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Local Real Estate Firm Trying to Support Small Businesses

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nocher Realty is lending a helping hand to fellow businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
"If we don't support them through these unusual times they won’t be there when this all blows over, when business is back to normal we need these shops back in action," owner Jason Nocher said. "Small business is the backbone of the Berkshires."
Nocher Realty has partnered with various businesses throughout Berkshire County including the Corner Lunch and Berkshire Printing & Embroidery. 
In many cases, Nocher has purchased something directly from the local business to help sustain and promote it. Like purchasing 50 breakfast sandwiches from the Corner Lunch and using its Facebook page to invite the public grab one, first come, first served.
At Kidding Around Consignment, kids were offered "busy bags" and at Berkshire Printing & Embroidery, Nocher paid for 50 shirts to be printed and given away. 
"We have purchased items that not only allow these businesses to keep making money but also allow the public to gain the benefit of not having to pay for them themselves in these times where some or most people are not working or do not have that dual income," he said.
Nocher said they have mostly used Facebook to promote their giveaways and noted that it has drummed up some business for these small shops.
"According to some of the businesses, they have superseded the donations we have made and it has created additional sales and awareness that these small shops are still out there trying to keep above water," he said. 
Nocher said they want to do whatever they can to help this small business survive and plan to help out a few more.
"Community is who were are and who we work with day in and out," he said. "... In this small Berkshire County community if we can't all play together and support one another we will cripple.”
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BCC Graduates Recognized in Remote Commencement

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Any other year, the graduates of Berkshire Community College and their friends and families would be filling The Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox.

But instead of taking the stage, speakers stood alone in front of a backdrop. And instead of being handed their certificates and diplomas, the more than 200 graduates' names were read as their pictures were shown. 
What didn't change was the ceremony's broadcast on Pittsfield Community Television, allowing at least a virtual coming together of the BCC community to mark their significant accomplishments.
President Ellen Kennedy reminded those watching how commencement celebrates not just the achievements but the persistence of the graduates in often overcoming life challenges to walk across the Tanglewod stage.   
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