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Carr Hardware, a family-owned business for more than 90 years, has launched “Round-up for the Schools” to benefit the local Berkshire County school districts.

Biz Briefs: Carr Hardware Donating Personal Protective Equipment for Schools

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'Round-up for the Schools'

Carr Hardware, a family-owned business for more than 90 years, has launched “Round-up for the Schools” to benefit the local Berkshire County school districts. Carr Hardware is offering all their customers the option to round-up the final cost of their purchases to the nearest dollar. Carr Hardware will then match those donations and purchase needed personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves, sanitizer and other needs they can secure, to donate to our local schools. Carr Hardware also will have collection jars stationed at all locations for customers to donate.

"If there is a chance at defeating this pandemic and have students return to school safely at some point, then it will be by using the CDC guidance for PPE, physical distancing, and education on personal hygiene practices. We are so thankful to our community partners at Carr Hardware for supporting our schools." said North Adams Superintendent Barbara Malkas.

To date North Adams Public Schools, Lee Public Schools and Pittsfield Public Schools have agreed to partner with Carr Hardware with more rolling in. The local community can stop into any Berkshire County Carr Hardware retail store to donate.

 

EforAll fall cohort

Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County has announced the 12 business ideas chosen to participate in the Fall 2020 Business Accelerator program, which begins the week of Sept. 7 and will be held completely virtually. These businesses represent a wide array of ideas and come from a broad swath of the region: Charlie Nadler & Kiar Holland:  Laugh Dealers/North Adams; Nicole Ferry: Ferrytale Endings/Becket; Lindsay Neathawk: Neathawk Designs/Williamstown; Rebecca Childs-Lee:  Martial Arts Institute of the Berkshires/Lee; Alex Kacheris: Equine Assisted Therapy/Pittsfield; Kristen Tool:  Olsen Farm, Free Produce/Lanesborough; Laurie Rock:  21st Century Scuba/Pittsfield; Purple Valley Sustainable Connections/Williamstown; Mary Childs: Ceramics New England/Lee; Liam Gorman: GeoCa$h/Pittsfield; Courtney Gilardi: Custom Crafted Remedies/Pittsfield; and Kate Abbott: By The Way Berkshires/Williamstown

This will be the second class for EforAll’s Berkshire County site, with a 50 percent increase in the number of participants (which was eight in the original Winter 2020 group.)  EforAll was delighted to receive many applications and also get strong community support in the form of mentor commitments which allowed the class to be much larger. The public will be invited in mid-December to the Gala and Showcase at the conclusion of the 12-week intensive program.

 

BBPW applications

Berkshire Business and Professional Women is accepting applications for its career advancement scholarship program. The deadline has been extended to Aug. 31. The group annually awards career advancement scholarships to working women residing in Berkshire County. Scholarships may be used for tuition, books, child care, uniforms, or other related educational expenses. Scholarship amounts and the number of scholarships awarded will be determined by the scholarship committee and trustees of Berkshire BPW's non-profit affiliation, Berkshire County Education Council.

Eligible applicants need to be Berkshire County residents at least 25 years of age, who are either working or currently seeking employment, enrolled at an accredited college, technical or vocational schools and matriculating on a full-time or part-time basis for the 2020-21 academic year. 

On September 21, Berkshire BPW is honoring Andrea Harrington as the 2020 Woman of Achievement at Balderdash Cellars. This annual fundraiser benefits the Career Advancement Scholarship fund. Visit https://berkshirebpw.org/ for more details on the Woman of Achievement fundraiser and to access the online application under the Programs tab. For scholarship questions, contact June Roy-Martin by email or call 413-464-1839.

 

Zogics contract

Zogics has entered into a five-year, $5.5 million dollar contract with the United States Navy for crucial cleaning and disinfecting supplies to help combat the spread of COVID-19. While focusing mainly on the United States Navy, the contract is applicable to all military branches. The contract also solidifies Zogics’ existing service to the entire United States Armed Forces; over the last 10 years, Zogics has shipped their disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizers, cleaning and disinfecting products, amenities, facility products and more to military installations worldwide.

The company will be providing the Navy their flagship Antibacterial Wipes, which meet the EPA's criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Zogics is a leading supplier of cleaning and disinfecting products to the United States Government through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

 

Wild Oats donation

Thanks to the generosity of its customers, Wild Oats donated $2,338.02 to Berkshire Food Project this week. The money was generated in July through the store's Round Up For Change program, which allows shoppers to round up their total purchases at checkout and donate the spare change to the featured organization of the month. Throughout the month of August, Wild Oats is collecting for Berkshire Helping Hands.

The Berkshire Food Project seeks to alleviate hunger, food insecurity, and social isolation by serving healthy, no cost meals and connecting people to other resources, all in a dignified and respectful manner. Due to the pandemic, it has adapted its previous dining system to offer meals to go as it acclimates to operating under the new safety guidelines. For nearly four decades, Wild Oats has been Northern Berkshire County's primary source of local, organic and sustainable food choices.

 

SVHC awards

The Southwestern Vermont Health Care Marketing and Communications Department has received two prestigious regional healthcare communications awards from the New England Society for Healthcare Communications for work produced during 2019. SVHC earned a Silver Lamplighter Award for its SVMC Orthopedics Restoring Active Lifestyles Campaign and the distinction of Excellence for the Memorable Moments for Colon Cancer Screening Awareness Campaign.

Each of the entries consisted of many parts, including outreach events, advertisements, mailers, social media posts, and e-mail communications. The 2020 competition totaled 285 entries in each of more than 20 healthcare marketing and public relations categories from hospitals in all six New England States, including large academic medical centers and those in metropolitan areas. They are judged by a panel of healthcare marketing experts.

 

Edward Jones honor

For the 11th time, financial-services firm Edward Jones ranks "Highest in Employee Advisor Satisfaction among Financial Investment Firms" by J.D. Power. Edward Jones financial advisers gave the highest satisfaction ratings in all the six study categories, with an overall score of 920 points out of 1,000. This compares to the employee average of 711. Edward Jones was among the seven employee channel firms captured in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study.

Between January and April 2020, financial advisers were asked to rate their firms in terms of leadership and culture, products and marketing, professional development, operational support, technology, and compensation. Among the categories measured, Edward Jones ranked highest in all of them, and a full 10 percentage points higher than the 2020 employee average.

Edward Jones has been the top performer among employee channel firms in 11 J.D. Power adviser satisfaction studies, which were completed in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012-2015, 2017-2020.

 

Greylock pledge

Greylock Federal Credit Union has joined the African American Credit Union Coalition. In addition, Greylock's Board of Directors has unanimously voted to sign on to a national Credit Union Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Collective’s statement of solidarity and commitment to change. The nation-wide commitment, spearheaded by the African American Credit Union Coalition’s Commitment to Change, brings credit unions together to listen, learn, advocate and amplify the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable members of the community. The cooperative philosophy of the credit union movement has always focused on financial equity. This pledge helps credit unions focus on clear actionable efforts to create real, meaningful, transformative and sustained change. 

Through membership in the AACUC, Greylock is working to strengthen access to financial services for people of color in the community. The added counsel and tools of the AACUC’s Commitment to Change will help Greylock as the credit union continues to pursue meaningful change around historically unequal access to financial resources. The pledge has gained the support of a coalition of over 150 credit unions and service providers nationally since its launch on Juneteenth (June 19th). The position statement commits that "Together, we are stronger. Together, we can create a better world where all members of our communities can take part in our democracy, live free of fear from violence, and enjoy physical and financial well-being. We stand for financial democracy."
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Pittsfield Seeks Input For Draft Bicycle Facilities Master Plan

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city of Pittsfield is requesting public input for its draft Bicycle Facilities Master Plan.
 
The plan aims to establish a safe, comfortable and connected bicycle network throughout the city that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
 
"With this project, the City of Pittsfield is taking a significant step in its steadfast commitment to plan and implement a safe and accessible citywide network for people who bike for various reasons to a range of destinations throughout Pittsfield," City Planner CJ Hoss said. "The development of this master plan will be a collaborative process, and we are seeking to hear from the community."
 
The master plan will allow the city to develop a long-term citywide vision for a bicycle network and grow beyond a "one-street-at-a-time" planning approach, Hoss said. The city has retained Kittleson and Associations Inc., a nationally renowned transportation focused consulting firm, to lead this project.
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