1. Articles from George O'Brien

    1-24 of 253 1 2 3 4 ... 9 10 11 »
    1. CARES Act Aims to Support Economy During Viral Pandemic - BusinessWest

      CARES Act Aims to Support Economy During Viral Pandemic - BusinessWest

      The act passed in the Senate by a unanimous vote late on March 25 and was passed in the House of Representatives on March 27. The President signed the bill into law later that day.  The CARES Act looks to make a significant impact on the economy by providing loan forgiveness, supporting small businesses, enhancing unemployment insurance, and providing federal loans to industries severely impacted by the pandemic.

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    2. Vann Group Creates Crisis Response Team to Help Businesses Impacted by Pandemic

      Vann Group Creates Crisis Response Team to Help Businesses Impacted by Pandemic

      Mike Vann says the phone started ringing only a few moments after the e-mail blast went out last Friday to clients and other companies across the region. It wasn’t a flood of calls, but there were several, and he expects there to be many more in the days and weeks to come. That because his company, the Vann Group, a business consulting firm with a number of specialties, has assembled what it is calling a ‘COVID-19 Crisis Response Team’ to help businesses deal with the fallout from the pandemic.

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      Mentions: Vann Group
    3. The Food Bank Needs Your Help in This Time of Crisis

      The Food Bank Needs Your Help in This Time of Crisis

      We’ve all been to the supermarkets. Households are stocking up on food in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). But let’s not forget there are tens of thousands of individuals across Western Mass. who can’t even get to a supermarket — elders, people with disabilities, and households who must rely on unreliable public transportation. Others can, but they can’t even afford to buy enough food to feed their families, much less stock up for two weeks’ worth as suggested by public officials.

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    4. Technology Helps Businesses Equip Home-based Employees

      Technology Helps Businesses Equip Home-based Employees

      While much of the national conversation around COVID-19 has centered around how prepared the government and healthcare sector are to deal with the pandemic, another sector has been asking itself similar preparedness questions. That would be IT firms, especially those who handle the networks of business clients at a time when companies are sending employees home en masse — not to take time off, but to work remotely.

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    5. Baystate Is Constructing COVID-19 Triage Facility

      Baystate Is Constructing COVID-19 Triage Facility

      The Emergency Department was rather quiet at Baystate Medical Center on Monday morning. And Dr. Niels Rathlev, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, attributed this to the fact that the public is listening to the governor and other elected officials and staying away from the ER unless they really need to be there. But that relative quiet in the ER — one spokesperson for the hospital described it as “almost eerie” — is almost certain to be short-lived as the spread of COVID-19 continues in this region. And that eventuality was the inspiration for the construction of a rapid-response triage facility ...

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      Mentions: Baystate Health
    6. Granny’s Baking Table Speaks to a Different, Much Simpler Time

      Granny’s Baking Table Speaks to a Different, Much Simpler Time

      It’s a small business, but it might just be a big part of a significant movement. Granny’s Baking Table, which opened just a few months ago, speaks to a different age in Springfield’s history, when small, locally owned businesses dominated Main Street and the roads around it. And in many ways, it operates in a way consistent with that age — there’s no wi-fi and, instead, a focus on conversation. It’s a blast from the past, but those behind it hope they represent the future.

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    7. Changing Perceptions, State Investments Spark Renewed Interest in Area’s Technical Schools

      Changing Perceptions, State Investments Spark Renewed Interest in Area’s Technical Schools

      It wasn’t so long ago that young people — and their parents — perceived technical schools as a last resort of sorts. But a profoundly changed labor market, a workforce crisis, and a series of investments on the part of the Commonwealth have changed all that. Today, these are increasingly seen as schools of choice because of their blend of academic and vocational programs, and their students are certainly in demand. Joao Alves has been in and around what is now known as Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy for the better part of 40 years.

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    8. Ira Bryck, Consultant and Former Executive Director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

      Ira Bryck, Consultant and Former Executive Director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

      Ira Bryck started working in his family’s business — Barasch’s, a store on Long Island selling children’s clothes — when he was 5, and continued putting in hours there on weekends, after school, and during the summer through his college years. He has a lot of memories from those days, including the fact that he generally had more money in his pocket than his friends because he was gainfully employed — even in middle school. But he also remembers something his father — and boss; a tough boss at that — told him. Something that gnawed away at him in some respects ...

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    9. Agawam’s Bridge Becomes an Attention Span - BusinessWest

      Agawam’s Bridge Becomes an Attention Span - BusinessWest

      Mayor William Sapelli said he received the text late on a Friday afternoon earlier this month, and it was somewhat unexpected; he was anticipating word coming later. But it was very, very welcome.  It came from state Lt. Gov. Karen Polito, and it said, in essence, that the state had approved what’s known as an acceleration agreement for the Morgan-Sullivan Bridge project. What that means is that money has been apportioned that will allow the general contractor, Palmer-based Northern Construction, to pay crews overtime to work on nights and weekends to accelerate (hence the name) the timeline for completing ...

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    10. Economic Outlook 2020 - BusinessWest

      Economic Outlook 2020 - BusinessWest

      ‘Optimistic skepticism.’ That’s the phrase one area bank president summoned as he talked about the year ahead and, more specifically, talk of a recession. While history — especially as it relates to the inverted yield curve — tells us one is very likely, most all other indicators, from unemployment and inflation rates to the stock market to the steady pipeline of work on the books at area construction-related firms we spoke with, say something else.

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    11. Thomas & Thomas Looks to Secure a Stronger Future for Its Brand — and the Sport of Fly Fishing - BusinessWest

      Thomas & Thomas Looks to Secure a Stronger Future for Its Brand — and the Sport of Fly Fishing - BusinessWest

      Five years ago, South African Neville Orsmond, an avid fly fisherman, purchased the Thomas & Thomas company and went about resuscitating perhaps the iconic brand within that industry, one that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. While putting the company on a solid foundation, he has also made it part of conservation efforts locally and globally that will help ensure this sport’s sustainability and preserve some of the most beautiful places in the world.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    12. There’s a Distinct Buzz in Downtown Greenfield

      There’s a Distinct Buzz in Downtown Greenfield

      Let’s get the bad news out of the way. And it certainly is bad news. Wilson’s department store, an anchor and destination in downtown Greenfield for a century or so, will be closing its doors as its owner moves into retirement, leaving a very large hole to fill in the middle of Main Street. The store was practically synonymous with the city and its downtown, drawing visitors of all ages who wanted to shop in one of the last old-time department stores in this region and maybe in the state. “It’s devastating and it’s heartbreaking because ...

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    13. Broker Says Boston’s Challenges Can Become Springfield’s Opportunities - BusinessWest

      Broker Says Boston’s Challenges Can Become Springfield’s Opportunities - BusinessWest

      Evan Plotkin was talking about how “something has to give.”  With that one phrase, he was talking about the commercial real-estate markets in the central business districts of Boston and Springfield.  In the Hub, said Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin, rents are sky-high and continue to climb — to more than $100 per square foot in some locations and to roughly $63 per square foot on average, with more space being built to accommodate soaring demand. Meanwhile, traffic, congestion, and problems with mass transit are strangling businesses, he said, to the point where meetings can’t start until 10 a.m ...

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    14. Now Named FORGE, Agency Links Entrepreneurs with Manufacturers

      Now Named FORGE, Agency Links Entrepreneurs with Manufacturers

      The agency formerly known as Greentown Learn has been rebranded as FORGE, a name that more effectively speaks to its mission of making connections between entrepreneurs and manufacturers that can create prototypes of their products or actually produce them. Since its inception, FORGE has facilitated such connections for nearly 200 companies, helping improve the survival rate of such ventures while also bringing more work to a number of area manufacturers.

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    15. As It Marks 25 Years, Bright Nights Displays Power of Collaboration

      As It Marks 25 Years, Bright Nights Displays Power of Collaboration

      Judy Matt had been tracking the results daily, almost hourly, and then … she couldn’t any longer. So, she’ll have to wait, like everyone else, to see how Bright Nights at Forest Park fares in this year’s USA Today competition to determine the top 10 holiday lighting shows in the country. When she was last able to check the tabulations before the magazine stopped running a count — presumably to build suspense for the Dec. 13 announcement regarding this and some other contests — Matt noted that Bright Nights was running fourth, behind such vaunted displays as the Legendary Lights ...

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    16. Dawn Creighton Wants to Be a Connector and Program Builder

      Dawn Creighton Wants to Be a Connector and Program Builder

      During her decade-long tenure as regional director for Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), Dawn Creighton’s role was basically to support member businesses in the 413. “I went out and met with member companies, with their executive directors, and they would tell me what their biggest business challenges are, and I would try to find them a solution,” she told BusinessWest. “Sure enough, every single one of them said, ‘Dawn, if you could get me the bodies, I could double my workforce.’ No matter what the industry was, I’d meet with the HR person, and she’d say, ‘oh ...

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    17. Progress in Ludlow Extends Beyond Mills Project

      Progress in Ludlow Extends Beyond Mills Project

      For more than a decade now, the Ludlow Mills project, a 20-year initiative that is changing the face of that historic complex and bringing jobs, new businesses, and new places to live to this community, has been the dominant talking point when it comes to the subject of economic development here. But municipal officials are quick to point out that it’s just one of many intriguing stories unfolding in this town of around 21,000 people, the sum of which adds up to an intriguing, very positive chapter in the history of this community across the Chicopee River from ...

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    18. Springfield’s Educare Facility Is State-of-the-art in Every Respect

      Springfield’s Educare Facility Is State-of-the-art in Every Respect

      Nikki Burnett says Springfield’s Old Hill neighborhood and those surrounding it certainly need the gleaming new $14 million Educare facility constructed next door to the Elias Brookings Elementary School on Walnut Street. More to the point, though, she told BusinessWest, they deserve this facility, which can only be described with that phrase state-of-the-art when it comes to everything from its programs to its play areas to its bathrooms.

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    19. Kim Robinson Takes the Helm at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

      Kim Robinson Takes the Helm at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

      Kim Robinson, who has worked with planning and development agencies in Detroit and Nevada, has been chosen to fill the large shoes left by Tim Brennan, who recently retired as director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission after more than four decades in that position. Robinson is focused on a number of short- and long-term priorities — everything from the upcoming census to east-west rail service.

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    20. Katherine Putnam

      Katherine Putnam

      This Investor and Mentor Is Making a Difference within the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.  Katherine Putnam was a history major in college, and she certainly knows her stuff. While she really likes European history, she knows all about this country — and this region — as well. She knows, for example, about the very rich tradition of entrepreneurship in Western Mass., and what it meant for the development of individual cities and towns.

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    21. Tricia Canavan

      Tricia Canavan

      Tricia Canavan spent much of her early career as an educator. Today, in a much different role, education is never far from her mind. “As I’ve done this job for the last eight years, I’ve learned how education is tied to workforce development and people being successful. It’s not just about being able to write well or have the fundamentals of math — can you support yourself?”

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    22. Development Chief Looks to Build on Momentum

      Development Chief Looks to Build on Momentum

      Tim Sheehan, who succeeded Kevin Kennedy as Springfield’s chief Development officer in July, may be new to the job, but he’s certainly not new to the city. He grew up there, and later worked for two different mayoral administrations. In recent years, he’s seen the city go from the depths of receivership to what many are calling a renaissance. Looking to build off created momentum, he said there is still considerable work to do.

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    23. Easthampton: It’s Not the ‘New Northampton’

      Easthampton: It’s Not the ‘New Northampton’

      It was the food that brought Cynthia West to Easthampton. Well, sort of. It was the food, in the form of weekly visits to restaurants like Galaxy, Kisara, and others that gave West … well, a flavor of Easthampton and, eventually, the opinion that this was the place to bring a business she had been thinking about and dreaming about for some time. It’s called Sonnet & Sparrow, a “curated thrift store” she operates with her daughter, McKenzie West, in space that was once part of the historic, yet also somewhat notorious, Majestic Theater on Cottage Street. Notorious because 30 years ...

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    1-24 of 253 1 2 3 4 ... 9 10 11 »
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