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    1. Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, MassTech officials to join monthly meeting of Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield | masslive.com

      Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, MassTech officials to join monthly meeting of Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield | masslive.com

      Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki and officials from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative are scheduled to attend Wednesday's monthly meeting of Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield.
      bialeckihead.JPGGregory P. Bialecki Republican File Photo  Today's session begins at 5 p.m. at Tower Square, 1500 Main St., in the heart of downtown Springfield.

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    2. Springfield selling tax-foreclosed Maple Street apartment building, lots

      Springfield selling tax-foreclosed Maple Street apartment building, lots

      The city is seeking proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of a five-story apartment building on Maple Street, among five tax-foreclosed properties for sale in the Maple High-Six Corners and Old Hill neighborhoods.  The partially occupied brick building at 169 Maple St. is in the Ridgewood Local Historic District, and has 10 large, three-bedroom apartments, said Tina Quagliato, the city’s deputy director of neighborhood stabilization. The building was constructed in 1920, and has an assessed value of $390,300.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    3. Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts announces Awards Gala

      Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts announces Awards Gala

      The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts will celebrate 2014 American Advertising Award competition entrants and winners at the Awards Gala on March 20 from 6 to 10 p.m., at the Community Music School of Springfield's Robyn Newhouse Hall at 127 State St.  Formerly known as the ADDY® Awards competition in which more than 40,000 entries compete at three different levels - local, district and national - the annual program was renamed this year because the competition is a celebration of the best of the best in American advertising at every level.

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    4. Health care professionals collaborate at Springfield College | masslive.com

      Health care professionals collaborate at Springfield College | masslive.com

      Headlining the program was Baystate Medical Center Chief Academic Officer Dr. Kevin Hinchey. Hinchey’s lecture challenged the health care professionals in attendance to pursue avenues of integrating IPE into the curriculum to close the gap between health education and practice settings. This would produce a new generation of trained and skilled interprofessional team clinicians.

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    5. Florence Savings Bank provides grants to 25 agencies in annual Customers' Choice program

      Florence Savings Bank provides grants to 25 agencies in annual Customers' Choice program

      Moments before she approached bank president John Heaps to tell him herself, Lilly Lombard, executive director of Grow Food Northampton, said, "We are incredibly grateful for the bank's generosity and all the customers who demonstrate their loyalty. Florence Savings Bank is a model for other banks in the community." A total of $75,059 was distributed, including a $500 surprise award received by the Granby Booster Club through a random drawing at the event. Community members who benefit from these awards include school students, seniors and those who access services from area social service agencies. Heaps also announced to ...

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    6. Springfield's Fontaine Bros. completes The Berkshire School building | masslive.com

      Springfield's Fontaine Bros. completes The Berkshire School building | masslive.com

      Fontaine Bros. Inc. has been the general contractor on a number of large building projects at The Berkshire School in Sheffield, including the $15 million, 48,000-square-foot Bellas/Dixon Math And Science Center which opened this fall, said David Fontaine Jr., vice president of the company and one of the people involved in environmentally minded projects like this one.  The building is LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, gold certified, Fontaine said.  Fontaine said there were about 85 employees on the Sheffield project at any given time. That is compared to the more than 100 at the recently completed ...

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    7. Mayhew Steel in Turners Falls buys Leominster plastics company to take control of supply chain | masslive.com

      Mayhew Steel in Turners Falls buys Leominster plastics company to take control of supply chain | masslive.com

      Mayhew announced the purchase off Basque Plastics last week. The new Mayhew Basque will continue with about 19 employees in Leominster, a city that serves as a center in the industry with about 120 other plastics companies in town and a wealth of experienced workers, said Bill Lawless, one of the owners of Mayhew Steel.

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    8. VertitechIT thrilled to grow in new home in Holyoke's Open Square

      VertitechIT thrilled to grow in new home in Holyoke's Open Square

      A year ago, Michael Feld, CEO of VertitechIT, had to be talked into looking at potential office space in Holyoke's Open Square. He'd heard all the knocks on Holyoke. But his company was growing and needed space, inexpensive space but edgy, attractive space that fit with the company's high-tech work as information technology experts for businesses, especially venture capitalists and hospitals eager to cut costs and comply with electronic medical records requirements.

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    9. Western New England University engineering students honored for innovative skate sharpening device

      Western New England University engineering students honored for innovative skate sharpening device

      Western New England University student engineers once again proved themselves to be among the nation's elite with inclusion in the Top 10 of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Innovation Showcase (IShow). The Western New England University team was recognized for designing a practical, portable skate sharpening device. Evaluated for feasibility of idea, inventiveness and technological diversity, the “Agile Edge” was selected from a field of 59 entries submitted to compete in the 2014 ASME Innovation Showcase. The IShow provides a platform for top collegiate teams to compete for seed money to further develop their product inspiring students to ...

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    10. Springfield's Union Station, Western Massachusetts projects included in state Senate's $13 billion transportation spending plan

      Springfield's Union Station, Western Massachusetts projects included in state Senate's $13 billion transportation spending plan

      Memorial Avenue in West Springfield would get a much-needed overhaul and the Union Station project in downtown Springfield would get an additional $10 million in funding according the transportation bill approved by the Massachusetts State Senate. The bill, which passed through the Senate late Thursday, proposes a massive $13 billion in capital spending over the next five years to pay for upgrades to the state’s transportation system.

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    11. People in Business: Tony Maroulis named director of community relations at UMass Amherst

      People in Business: Tony Maroulis named director of community relations at UMass Amherst

      Tony Maroulis, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and co-director of the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council has been named director of community relations at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, effective March 3.  “Tony’s reputation as a strong leader of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and his breadth and depth of knowledge of the issues in town-gown relations will be a tremendous boost to our team,” said Nancy Buffone, executive director of external relations and university events in a prepared statement. “He has great relationships with civic, political and business leaders in the region and ...

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    12. Pioneer Valley creative economy gets boost from networking, regional strategy

      Pioneer Valley creative economy gets boost from networking, regional strategy

      Creative businesses in Western Massachusetts will get help increasing their visibility, recruiting talent, finding appropriate space, borrowing capital and growing under a new partnership announced Thursday at Holyoke's Open Square complex.  The state designated the Pioneer Valley as part of Massachusetts' Creative Economy Network and formally partnered with the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council which is in charge of the effort. The designation, by itself, doesn't come with state money. But several organizations are planning to apply for state grants.

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    13. First phase of new $53 million Greenfield High School is under construction | masslive.com

      First phase of new $53 million Greenfield High School is under construction | masslive.com

      The Massachusetts School Building Authority has estimated a maximum state funding for the project at $43.1 million and has approved of the design, according to the authority. The school is designed for an enrollment of 585 students in grades 8 through 12.  The first phase includes 85,000 square feet of classroom space that will be ready for the next school year. The school will not close; rather, students will shift from space to space as parts of the building are torn down and rebuilt.

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    14. Greenfield receives bond upgrade from Standard & Poor's

      Greenfield receives bond upgrade from Standard & Poor's

      Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'AA' long-term rating and 'AA-''underlying rating to Greenfield series 2014 general obligation state qualified municipal purpose loan.  Greenfield's underlying bond rating had been lower at 'A to 'AA-', the municipality said Tuesday in a news release.  'In our opinion, the town's budgetary flexibility has improved, with available reserves above 8 percent of expenditures as per the draft fiscal 2013 audit, and Greenfield has no plans to significantly spend down the reserves. Supporting Greenfield’s finances is what we consider to be very strong liquidity, with total government available cash as ...

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    15. PVTA proposes change in Northampton route to include stop at Survival Center

      PVTA proposes change in Northampton route to include stop at Survival Center

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority has proposed revamping a bus route in Northampton to include a stop at the Northampton Survival Center.  The proposal is one of several that have to be accepted by the PVTA’s advisory board before going into effect. Other recommended changes include an expansion of the R41 route between Northampton and Holyoke Community College to year-round operation with direct connection to the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside. The B43 route between Northampton and Amherst would also become a Bus Rapid Transit corridor featuring more frequent service, signal priority, dedicated transit lanes at intersections and upgraded passenger ...

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    16. For sale: Building that housed Gus & Paul's Bakery and Deli, landmark Springfield business, on the market for $395,000 | masslive.com

      For sale: Building that housed Gus & Paul's Bakery and Deli, landmark Springfield business, on the market for $395,000 | masslive.com

      Gus & Paul's Bakery and Deli at 1209 Sumner Ave. shut its doors on New Year's Eve, with owner Gordon Weissman expressing hope he might reopen by the middle of last month. That didn't happen, however, and now the prime piece of real estate at the corner of Sumner and Powell avenues is on the market.  Realtor John Foley, of The Foley Company of Springfield, told both abc40 and 22News that the asking price for the 5,300-square-foot commercial building is $395,000.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    17. Smith & Wesson in Springfield posts increase in quarterly earnings, sales figures

      Smith & Wesson in Springfield posts increase in quarterly earnings, sales figures

      Smith & Wesson is also feeling optimistic about the future and has raised its full year fiscal 2014 guidance. It now estimates net sales of between $615 million and $620 million and earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of between $1.39 and $1.42.  Founded in Springfield in 1852, Smith & Wesson has more than 1,600 employees, including 1,500 production workers at its sprawling firearms plant on Roosevelt Avenue. The company has a $77.5 million annual payroll.

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    18. Springfield Plaza under new ownership, due for $4 million to $5 million in renovations

      Springfield Plaza under new ownership, due for $4 million to $5 million in renovations

      The Springfield Plaza Shopping Center on Liberty Street has been sold for $35 million and the new owners plan on pumping another $4 million to $5 million into renovations. Work, set to begin as soon as the weather breaks, will include new roofs and basic building repairs, better signage, better lighting and refurbished building facades, said Charles Irving, president of the Davenport Companies, which is one of the new owners. He also promised enhanced security with a round-the-clock security staff.

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    19. Tour of Boston innovation centers inspires Springfield business leaders

      Tour of Boston innovation centers inspires Springfield business leaders

      A group of Springfield area business leaders that want to see something similar take shape in their backyard recently took a tour led by Ann Burke and the Economic Development Council of Western Mass. of facilities that have been crucial to Boston's tech boom.  The group visited entrepreneurial shared work spaces like the Cambridge Innovation Center and the Harvard Innovation Lab as well as gathering spaces on the South Boston Waterfront. Such collision centers, as they are often called, are rare in the western part of the state. The spaces, according to Scott Foster of Valley Venture Mentors, are ...

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    20. Market-driven Move | BusinessWest

      Market-driven Move | BusinessWest

      Urbschat said marketing and advertising budgets are among the first things to be cut during a downturn like the recent recession, and they’re also some of the last things to be restored. But she’s seeing definite signs of progress.  “That’s the natural order of economic downturns and recovery, and I feel we’re in recovery,” said Urbschat, who speaks from the experience gained from living through several recessions. “That’s the beauty of being a small business — we’re lean; we can make adjustments as needed and respond. We took appropriate measures, and now we’re off ...

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    21. Debate over the future of solar energy in Massachusetts heats up at the State House

      Debate over the future of solar energy in Massachusetts heats up at the State House

      The debate in the State House is turning to the second program that has helped spur solar energy throughout the state — net metering. This allows installers of solar panels — all renewable energy projects, really, but solar is the predominant type — to gain credits by 'selling' excess power onto the grid. The Legislature has capped the use of net metering to no more than 3 percent of an electric utility’s power usage, with parallel limits established for public-sector solar and privately owned projects. National Grid’s cap for public-sector users has essentially already been hit, and the others are close ...

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    22. Columbia Gas rate hike is the latest sign of New England's pipeline constraints

      Columbia Gas rate hike is the latest sign of New England's pipeline constraints

      In announcing the new rates for Columbia Gas customers, the state Department of Public Utilities on Friday chose to highlight the fact that the agency reduced the rate requests from what the gas company originally sought. But rates are still going up for more than 300,000 customers in the Springfield, Brockton and Lawrence areas — whether they like it or not.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    23. Valley mentor group helps business startups thrive: Aim to counter 7 out of 10

      Valley mentor group helps business startups thrive: Aim to counter 7 out of 10

      Scott Foster, Valley Venture Mentor co-founder and president, said a cooperative spirit is built into the program, and he believes business startups need all the encouragement they can get. Seven out of 10 new businesses are doomed to fail, he said. The idea is to create a “vibrant economic ecosystem” by identifying and nurturing startups with the potential to thrive. Although the focus is on western Massachusetts entrepreneurs, people from all over the region are welcome to participate. Some businesspeople come from as far away as Vermont. VVM recently received a grant of almost $150,000 from the Massachusetts Technology ...

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