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SABIC is donating $25,000 to the Berkshire United Way to help serve the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biz Briefs: SABIC Donating to Local United Way to Support COVID-19 Response Efforts

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SABIC donation

SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, is donating $25,000 to the Berkshire United Way to help serve the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from $1 million in monetary donations to food banks and community-based agencies in the communities where the company operates, SABIC, whose head office is based in Houston, also is donating approximately $500,000 of its products. SABIC products are used to manufacture personal protection equipment for healthcare workers and medical equipment such as ventilators, patient monitoring devices, face shields, respiratory therapy machines and diagnostic equipment.

The company, which operates the Polymer Processing Development Center in Pittsfield, Mass., also is donating face shields made with SABIC’s LEXAN polycarbonate sheet product to local police and fire departments. SABIC employees, too, are joining together to raise funds that will go to charitable organizations of their choice and the company is matching the employee contributions dollar-for-dollar.

SABIC currently operates 60 manufacturing and compounding plants in more than 50 countries worldwide.

 

Small business survey

The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire has released a small business survey to assess the greatest needs of small businesses during this COVID-19 crisis. This Small Business Technical Assistance Needs Survey will help CDCSB focus professional technical assistance to businesses where they most need it for them to weather the devastating economic impact of the endemic. All businesses based in the southern Berkshires are encouraged to complete the survey by clicking here.

CDCSB is joining other western Massachusetts CDCs – Hilltown CDC, Franklin County CDC and Valley CDC (Northampton) – in seeking funding to provide free professional business assistance that can include legal and financial advice, strategic planning, access to capital, marketing, pivoting sales to a digital platform, or creating new product lines. This will significantly expand the capacity for small business assistance throughout western Mass., a central part of CDCSB’s economic development mission. 

The CDCSB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating job opportunities, promoting economic development, and building low-moderate income housing in the southern Berkshires. In collaboration with other local organizations, CDCSB has helped build over 60 affordable housing units, leveraged over $30 million in private and public funding for south Berkshire County and has a current development pipeline of 120 new affordable housing units.

 

Webinar on Google rankings

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. is sponsoring a free two-part webinar, titled "How to Rank Higher on Google," to be held on Wednesday, June 3, at 9 a.m. and Wednesday, June 10, at 9 a.m.. The webinar is free to everyone via Zoom. The "new normal" will dramatically change how people connect, shop, and interact even after businesses reopen. It will be more important than ever to rank higher on Google, to make it easy for customers to find what they need, and to support them with social media.

Participants will learn concrete steps they can implement at a low cost to improve your web presence and search engine results, and thrive in the upcoming business environment. There will also be plenty of time for questions and talking about specific concerns during the webinar. To register for "Quick Wins" on Wednesday, June 3, at 9 a.m., click here. To register for "Big Wins" on Wednesday, June 10, at 9 a.m., click here.

The webinar will be led by Pittsfield's own Roger Matus, an expert in developing market strategies and in executing digital marketing programs for clients in Boston and the Berkshires. Local clients include Berkshire Yoga Dance and Fitness, the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, the City of Pittsfield, the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation, Integrated Eco Strategy in North Adams, Global-Z International, and the William Stanley Business Park.

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Berkshire Theatre Group to Present 'Godspell' Outdoors

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Theatre Group will produce "Godspell" this summer – the first musical in the United States to be approved by Actors' Equity Association in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The show will be presented outdoors in an open-air tent adjacent to The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and is scheduled to run Aug. 6 through Sept. 4. Tickets will be available for purchase Tuesday, July 7, at noon. 

"We could not bear the thought of a Berkshire summer without live theater to support our community, so we jumped through every hoop to create a safe way to make this happen," said BTG Board of Trustees Co-President Lee Perlman. "I hope our production gives hope to the tens of thousands of theater professionals who are on the sidelines this summer. Theater is unstoppable and will be back”

Artistic director and CEO Kate Maguire said "Godspell" got the green light after BTG established a strict protocol to protect the health and safety of the audience, the performers and others involved in the show. 

"We have been working daily and in the true spirit of care and collaboration with Actors’ Equity Association for the past several weeks," she said. "Guided by Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association Mary McColl and her extraordinary team, I have learned much about how to lead a theater in the new world. Our industry, which has been devastated by this global pandemic, will be served by their seriousness, data driven wisdom, and profound understanding of the need for artists to rebuild. 

"I am so proud that Berkshire Theatre Group, in its 92nd season will be authorized and granted the responsibility to produce the musical 'Godspell.'”

After careful consideration with the local and state government, Mayor Linda Tyer of Pittsfield and Actors’ Equity Association, BTG relocated "Godspell" from its original site at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge to outside under a tent at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.

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