Shire City Herbals, which were recently awarded tax incentives through the state's Economic Development Incentive Program to facilitate expansion projects in the city. The businesses were among 13 companies across the commonwealth that received tax incentives through the program. EDIP is designed to foster job creation and stimulate business growth; companies receive state and local tax incentives in exchange for job creation, manufacturing job retention and private investment commitments.

Modern Mold received $145,000 in investment tax credits toward a $3 million investment to acquire and relocate the company's expanded manufacturing facilities in Pittsfield. Shire City Herbals, the creators of the highly popular Fire Cider tonic, received $74,000 in tax incentives toward a larger property for their company's operations. Both companies requested advocacy from the Mayor's Office toward their respective projects. Shire City Herbals has also been working with the city's Community Development Department and the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corp (PERC) regarding tax incentives.

Greylock news: Greylock Federal Credit Union celebrated a solid 2016 at its 82nd Annual Meeting held at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on March 28. Greylock's Board of Directors elected the following slate of officers: Ann D. Deely, Board Chair; Stanley B. Walczyk, Vice Chairman; John C. Law, Clerk/Treasurer; and JamieEllen Moncecchi, Assistant Clerk/Recording Officer. Gerard E. Burke concluded a four-year term as board chair.

In its 81st year of operation, Greylock's core operating earnings were $4.7 million, up from $3.2 million in the prior year, with total assets of about $1.1 billion. The credit union's regulatory capital – a key measure of financial strength – ended the year at 9.94 percent, up from 9.70 percent in 2015, improving upon Greylock's "well-capitalized" rating as determined by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). During 2016, Greylock granted nearly $280 million in loans and continued its position as the county's top originator of mortgage loans and consumer loans.

A prominent message in Greylock President & CEO John L. Bissell's remarks at the Annual Meeting was Greylock's newly adopted Vision Statement which says that the institution’s long-term goal is "to enable our community to thrive." Greylock’s membership grew by over 2,700 new members to a total year-end membership of nearly 78,000.

Other 2016 highlights included: Greylock's new Lenox branch, which opened in early 2016, performed above expectations, with more than $8 million in deposit growth and 3400 transactions per month on average and Greylock welcomed the members of Hurlbut Employees' Federal Credit Union through a merger completed in fall of 2016.

Money matters: Berkshire Community College will present a free workshop titled "Where's My Money? A Lesson on Saving and Spending" on Thursday, May 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Guardian Life Insurance Company of America located at 700 South St. in Pittsfield.

BCC Associate Professor of Business Wendy Meehan will lead the workshop, which will empower participants to take charge of their finances and begin tracking and planning toward saving for a better future. The workshop will help participants become aware of their spending and savings habits, and instruct them on how to set financial goals and develop spending plans that make sense so that they are able to attain future goals.

Class size is limited to 30. The workshop is free and open to the public. FORUM credit is available for BCC students. Registration is required at

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Police Advisory Committee Frustrated It Can't Review Estrella Report

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Despite the Police Advisory Review Board being reconstituted after the police killing of Daniel Gillis in 2017, the panel is not permitted to cover the report on the police killing of Miguel Estrella.

This has left PARB frustrated and questioning its purpose once again.

"I was highly disappointed and shocked by this revelation," Chair Ellen Maxon said. "And very frustrated."

Since the panel's last meeting in May, Maxon asked Police Chief Michael Wynn if members would be able to review the report generated by the Police Department on the fatal police shooting of Miguel Estrella on March 25 and he reported that it is not in PARB's ordinance.

The ordinance states that the board is to "review all final investigative reports regarding citizen complaints," making it not able to cover the report generated from the shooting.

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