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    1. Springfield OK's tax incentive for Advance Welding and Dave's Truck Repair

      Springfield OK's tax incentive for Advance Welding and Dave's Truck Repair

      Two companies, including Advance Welding Inc., of West Springfield, have received local approvals for a five-year tax incentive program that will aid their plans to expand or relocate to the city. At a meeting Monday night, the City Council unanimously approved the tax incentives, known as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Agreements, that require them to pay existing taxes but give them a declining tax exemption on the expanded property value.

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    2. Massachusetts House leaders propose $80 million in economic development

      Massachusetts House leaders propose $80 million in economic development

      A new, $80 million bill unveiled by Massachusetts House leadership on Tuesday invests in several programs aimed at economic development. The bill provides money for vocational training, computer science education, start-ups and housing. House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Winthrop Democrat, and Rep. Joseph Wagner, a Chicopee Democrat and chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, announced the bill at a press conference surrounded by business leaders and advocates.

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    3. Associated Industries Business Confidence gains in May, highest since August 2012 | masslive

      Associated Industries Business Confidence gains in May, highest since August 2012 | masslive

      Lead by small businesses, Massachusetts employers gained confidence in May, according to survey results released by Associated Industries of Massachusetts.
      Associated Industries' Business Confidence index rose in May by 1.8 points to 54.8 points from the 53 points recorded in April. The Business Confidence index was 52.1 points a year ago in May 2013.  The last time the index was this high was in August 2012 when it was 55.2.

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    4. United Bank announces departure of J. Jeffrey Sullivan having completed merger with Rockville Bank | masslive

      United Bank announces departure of J. Jeffrey Sullivan having completed merger with Rockville Bank | masslive

      J.Jeffrey Sullivan, a president and member of the board of directors at United Bank, is leaving the company, United Bank announced Monday .  United Bank recently completed its $369 million merger with Glastonbury-based Rockville Bank. The merged company took the United name, is chartered in Connecticut and is under the leadership of William H.W. Crawford, IV, CEO of United Bank and United Financial Bancorp, Inc. and formerly of Rockville Bank.  The news release said Sullivan is leaving the United Bank to pursue other professional interests.

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    5. Springfield High School: Administrators, staff offer positive reinforcement to alternative school students with 'tremendous talents … capable of doing anything'

      Springfield High School: Administrators, staff offer positive reinforcement to alternative school students with 'tremendous talents … capable of doing anything'

      Assistant Principal Matthew Bean has been the on-site administrator at Springfield High School since 2011. Bean started his career at Springfield Academy in the late 1990s. A graduate of Boston University and Springfield College, with a master's degree in education, Bean spent some time at East Longmeadow High School as the Dean of Students and Athletic Director before heading back to Springfield in 2011 to take over Springfield High School.

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    6. Holoyke planned for the inevitable closing of Mount Tom power plant

      Holoyke planned for the inevitable closing of Mount Tom power plant

      Even before Monday’s announcement that the coal-fired Mount Tom Power Station would shut down permanently, city officials were planning for its eventual closure. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has studying ways to re-use the 52-year-old owned by GDF SUEZ Energy North America, using a $100,000 grant,, Mayor Alex B. Morse said. “We knew this was inevitable and we have been pro-active in planning for the closure and the re-use of the property,” he said.

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    7. UMass wins business leader award for energy efficency

      UMass wins business leader award for energy efficency

      The 2014 Northeast Business Leaders for Energy Efficiency Recognition Program has named the University of Massachusetts as the state champion in energy efficiency. The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships honors one institutional energy customer from each state in the Northeast for its commitment to sustainable innovation and for contributions in keeping the region a national leader in accelerating energy efficiency, according to a press release. Western Massachusetts Electric Co., which supplies about 25 percent of the campus electricity, nominated the campus as its most efficient customer. 

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    8. Atkins satellite in North Amherst will anchor new Mill District, developer Cinda Jones says | masslive

      Atkins satellite in North Amherst will anchor new Mill District, developer Cinda Jones says | masslive

      It was once a barn for Sarah Cowls Jones' cows before becoming storage for lumber and home for renters in what is called the Cow Palace, said Cinda H. Jones, president of WD Cowls, Inc., which owns the building.  But in August 2015, the more than 100-year-old barn will become the home of a 4,200 square-foot Atkins Farms Market satellite store.  Jones and Pauline Lannon of Atkins inked a rental agreement Friday that brings the market to North Amherst after years of wooing.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    9. Springfield City Council to consider tax incentives to 2 companies with expansion, relocation projects

      Springfield City Council to consider tax incentives to 2 companies with expansion, relocation projects

      The TIF is proposed with Advance Welding, for a $2.5 million investment at 150 Brookdale Drive, including the purchase and renovations. The company is moving to Springfield from West Springfield. The second company is Amasdav LLC, the owner, and Dave’s Truck Repair, the tenant, for an estimated $810,500 investment at 649 Cottage St., also for the purchase and renovations. Dave’s will continue to operate at its current Springfield location, at 1023 Page Blvd., and open a site on Cottage Street also.

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    10. Western Massachusetts Developers Conference Scheduled for June 26 | masslive.com

      Western Massachusetts Developers Conference Scheduled for June 26 | masslive.com

      The Western Massachusetts Developers Conference is a regional event connecting leaders and economic development specialists with brokers, site selectors, investors, and others interested in learning about development opportunities in Greater Springfield.  The conference scheduled for 8 a.m. Thursday, June 26 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  This event is being coordinated by key area organizations including the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, Economic Development Partners , MassDevelopment and MassEcon.

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    11. Groundbreaking held for new housing development for homeless veterans in Springfield

      Groundbreaking held for new housing development for homeless veterans in Springfield

      The outreach center will work locally with HAP Housing to determine qualified applicants for the units which include a kitchen, bathroom and large bedroom/living room area, Gomez said. "There are certain criteria that veterans will need to meet in order to qualify including being a low income, honorably discharged veteran suffering from homelessness," he said. While the bilingual outreach center does offer services in Spanish to Latino veterans, the facility is open to veterans of any war and any race.

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    12. Community Spotlight: Great Barrington | BusinessWest

      Community Spotlight: Great Barrington | BusinessWest

      “Economic development is very important to Great Barrington, but the way we define it is particular to our community,” said Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin. “People really value local businesses and the quality of life here. We have a beautiful environment with conservation land and natural resources, so it’s a matter of keeping things balanced while supporting sustainable growth that is appropriately scaled.”  The town created a so-called master-plan framework three years ago, which was passed by the Board of Selectmen and earned the prestigious American Planning Assoc. Masssachusetts Chapter Award.

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    13. Western Massachusetts communities to see $1.3 million in federal EPA funding for cleanup at 'brownfield' sites

      Western Massachusetts communities to see $1.3 million in federal EPA funding for cleanup at 'brownfield' sites

      Western Massachusetts communities are due to see roughly a third of $4 million in federal funding being allocated to Massachusetts for environmental cleanup at former industrial sites throughout the state, officials said. Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and the Franklin County Regional Council of Governments will see a total of $1.3 million under an Environmental Protection Agency brownfields cleanup program. Chicopee and Springfield each received $400,000, while the Franklin County council received $300,000 and Holyoke $200,000.

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    14. Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau names Howdy Awards finalists | masslive.com

      Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau names Howdy Awards finalists | masslive.com

      The Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau has named 48 finalists for its annual Howdy Awards for hospitality excellence.  The awards, now in their 19th year, are meant to recognize front-line hospitality workers who make visitors trips to the Pioneer Valley memorable. The awards ceremony is set for Monday, June 9 at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House in Holyoke.  These finalists were culled from nominations submitted by the general public. From here, the finalists will be judged by a group of industry experts from outside the region. One winner will be named in each of eight categories: Accommodations, Attractions ...

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    15. Uncertain future for Westfield BID, but others on solid ground, EDC head says | masslive.com

      Uncertain future for Westfield BID, but others on solid ground, EDC head says | masslive.com

      One economic organization may be teetering close to the edge, but its western Massachusetts siblings are on stable ground, a local business leader said.  After next week’s public hearing concerning the Westfield Business Improvement District, the BID’s future will be in the City Council’s hands. Councilors will decide whether or not to accept a petition to dissolve the organization.  Whichever way the council votes, this problem stays in Westfield, said Allan Blair, president and CEO of The Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts.  Blair said he doesn’t expect any potential dissolution would affect operations in other ...

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    16. Westfield Business Improvement District 'Clean Team' keeps downtown tidy

      Westfield Business Improvement District 'Clean Team' keeps downtown tidy

      The "Clean Team" has been in existence since the early days of the BID, which formed in 2006 to provide business development, maintenance, beautification, marketing and public safety programs, along with public infrastructure projects. “We have one full-time person on the 'Clean Team' that’s dedicated to Westfield, but then it depends on what’s going on,” BID executive director Maureen Belliveau said. “If there’s a special event, depending on the task that needs to be done, there are people contracted to help.” The "Clean Team" provides an important service to the downtown area, she said. Sam Bazluke is ...

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    17. Phoenix Charter Academy Network to locate charter school at Springfield Technology Park

      Phoenix Charter Academy Network to locate charter school at Springfield Technology Park

      The Phoenix Charter Academy Network on Tuesday announced it has selected a site in the Springfield Technology Park at One Federal Street as the home of a new public charter school, officials announced. Officials with the network announced they have signed a lease on a 31.000-square-foot space as the home of the Phoenix Charter Academy, scheduled to open in August. The school will focus teaching older, disconnected, and underserved students with a goal of readying them for college through a combination of high expectations and academic support. Phoenix also operates similar schools in Chelsea and Lawrence. "Our new ...

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    18. Massachusetts named smartest state in the nation

      Massachusetts named smartest state in the nation

      Residents of Massachusetts, hold your stereotypically elitist, well-educated head high. The Commonwealth has been named the smartest state in the nation. In the list "The 10 Smartest States in America," the website The Street compared education levels, income and standardized testing scores.

      The report considered the following data:

      • Percent of population with bachelor's degrees: 38.2 percent
      • 2013 median household income: $65,339
      • 2013 Average SAT score: 1553

      While the state average for SAT scores is low, Massachusetts has some of the best high schools in the nation. 75 Massachusetts high schools were declared so by the U.S ...

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    19. Baystate Health and CVS Caremark partnering to provide care at pharmacies | masslive.com

      Baystate Health and CVS Caremark partnering to provide care at pharmacies | masslive.com

      Baystate Health has teamed up with CVS Caremark in a clinical affiliation where Baystate doctors provide oversight for nurse practitioners at CVS Minute Clinic locations.  This is really part of our overall strategy here at Baystate, which is to provide more integrated and affordable care right here at home in Western Massachusetts,' said Dr. Glenn Alli, interim vice president and medical director for primary care for Baystate Medical Practices. 'And we want to achieve better outcomes, which is what everyone wants.'

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    20. The Works opens in downtown Amherst in space that had been empty for years | masslive.com

      The Works opens in downtown Amherst in space that had been empty for years | masslive.com

      For years, the space that had once been home to D'Angelo's had been dark, but earlier this year The Works Bakery Cafe opened quietly this spring.  It is a sandwich shop among other things and it's the eighth and largest such venture for the company, which opened its first shop in Manchester Vermont in 1988 as an alternative to fast food chains. That means for the company knowing where the food comes from and buying locally when they can.

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