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Crane Stationery Future Uncertain With Reports of Layoffs

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COHOES, N.Y. — Mohawk Fine Papers, which owns Crane Stationery, is reportedly being acquired by the international Fedrigoni Group and employees at Crane were laid off. 
The news was reported Wednesday by Albany Business Review, which also confirmed that 75 people in the Crane unit were notified on Tuesday that they were laid off "effective immediately."
The deal appears to be affecting what's left of the 220-year-old Crane Stationery, which Mohawk purchased in 2018. The New York company closed the North Adams, Mass., plant in 2020 and laid off nearly 200 employees. 
A number of them were offered jobs in Cohoes, where the printing of Crane was to continue, and remotely. Workers said on Facebook that they'd been locked out of their email and company access on Tuesday with no notice; some have apparently received the news by letter via FedEx.
The Crane Stationery website has been down since Tuesday afternoon with a notice that "we are taking a moment to reflect" while maintenance and upgrades are being performed. 
The company's apparently been mum with its many customers on the status of their orders. "Please let your loyal retailers who have been with you for 50 years what the hell is going on!!!" posted Paper Mill Studio Designs on Crane & Co.'s Instagram. "Hundreds have orders pending with you."
Another commenter on Thursday posted that she'd "been emailing and calling for days about my missing order. No response. Phone lines don't even pick up. That's bad customer service." 
Some of these comments have since disappeared from the Instagram account. 
Fedrigoni is a specialty paper and luxury packaging manufacturer based in Italy. Established in 1888, it says it employs more than 4,500 in 27 countries. The firm's been on acquisitions tear the last few years, taking over paper and adhesive companies in France, China, Spain and Turkey, and acquiring an equity stake in SharpEnd, a software solutions firm.
Mohawk, family owned since 1931, had entered into a manufacturing agreement with Fedrigoni in 2022 and became its North American distributor last July.
Mohawk Fine Papers purchased Crane in 2018 from an employee partnership and not long after was touting its commitment to invest $3 million to $4 million into the facility in the Robert Hardman Industrial Park on Curran Highway. 
It was in the midst of a rebranding effort expected to be unveiled by the end of the year when it announced the plant closure, blaming the pandemic, digital culture and the bankruptcy of its largest customer. 

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MountainOne Marks 175 Years Since Founding

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Board Chairman Daniel Bosley calls the meeting to order.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MountainOne ended a successful 175th anniversary year approaching $1 billion in assets and a future that looks to be "busy."
"So with all this you might say we're busy, except for MountainOne, we're not allowed to say we're busy. You've got to work, you're supposed to be busy, right?" said President and CEO Robet Fraser after ticking off a list of positives. "So we're not busy. We're fulfilled, and this year is going to be incredibly fulfilling."
The banking institution held its demisemiseptcentennial, or maybe it was a septaquintaquinquecentennial, business meeting on Wednesday night. Whatever the preferred Latin is for 175 years, MountainOne was marking a significant milestone with more than 120 guests and bank members at Norad Mill and another grouping at the Weathervane Golf Course in Weymouth. 
Fraser, speaking via livestream from the South Shore, joked that "we have this unique business model where we give you the money — but you have to give it back."
That's been the standard since April 1848 when Isaac Hodges, Thomas Robinson and William Brayton founded the North Adams Savings Bank on Main Street. 
The first merger occurred in 1962 between North Adams Savings and Hoosac Savings banks, later becoming simply Hoosac Bank in 1998; Hoosac acquired True North Financial and Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance a year later; in 2002, MountainOne Financial Partners is formed as holding company for Hoosac and Williamstown Savings and MountainOne begins its South Shore adventure with the merger of South Coastal Bank; a year later, all three banks change their names to MountainOne. The investment and insurance arms also come under the MountainOne moniker and the newest affiliate, a Longmeadow insurance agency, was acquired in February.
"When I think about MountainOne, I think of one organization that was comprised of three different banks, two insurance agencies and investment division," said Fraser. "And we've been able to come together and be incredibly successful working with each other. 
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