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    1. Baystate Medical Center to offer 12-bed behavioral health unit for children in wake of area shortage

      Baystate Medical Center to offer 12-bed behavioral health unit for children in wake of area shortage

      Baystate Health will open a temporary 12-bed child and adolescent unit at its Baystate Medical Center campus in April, the health system announced Friday. Providence Behavioral Health, operating locally as Trinity Health Of New England, closed its 74 inpatient psychiatric beds in September that it once offered in Holyoke. That number included the only 12 pediatric psychiatric beds for children and teens available in the region.

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    2. UMassFive Donates Hundreds of Winter Coats and Clothes to Amherst Survival Center

      UMassFive Donates Hundreds of Winter Coats and Clothes to Amherst Survival Center

      UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced that its members, staff, and community partners have donated hundreds of winter coats and clothing to Amherst Survival Center. Donations were gathered through a collection drive held at UMassFive’s Hadley and Northampton branches throughout the month of December. “This is a drive that we hold annually, and we weren’t sure what to expect in terms of donations during the pandemic,” said Cait Murray, Community Outreach manager at UMassFive. “We were pleasantly surprised to receive a record number of donations this year. The generosity of our members, staff, and community partners is truly ...

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      Mentions: Amherst Northampton
    3. State Awards 638 Business Grants, Extends Capacity Limits, Lifts Early-closing Mandate

      State Awards 638 Business Grants, Extends Capacity Limits, Lifts Early-closing Mandate

      The Baker-Polito administration announced $37.4 million in awards to 638 additional small businesses in a fourth round of grants through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp. Restaurants, bars, and retail stores, which have been especially impacted during the pandemic, are among the key industries to lead this round.

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    4. Baker-Polito Administration Launches Community One Stop for Growth

      Baker-Polito Administration Launches Community One Stop for Growth

      The Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of the Community One Stop for Growth, a joint application process that will allow applicants—including municipalities, public entities, community non-profits, and private companies—to use a single portal to access ten different grant programs. Part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns, the One Stop will support strategic public investments in economic development projects in communities across the state. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito made the announcement during remarks at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual conference, and will join Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy ...

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    5. Developer seeks permits for housing project at historic Knox building in Springfield

      Developer seeks permits for housing project at historic Knox building in Springfield

      The City Council has a public hearing scheduled Monday to consider special permits for a major housing project at the historic Knox automotive property in the Mason Square area. Gordon Pulsifer and his company, First Resource Development Corp., are seeking special permits for 96 housing units — 55 at the Knox building, 53 Wilbraham Road, and 41 in an adjacent building at 42 Waltham St.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    6. Boulevard Machine & Gear Moves Headquarters to Larger Space in Westfield

      Boulevard Machine & Gear Moves Headquarters to Larger Space in Westfield

      Boulevard Machine & Gear, a precision-machining facility, announced it has moved its headquarters to a new, larger space in Westfield to accommodate steady business growth over the last decade. The new address is 326 Lockhouse Road. Boulevard Machine will leverage its new facility to provide additional capacity for its customers while providing new internal operational efficiencies. The new facility also will provide Boulevard with improved, state-of-the-art production space to facilitate internal and external collaboration and communication, while providing the company with further room for growth with its ongoing investment in equipment.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    7. Comcast Introduces Fastest Internet Speeds over Wi-fi Across Northeast

      Comcast Introduces Fastest Internet Speeds over Wi-fi Across Northeast

      Comcast announced it has introduced the fastest internet speeds over wi-fi available across the Northeast, including 14 states from Maine to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Customers can now take advantage of advanced wi-fi technology that is capable of delivering speeds faster than a gig to support the ever-increasing number of connected devices in their homes. The speed increase was rolled out in Comcast’s Northeast markets on Jan. 7 for no additional charge to customers, and will be introduced to the rest of its service areas throughout 2021.

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      Mentions: Comcast
    8. UMass Amherst Researchers Develop Technique to Replicate Bone Remodeling Processes

      UMass Amherst Researchers Develop Technique to Replicate Bone Remodeling Processes

      A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) have developed a technique to replicate bone tissue complexity and bone remodeling processes. This breakthrough could help researchers further their study of bone biology and assist in improving development of drugs for osteoporosis.

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    9. Big E, state in talks for mass COVID vaccination site at Eastern States grounds in West Springfield

      Big E, state in talks for mass COVID vaccination site at Eastern States grounds in West Springfield

      Officials with the Eastern States Exposition have been working with state authorities since Jan. 1 on plans to use the grounds of the Big E as a COVID-19 mass vaccination site. Eugene J. Cassidy, president and CEO of Eastern States Exposition, said Tuesday his organization is awaiting a go-ahead from the state. “Certainly we provide the best location in all the commonwealth,” Cassidy said. “Certainly in Western Massachusetts. With our proximity to highways, it’s a good fit.”

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    10. UMass Amherst Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

      UMass Amherst Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

      In partnership with Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration, UMass Amherst announced it will expand its role in distributing COVID-19 vaccines, providing vaccinations for the foreseeable future in concert with the criteria and timeline of the state’s phased vaccination plan. Currently, the Commonwealth is in phase one of vaccine distribution, with first responders, COVID-facing healthcare workers (including college health staff), and congregate care and shelter staff eligible to receive the vaccine at the UMass facility. All eligible individuals must schedule an appointment in advance for the vaccine at www.umass.edu/coronavirus/vaccine.

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    11. Landmark at Monastery Heights sold for $11.9M to new entry in assisted living industry

      Landmark at Monastery Heights sold for $11.9M to new entry in assisted living industry

      Landmark at Monastery Heights is now Prosper at Monastery Heights after being sold earlier this month to a startup Prosper Life Care for $11.95 million. Prosper — a partnership among two businessmen from western New York and the owner of home care agencies based in Westborough, Massachusetts — also bought the former Landmark property in Fall River for $14.1 million, according to records at the registry of deeds there.

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    12. Chicopee’s McKinstry Market Garden to be replaced with bigger, better farm store

      Chicopee’s McKinstry Market Garden to be replaced with bigger, better farm store

      One of the most iconic farm stores in the area has been torn down to make way for a bigger and better business that will reopen in the spring. The McKinstry family is replacing its McKinstry Market Garden, which has been standing in the same spot at 753 Montgomery St. since the 1950s. The new building will be about 7,000 square feet — more than twice the size of the former store.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    13. Massachusetts casinos report stronger December revenue; MGM Springfield gross gambling revenue up $900K from November

      Massachusetts casinos report stronger December revenue; MGM Springfield gross gambling revenue up $900K from November

      Business at MGM Springfield and the state’s other two resort casinos rebounded in December, according to figures released Friday by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission — but revenue still remains well below pre-COVID levels. Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor generated about $50 million in gross gaming revenue in December 2020, according to the Gaming Commission, which releases updated revenue figures on the 15th of each month.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    14. Going for a new PPP loan? SBA revises rules on employee and owner salaries, bonuses

      Going for a new PPP loan? SBA revises rules on employee and owner salaries, bonuses

      The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is now up and running — at least for some lenders — and it comes with new rules on how much small businesses can pay their employees and still get full forgiveness. Small businesses are still limited to $100,000 salary caps, annualized over the period during which the business spends the PPP loan proceeds. But the covered period, which used to be a choice between either eight weeks or 24 weeks, is now any number of weeks between eight and 24, which means every small business will have to carefully watch its spending.

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    15. HCC Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series Returns Jan. 27

      HCC Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series Returns Jan. 27

      Luz Lopez, executive director of MetroCare of Springfield, and Annamarie Golden, director of Community Relations for Baystate Health, will be the featured presenters on Wednesday, Jan. 27, for the first Holyoke Community College (HCC) Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series of 2021. The spring Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. over Zoom on the last Wednesdays of January, February, March, April, and May. Once a month, participants will join a group of women leaders to discuss current issues and ideas to help their leadership development. They will also have the opportunity to ...

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    16. Big Y Announces Third-generation D’Amour Family Appointments

      Big Y Announces Third-generation D’Amour Family Appointments

      The board of directors of Big Y Foods Inc. announced the promotion of two third-generation D’Amour family members. Colin D’Amour has been named senior director of the Big Y Express Gas & Convenience Stores division, and Christian D’Amour is director of E-commerce. Both appointments represent new and expanding divisions within the company. Colin’s responsibilities include oversight of store operations, site selection, site acquisition, and day-to-day responsibility for product procurement, including fuel for the division. Currently, there are 12 Big Y Express locations, with four more planned for the coming year.

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    17. What’s in the New COVID-19 Relief Package for Contractors?

      What’s in the New COVID-19 Relief Package for Contractors?

      The term ‘construction’ appears 636 times in the $908 billion pandemic relief package and $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump at the end of December. In other words, while the relief package was less than half the size of last spring’s $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, there’s still plenty in the overall bill for contractors to be happy about.

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    18. The Year of the Entrepreneur

      The Year of the Entrepreneur

      Starting in 1996, ˆ has, at the start of each year, presented something we call the Top Entrepreneur award. We do this to pay homage to a long — as in three centuries long — tradition of entrepreneurship in Western Mass., and to recognize companies, institutions, and individuals who are carrying on that tradition today. Over the years, the winners have included traditional entrepreneurs — those leading tech companies, multi-faceted corporations, and some family-owned businesses that have been part of the landscape for decades, if not a century or more — and also some non-traditional entrepreneurs — a college president and a hospital CEO, for example.

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    19. Pandemic Doesn’t Halt Greenfield’s Progress

      Pandemic Doesn’t Halt Greenfield’s Progress

      For MJ Adams, 2020 felt like someone had pushed a ‘pause’ button. Adams, director of Community and Economic Development for the city of Greenfield, had taken part in a dynamic public forum early in the year titled “A Deliberate Downtown” that focused on revitalization plans for Greenfield. Then the pandemic hit. And when it became clear the pause would last for more than a few weeks, she and her staff shifted their focus. “We knew there was going to be an immediate cash-flow problem for local businesses, so we moved quickly to develop a small-business assistance program to provide micro-enterprise ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    20. BusinessTalk with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council

      BusinessTalk with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council. The two discuss the state of the economy and the outlook for the balance of 2021. The two also discuss the pandemic, its impact on the local business community, and the possibility that it might provide some opportunities for the region in terms of attracting new businesses — and new residents — who might view Western Mass. as a viable option to higher-cost urban centers like Boston and New York. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by ...

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      Mentions: Rick Sullivan
    21. Beveridge Family Foundation Donates $50,000 to MHA to Keep Residents Warm

      Beveridge Family Foundation Donates $50,000 to MHA to Keep Residents Warm

      The building at 157 Pine St. served the people of Springfield for generations as a fire station, before being retired from service 25 years ago and converted into 16 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Today it’s home to people with developmental disabilities who receive support services through MHA. During the conversion to apartments, the building’s heating system received some upgrades, but time has taken its toll. “Our facilities team has managed to keep the heating system afloat, but Band-Aid fixes can only do so much for so long,” said Kimberley Lee, vice president of Resource Development & Branding for MHA ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    22. ESE President and CEO, Eugene J. Cassidy, Elected Chairman of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions

      ESE President and CEO, Eugene J. Cassidy, Elected  Chairman of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions

      Eugene J. Cassidy, president and CEO of Eastern States Exposition, was elected Chairman of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) during the organization’s annual business meeting, conducted virtually Dec. 8, 2020. Cassidy said, “I am excited to be leading our trade association during this crucial, unprecedented time. We have recently embarked on the first year of a new decade, and with it, we will have new approaches to our business. We will find creative new ways to conduct our business and we will struggle through the end-days of this pandemic, carrying on with our missions intact, and ...

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    23. Springfield Water and Sewer Commission in line for $251M federal loan for major improvement projects

      Springfield Water and Sewer Commission in line for $251M federal loan for major improvement projects

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has invited the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission to apply for a $251 million low-interest loan for capital improvements including long-awaited upgrades to the West Parish Filters water treatment plant. The loan would save ratepayers approximately $60 million in borrowing costs over the next 20 years, said commission spokeswoman Jaimye Bartak.

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