MCLA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge Announces Three Winners

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The MCLA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge, held virtually from May 3–May 7, 2021, saw the College community come together to view and vote for three winning pitches. 
 
The finalists, who pitched their business ideas via video, were Lorenzo Cristofolini '21, Cristo's Consulting; Jake Ferrara '21, Ferrara Lawn Care; Latisha Hargrett '21, Strong Shoulders; Austin Miller '21, Get Hooked Bait & Tackle; and Andrew Nygard '21, Wheels Now!
 
MCLA President James F. Birge announced the winners in a video on Friday, May 7. Austin Miller's Get Hooked Bait & Tackle won first place, which came with a $7,500 award. Latisha Hargrett's Strong Shoulders placed second, for a $5,000 award, and Lorenzo Cristofolini's Cristo's Consulting won the $2,500 third-place award. The startup funding awards aim to cover inventory, equipment, and marketing costs for the three new businesses. 
 
Judging was determined by three votes from North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard and Zoar Outdoor founder Bruce Lessels, and 332 votes from the MCLA community. 
 
To watch the business pitch videos, visit https://mcla.instructure.com/courses/3265819  
 
 
 
 

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Governor Pushing for Two-Month Sales Tax Holiday

BOSTON — The governor is proposing a two-month-long sales tax holiday this year as a way to support local economies and that would put an estimated $900 million back into residents' pockets. 
 
A sales tax holiday is already on the books for Aug. 14-16, a weekend of tax relief in August that's now a law in the state at this point. The Baker-Polito administration filed legislation on Wednesday to expand the sales tax holiday to the entire months of August and September.
 
"A two-month sales tax holiday will provide a boost to Massachusetts' taxpayers and Main Street economies as we continue to recover from COVID-19," said Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday in a statement. "Massachusetts' economic recovery is off to a good start, but it's crucial that the commonwealth takes action now to spur more economic activity in communities and support taxpayers. Thanks to stronger than expected tax revenues, the commonwealth has managed to grow the rainy day fund to a balance higher than it was at the beginning of the pandemic, and we can also afford to return these tax dollars to our residents and small businesses."
 
State tax revenues for fiscal 2021, he said, continues to "significantly exceed projections." Sales tax revenues to date are 14.9 percent above benchmark and revenues across the board means the state is poised to end the fiscal year with a significant surplus.
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