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Tunnel City Coffee roasts specialty whole bean coffee in the Norad Mill of North Adams, Mass., and currently offers free home delivery for all local customers with 01267 and 01247 zip codes during the COVID-19 crisis.

Biz Briefs: Tunnel City Coffee Offering Coffee Care Packages

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Coffee Care Packages

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Tunnel City Coffee has seen more online orders coming in every day from customers sending coffee care packages to friends and family as a way to stay connected while social distancing. By sending something familiar and comforting like a pound of coffee, they are able to share the experience of having a cup of coffee together, even when they can't be together in person. 

Tunnel City Coffee's two shops in North Adams and Williamstown, Mass., are also witnessing love and support from their local community, with customers ordering coffee for takeout and continuing to purchase store gift cards. "A coffee shop provides something so important in a community– a necessary human connection," Tunnel City Coffee owner Paul Lovegreen said. "Even though we are all keeping at least six feet of distance between each other at our shops during this time, we think it is important to continue providing people with the sense of community we all need, especially right now." 

Tunnel City Coffee roasts specialty whole bean coffee in the Norad Mill of North Adams, Mass., and currently offers free home delivery for all local customers with 01267 and 01247 zip codes during the COVID-19 crisis.Tunnel City Coffee's cafe locations are open for takeout and visitors are asked to please respect social distancing guidelines. To order whole bean coffee for home delivery, visit the website.

 

Greylock Annual Report

Greylock Federal has released its 2019 Annual Report and committed to using the credit union's financial resources and expertise to help the community respond to the coronavirus pandemic. "We are committed to using the financial knowledge and strength we have built over the past 85 years to help our community confront this enormous challenge," said President/CEO John L. Bissell. 

While Greylock has postponed its annual meeting due to public safety concerns, the credit union released its annual report to its membership on March 29. "Fortunately, we started this year in a rock-solid financial position with the highest capital levels in our long history," Bissell said. "Our members will benefit from the strong investments we have made in technology to provide full access to services under all kinds of circumstances."

Greylock’s 2019 annual report, accessible online, shows a 5.3% rise in deposits and an increase of regulatory capital to 10.7%. Other 2019 results included: 87,722 Member/Owners; $1.25 billion in total assets; $1.07 billion in total loans; $1.08 billion in total deposits and $7.6 million in total net income. Greylock posts the latest news on resources for personal and business services online.

 

EforAll Online

EforAll Berkshire County has gone full-on virtual to help start-up and existing businesses. Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is a nonprofit organization that partners with communities nationwide to help under-resourced individuals successfully start and grow a business through intensive business training, mentorship and an extended professional support network. EforAll programs are offered in eight Massachusetts communities: Cape Cod, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford/Fall River, Berkshire County and Roxbury as well as in Longmont, Colo.

A Gala & Showcase for Winter Accelerator Cohort will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, on Google Hangouts. “How We’re Coping in the Berkshires” panel discussion with BCC & 1Berkshire will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 23, at Zoom; registration is here. A pitch contest will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 13; the link to apply is here and the link to attend is here. Also, coping webinars will be held Wednesdays at 11 a.m. via Zoom here.

EforAll Berkshire County is a sustainable public-private partnership of a diverse group of funders including the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, 1Berkshire, the City of Pittsfield and the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC), Greylock Federal Credit Union, Mill Town Capital, Feigenbaum Foundation, Berkshire Bank Foundation, Callahan Dee Family Foundation, Jill & Niraj Shah and Mass Development.

 

Common Folk on the Web

Since the temporary closure of many North Adams restaurants, shops and establishments in mid-March, Common Folk Artist Collective has been diligently working behind closed doors to transition sales from its brick and mortar store to the web. Common Folk Artist Collective is a formal group of creators sharing resources led by a volunteer leadership team. In order to continue to support just under 50 members – a majority made a name for themselves in the retail space – the collective moved items from its physical store to the online store at commonfolk.org/shop.

The store includes: Community Supported Art (CSA) boxes curated by theme; cabin fever, date night, North Adams, etc.; member curated art boxes; limited edition screen-printed clothing and tote bags; and member-written books. Other initiatives include reopening membership and hosting a virtual Common Ground public meeting about how creators are living their day-to-day with the impacts of COVID-19. The meeting can be joined through Google Hangouts on April 10 at 3 p.m. 

The collective and the North Adams community share a sense of resilience in helping to support each other. While many creators have lost their day jobs they can still be supported through the collective. Common Folk is a part of the North Adams Artist Impact Coalition, a larger group of cultural organizations intended to combine efforts in order to better serve area artists. The group hosts the regular Northern Berkshire Artist Meet-Up, they created an artist survey for the North Adams census and they frequently share resources to support creators. 

Members of the collective include various independent artists who lost their day job, musicians who have canceled tours and took to live streaming performances, and even staff from MASS MoCA who have been laid off. Membership is now open until April 30 and while shared resources are slimmer with the lack of a physical space, it pays to be part of a supportive community and have access to the collective’s website and social platforms for self-promotion. To donate or become a regular sponsor of Common Folk visit the website here.

 

Job seeking site

Lever has launched Berkshire Entry, a new site that focuses on placing recent college graduates in full-time entry level positions at leading Berkshire companies. Job seekers can search listings and prospective employers can find out more on the website here.

In addition to providing curated listings for entry-level employees, Lever’s new program helps Berkshire employers access new talent ready to enter the workforce. Graduating students who seek career opportunities in the Berkshires are encouraged to browse and apply for jobs on the site. 

Recent college graduates will be employed directly by the companies and organizations listing jobs on the Berkshire Entry site. Lever's Workforce Programs staff will work with companies and organizations to develop opportunities that will be attractive to recent grads. Berkshire Entry will also help organizations with onboarding, including a two-day orientation that will help new employees prepare for success in their new jobs. 

Berkshire Entry is designed to extend Lever’s impact on the regional economy by attracting the young talent necessary for Berkshire companies to innovate and adapt. Berkshire Entry is built on the success of Lever’s popular Berkshire Interns program, which brings college students and recent graduates to the Berkshires for 10-week, paid summer internships. Berkshire Interns is recruiting now. Interested students and recent graduates can browse internship opportunities on the website here.

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Know Your Risk Tolerance at Different Stages of Life

Submitted by Edward Jones

As an investor, you will always need to deal with risk of some kind. But how can you manage the risk that has been made clear by the recent volatility in the financial markets? The answer to this question may depend on where you are in life. 

Let's look at some different life stages and how you might deal with risk at each of them: 

• When you are first starting out: If you are early in your career, with perhaps four or even five decades to go until you retire, you can likely afford to invest primarily for growth, which also means you will be taking on a higher level of risk, as risk and reward are positively correlated. But, given your age, you have time to overcome the market downturns that are both inevitable and a normal part of investing. Consequently, your risk tolerance may be relatively high. Still, even at this stage, being over-aggressive can be costly. 

• When you are in the middle stages: At this time of your life, you are well along in your career, and you are probably working on at least a couple of financial goals, such as saving for retirement and possibly for your children's college education. So, you still need to be investing for growth, which means you likely will need to maintain a relatively high risk tolerance. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to have some balance in your portfolio, so you will want to consider a mix of investments that align with each of your goals. 

• When you are a few years from retirement: Now, you might have already achieved some key goals – perhaps your kids have finished college and you have paid off your mortgage. This may mean you have more money available to put away for retirement, but you still will have to think carefully about how much risk you are willing to take. Since you’re going to retire soon, you might consider rebalancing your portfolio to include some more conservative investments, whose value is less susceptible to financial market fluctuations. The reason? In just a few years, when you are retired, you will need to start taking withdrawals from your investment portfolio – essentially, you will be selling investments, so, as much as possible, you will want to avoid selling them when their price is down. Nonetheless, having a balanced and diversified portfolio doesn't fully protect against a loss. However, you can further reduce the future risk of being overly dependent on selling variable investments by devoting a certain percentage of your portfolio to cash and cash equivalents and designating this portion to be used for your daily expenses during the years immediately preceding, and possibly spilling into, your retirement. 

• When you are retired: Once you are retired, you might think you should take no risks at all. But you could spend two or three decades in retirement, so you may need some growth potential in your portfolio to stay ahead of inflation. Establishing a withdrawal rate – the amount you take out each year from your investments – that's appropriate for your lifestyle and projected longevity can reduce the risk of outliving your money. Of course, if there's an extended market downturn during any time of your retirement, you may want to lower your withdrawal rate temporarily. 

As you can see, your tolerance for risk, and your methods of dealing with it, can change over time. By being aware of this progression, you can make better-informed investment decisions.

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