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    1. Partnership between MGM Springfield and Holyoke Community College paves way for free tuition for 50 Holyoke residents

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 6 2016)

      Partnership between MGM Springfield and Holyoke Community College paves way for free tuition for 50 Holyoke residents

      Fifty Holyoke residents will be admitted at no charge to a new culinary program Holyoke Community College is establishing at the Cubit Building in a three-way agreement among the city, the college and MGM Springfield. Holyoke is getting $500,000 upfront from the $1.28 million in neighboring community impact payments Mayor Alex Morse negotiated to receive from MGM over the course of 15 years. Rory Casey, Morse's chief of staff, said Wednesday that the city has an agreement to turn over the $500,000 to HCC to help fund the culinary arts program so long as 50 Holyoke ...

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   Holyoke Community College   Springfield Technical Community College

    2. MassDevelopment bond finances Jarvis Surgical expansion in Westfield

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 6 2016)

      MassDevelopment bond finances Jarvis Surgical expansion in Westfield

      A $2.2 million MassDevelopment bond will help pay for an expansion project at Jarvis Surgical Inc., officials for the state finance and development agency said Wednesday. Jarvis will use the bond proceeds to build a 15,000-square-foot addition at its 53 Airport Road facility, and to buy new manufacturing equipment. The company is also buying 1.9 acres of land next to the property for employee parking, according to a MassDevelopment news release.  

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      Mentions:   MassDevelopment   Westfield   Easthampton Savings Bank

    3. Western Mass. officials meet to discuss new MassINC report on transformative developments in Gateway Cities

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 6 2016)

      Western Mass. officials meet to discuss new MassINC report on transformative developments in Gateway Cities

      A panel of economic development leaders representing the Pioneer Valley's urban core of Springfield, Chicopee, Westfield and Holyoke came together last week to discuss a recent report issued by MassINC's Gateway City Innovation Institute on Transformative Development. The report - Rebuilding Renewal: An Analysis of State Investment in Gateway Cities and a Work Plan for Delivering Transformative Development – was co-authored by Northampton resident Dan Hodge, principal of Hodge Economic Consulting, who presented its findings to a packed room at Make-It Springfield on Worthington Street. The full report is embedded below.

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   MassDevelopment   Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

    4. $915M economic development bill touches on fantasy sports, wineries, shipping terminal | masslive.com

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 6 2016)

      $915M economic development bill touches on fantasy sports, wineries, shipping terminal | masslive.com

      The bill, H.4413, would allow the state to borrow $915.5 million to fund economic development projects over the next five years.  'It provides more capital dollars that can be used in support of initiatives that promote job creation and job retention and to help establish initiatives that deal with the expanding industries that are critical to this state's economic viability,' said state Rep. Joseph Wagner, D-Chicopee, chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies

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    5. Associated Industries of Massachusetts: Uncertainty, weak US job growth, Brexit fears hurt confidence

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 5 2016)

      Associated Industries of Massachusetts: Uncertainty, weak US job growth, Brexit fears hurt confidence

      The Associated Industries Business Confidence Index fell 1.6 points in June to 56.1 points. That is still above the 50-point mark considered neutral. Anything over 50 points is positive, anything below 50 is negative. The index reached its historic high of 68.5 on two occasions in 1997-1998, and its all-time low of 33.3 in February 2009. The index has been greater than 50 since October 2013. Quarterly confidence rose from 55.8 during the first three months of the year to 56.7 during April, May and June.

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      Mentions:   Associated Industries of Massachusetts   Springfield

    6. MassMutual completes acquisition of MetLife's U.S. insurance sales force

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 5 2016)

      MassMutual completes acquisition of MetLife's U.S. insurance sales force

      MassMutual announced Tuesday that it has completed a $165-million purchase of MetLife's U.S. retail adviser force of life insurance agents.  The deal was first announced in February.   MetLife made the deal to sell off its Premier Client Group to avoid being designated "too big to fail" under federal regulations established in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

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      Mentions:   MassMutual   Springfield

    7. AIC, New England Public Radio Announce Partnership

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 5 2016)

      American International College (AIC) and New England Public Radio (NEPR) announced a new partnership intended to benefit students at the college and enhance coverage for NEPR. WAIC 91.9 FM has become the newest station to join the NEPR News Network, providing Hampden County with a 24-hour public-radio news service on the FM dial. New England Public Radio’s programming partners include National Public Radio, American Public Media, and Public Radio International, among others, presenting programs like Morning Edition, Here & Now, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, On Point, and the BBC World Service.

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      Mentions:   American International College   University of Massachusetts   Springfield

    8. Elms College Receives Nearly $300,000 Grant

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 1 2016)

      Elms College Receives Nearly $300,000 Grant

      The College of Our Lady of the Elms has received a grant of $263,817 from the Davis Educational Foundation for the college’s new ASPIRE (Academic Success Program Impacting Retention and Engagement) program. Central to Elms College’s mission is a commitment to ensure educational success for all students, including those who are traditionally underserved. The main goal of ASPIRE is to help all students successfully finish their degrees by offering dedicated resources and support throughout their studies at Elms College. “ASPIRE is designed to provide the most critical resources for a comprehensive approach to student success,” said Joyce ...

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      Mentions:   Chicopee   Elms College

    9. FAT kicking off the 2016 CityBlock Concert Series in Downtown...

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 1 2016)

      FAT kicking off the 2016 CityBlock Concert Series in Downtown...

      Springfield's original rock band FAT closed the 2015 CityBlock Concert Series with a bang- the same way they opened the 2016 festivities in Court Square on Thursday night. Peter Newland, front man for the rock group, previously said the show is about more than just the music. "It is really about the city of Springfield and its people," Newland told The Republican's Donnie Moorhouse. "This is the place where FAT started, these are the folks who cheered us on and who welcomed us with open arms when our run was over. We love this city."

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      Mentions:   Springfield   The Republican   Springfield Business Improvement District

    10. $115,000 'green' grant honors Holyoke efforts to see light

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 30 2016)

      $115,000 'green' grant honors Holyoke efforts to see light

      Municipal facilities will get improved lighting thanks to a $115,895 "Green Communities" grant from the state. "This work is exciting because it will continue our commitment to remaining a national leader in using the green economy to combat climate change and to improve our city's quality of life while giving taxpayers a good return on their investment," Mayor Alex B. Morse said in a press release Wednesday. The grant came from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and was announced Tuesday by state Sen. Donald R. Humason, R-Westfield, who called Holyoke a "leader" in the state's clean ...

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      Mentions:   Amherst   Holyoke   Westfield

    11. Amherst developers scaling back One East Pleasant mixed-use project

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 30 2016)

      Amherst developers scaling back One East Pleasant mixed-use project

      Developers of One East Pleasant Street are coming back to the Planning Board with modified plans that would reduce the number of tenants and increase the landscaping. Instead of 84 apartments with 184 tenants, Archipelago Investments developers David Williams and Kyle Wilson are proposing building 135 apartments with 143 tenants. Initial plans included eight four-bedroom and eight three-bedroom units. Now the plans call for 60 studios, which were not part of the original plan, as well as 67 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments.

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      Mentions:   Amherst

    12. Berkshire Bank buys First Choice Bank in New Jersey | masslive.com

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 30 2016)

      Berkshire Bank buys First Choice Bank in New Jersey | masslive.com

      Berkshire Hills Bancorp, parent of Berkshire Bank announced Wednesday that it and First Choice Bank have signed a definitive merger agreement.  First Choice Bank will merge into Berkshire Bank and its subsidiary, First Choice Loan Services Inc., will become a subsidiary of Berkshire Bank in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $111.7 million, Berkshire Bank said.  Berkshire's total assets will increase to $8.9 billion including the $1.1 billion in acquired First Choice assets.

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      Mentions:   Berkshire Bank

    13. Montague voters advance Strathmore Paper Mill cleanup in Turners Falls; condos planned

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 29 2016)

      Montague voters advance Strathmore Paper Mill cleanup in Turners Falls; condos planned

      A 10-building vacant paper mill complex along the Connecticut River and power canal in the village of Turners Falls is on its way to productive redevelopment after voters approved funding to jump-start cleanup at the site. A tax override of around $385,000, which passed 361-242 on Monday, will help fund the removal of asbestos at the former Strathmore Paper Mill, a 270,000-square-foot complex on 1.9 acres.

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      Mentions:   MassDevelopment   Northampton   Greenfield

    14. Amherst gets $175,971 in green money to help pay for electric car purchase

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 29 2016)

      Amherst gets $175,971 in green money to help pay for electric car purchase

      Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton announced funding for 47 communities Wednesday. Money from the grant will be used for projects that will save the town between 2 and 4 percent in energy consumption, said Stephanie Ciccarello, Amherst's sustainability coordinator. Part of the funding will be used to help cut the town's share of the cost of the electric vehicle the town will purchase next month. The town received more than $18,000 in funding from other sources and was using money from the capital budget for the rest, Ciccarello said.

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      Mentions:   Amherst

    15. Convenience store out, print shop in as MGM Springfield begins to influence Main Street business landscape

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 29 2016)

      Convenience store out, print shop in as MGM Springfield begins to influence Main Street business landscape

      A print shop is replacing a convenience store in downtown Springfield, as the upcoming opening of the MGM Springfield casino begins to reshape Main Street's business landscape. Civic Center Convenience at 1365 Main Street closed Tuesday after the building's owner did not renew its lease. In its place, Enfield-based printing company Minuteman Press plans to open a second location on August 1. The expansion is designed to capitalize on the fall 2018 opening of the downtown casino, which co-owner Michael Weber thinks will boost Minuteman Press' corporate-driven business.

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    16. Owners, Manager Craft a Business Plan to Enable Thunderbirds to Soar

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 29 2016)

      Owners, Manager Craft a Business Plan to Enable Thunderbirds to Soar

      Nate Costa had what most people would consider an attractive position with the American Hockey League — with the operative word being had.  As a member of the AHL’s Team Business Services Department, Costa had a broad job description, but essentially he worked with all 30 of the league’s teams to improve revenues and attendance and deploy best practices to help their organizations run more efficiently and profitably. It was a job that took him across the country, to cities ranging from San Diego to Grand Rapids, Mich., to Utica, N.Y., and provided a host of learning opportunities ...

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      Mentions:   MassMutual Center   Springfield Falcons   Springfield

    17. Amherst sees some businesses close, but new filling vacant space | masslive.com

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 29 2016)

      Amherst sees some businesses close, but new filling vacant space | masslive.com

      Froyo the frozen yogurt chain is gone, and so is the Mercantile. Both North Pleasant Street businesses closed this year, leaving storefronts vacant.  A former nail salon on Main Street is also vacant, as are a half-dozen or so other downtown commercial spaces.  But closed businesses are part of a cycle in the college town, said both Sarah la Cour, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District, and Jerry Guidera, acting executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce

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    18. Opening of Springfield Union Station platform delayed

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 28 2016)

      Opening of Springfield Union Station platform delayed

      The Springfield Redevelopment Authority is delaying the opening of a new train boarding platform at Union Station. The station itself will open in January. Passengers will access trains from the new terminal by passing through the renovated portion of the tunnel into the current Amtrak lobby and using the existing boarding platform on the Lyman Street side as they do today, Springfield Redevelopment Authority Director Chris Moskal said in a news release.

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      Mentions:   Amtrak   Springfield   Massachusetts Department of Transportation

    19. PVPC Releases Economic Development Strategy

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 28 2016)

      PVPC Releases Economic Development Strategy

      The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) recently released its 2016 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) annual update, as part of its larger Plan for Progress, a 10-year blueprint for economic development in the region. The CEDS features a description of regional economic development conditions and sets forth goals and objectives for the future, as well as a list of projects seeking the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) Public Works funding in the next year.

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   Holyoke Community College   Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

    20. Amherst receives $825,000 mini-entitlement grant to pay for accessibility improvements,...

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 27 2016)

      Amherst receives $825,000 mini-entitlement grant to pay for accessibility improvements,...

      The town has received a $825,000 Community Development Block Grant as expected. The town was one of 11 eligible for up to $825,000 in the mini-entitlement grants, provided the applications met state criteria. The town applied in February and recently received news that the grant was successful. Of the funding, $535,000 will be used for non-social-service projects, $165,000 for social service programs and $125,000 for grant administration.

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      Mentions:   West Springfield   Springfield   Amherst

    21. Creative Hub to Cut the Ribbon

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 27 2016)

      Creative Hub to Cut the Ribbon

      The public is invited to attend the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for The Creative Hub on June 30, at 2 p.m. 2016 at 2 p.m., 28 North Elm St. Lite refreshments and snacks will be served.

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      Mentions:   Westfield

    22. State Awards $8.5M in Workforce Training Grants

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 27 2016)

      State Awards $8.5M in Workforce Training Grants

      The Baker-Polito administration announced recently that more than $8.47 million in Workforce Training Grant funds to 101 companies, which will enable the businesses to train current or newly hired workers.  Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the grants at Vibram USA, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of high performance shoe soles, outdoor products, and FiveFingers athletic shoes.

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      Mentions:   Big Y Foods   West Springfield   Springfield

    23. Steel frame for CRRC Ma subway car factory in East Springfield starts going up Monday

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 27 2016)

      Steel frame for CRRC Ma subway car factory in East Springfield starts going up Monday

      CRRC also shared photos detailing progress on its $95 million plant. The plan is to begin rail car production at the new plant two years from now in the spring of 2018, with the first production cars completed in January 2019.  The company received a $566 million state contract in 2014 to manufacture 284 subway cars for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Boston area's mass transit system. Of those 284, 152 cars are for the Orange Line and 132 for the Red Line. It is expected that it will take five years for CRRC to complete the cars.

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      Mentions:   Governor Deval L. Patrick   Regional Employment Board of Hampden County Inc.   Western New England University

    24. MGM Springfield completes demolition and facade preservation of United Electric Light...

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 24 2016)

      MGM Springfield completes demolition and facade preservation of United Electric Light...

      MGM Springfield has taken care to preserve the front facade of the building it purchased in January 2015. Interior gutting began in May and braces were put in place to line and support the front wall. The property at 73 State St. is slated for local and national food and beverage vendors, according to MGM Springfield. The building was designed in the Beaux Arts style by Thomas M. James, a Boston architect who designed many eastern Massachusetts structures, including the Shubert Theatre.

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      Mentions:   Springfield   MGM Resorts International

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