1. Articles from George O'Brien

    1-24 of 277 1 2 3 4 ... 10 11 12 »
    1. MGM Emphasizes Safety as It Reopens After COVID-forced Shutdown

      MGM Emphasizes Safety as It Reopens After COVID-forced Shutdown

      Those visiting MGM Springfield after it reopens following a nearly four-month-long shutdown forced by COVID-19 will certainly recognize the place. But much will be different at One MGM Way, to put it mildly, when it opens to its M life members this week and the general public on July 13. Plexiglass dividers are now in place between some slot machines. Many of the table games — roulette and craps, for example — will not be open for play. There are seats only at the slot machines that are in use. Those that are not bear a simple round, black sign that reads ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    2. County’s Attractions Begin to Open in a Different Kind of Summer Season

      County’s Attractions Begin to Open in a Different Kind of Summer Season

      Magic Wings is a year-round operation, Kathy Fiore said — even when its doors are shut. “This is different from a clothing store,” said Fiore, who co-owns the butterfly conservatory in Deerfield with her brother. “When we closed our doors, we still needed to have staff here, because we have to take care of whatever is happening. Butterflies are laying eggs every day. Caterpillars are hatching out every day. We need to feed and care for the lizards, tortoises, birds, fish … all sorts of animals have to be taken care of.” And that means expenses that don’t disappear when no ...

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    3. Universal Plastics’ Pia Kumar Puts the Focus on Work-life Balance

      Universal Plastics’ Pia Kumar Puts the Focus on Work-life Balance

      Back in mid-March, Pia Kumar recalls, at the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a good deal of absenteeism at the five plants within the Universal Plastics fold — maybe 40% by her estimate, a number that spoke volumes about the high levels of fear and anxiety within the workforce. So Kumar, who co-owns the Universal family of businesses with her husband, Jay, and has the title ‘Chief Strategy Officer’ printed on her business card, did what she says comes naturally to her. She got on the phone. “I called every single employee that was not ...

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    4. Business Talk With Christina Royal

      Business Talk With Christina Royal

      We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, Business Talk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

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    5. Area Restaurants Begin to Reopen to Eager Guests

      Area Restaurants Begin to Reopen to Eager Guests

      Lisa Pac has been brewing beer for almost two decades, eventually growing a home-brewing enterprise into Skyline Beer Co., a restaurant, craft beer and wine bar, bakery, and home-brewing supply store in Westfield. In December, she and business partners Dana Bishop and Daniel Osella realized a dream of moving into a much larger space in the Whip City — a 4,500-square-foot restaurant, tasting room, and 10-barrel brewery on five scenic acres. Early receipts were very strong, and things were looking up. And then March happened. “At first, when COVID hit, we shut down for a couple days and had to ...

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    6. Tourism and Hospitality Sector Ramps Up for Uncertain Summer

      Tourism and Hospitality Sector Ramps Up for Uncertain Summer

      As he talked with BusinessWest about his industry and his family’s hotel group, Kishore Parmar kept glancing back and forth between the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Hadley and the parking lot outside. He did so with a look that blended something approaching disbelief — still, after roughly three months of the same view — with resignation. “This lobby is essentially empty, and this is not how it is,” he explained. “If this were a normal day in June, you’d see families, you’d see business people in and out, there would be staff going up and down the ...

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    7. Holyoke Is Growing, and Not Just Cannabis - BusinessWest

      Holyoke Is Growing, and Not Just Cannabis - BusinessWest

      It’s been more than three years now since Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse told a TV reporter, tongue in cheek (or not), that he wanted to rename Holyoke ‘Rolling Paper City,’ in a nod to its past — and its potential future as home to businesses in the cannabis industry spawned by a ballot initiative in the fall of 2016.


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    8. Pandemic Will Change the Look of the Modern Office

      Pandemic Will Change the Look of the Modern Office

      Mark Proshan says predicting what’s coming next in his business — office furniture and design — has always been a difficult assignment. But now … it’s even more of a complicated guessing game. Indeed, in a sector where the landscape can change quickly and profoundly, and for a number of reasons — from a declining economy to changing tastes — the pandemic has produced an even greater sense of uncertainty about what lies around the bend, said Proshan, president of West Springfield-based Lexington Group.

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    9. Main Street Hospitality

      Main Street Hospitality

      Sarah Eustis has some visions for the Courtyard, an outdoor dining area at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge. “It will be a really active force — we’re thinking of new, creative ways to use it,” she told BusinessWest. “We’re ramping up menus, we’ll have music outside, maybe screen movies with a projector, ping-pong, cocktails … just some relaxation and fun for people in a world that isn’t very fun right now. That’s our goal.”

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    10. Go Graphix

      Go Graphix

      Jim White says it took him 15 years to go from zero to 60 with his business. And 15 days to go from 60 to zero. That’s how the co-founder of East Longmeadow-based Go Graphix, a maker of signs, vehicle wraps, and a host of other marketing products, described that two-week period back in March when business came to a near standstill. That’s because most all of the company’s major clients — MGM Springfield, the MassMutual Center, sports teams like the Thunderbirds — came to a complete halt.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    11. New Mercy President Leads by Example Amid Stern Challenges

      New Mercy President Leads by Example Amid Stern Challenges

      Debbie Bitsoli understood she was taking on a huge challenge when she accepted the role of president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates late last fall. But she certainly wasn’t expecting anything quite like this. Indeed, the first six months of her tenure have been dominated not only by a global pandemic that has tested hospitals, and especially smaller community hospitals, in every way imaginable, but also a painful and controversial decision to close inpatient beds at Providence Behavioral Hospital, one of Mercy’s affiliates (more on that later). Overall, it has been a pressure-packed, greatly ...

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    12. Big E Projected to Go On, but Some Things Will Be Different

      Big E Projected to Go On, but Some Things Will Be Different

      Gene Cassidy likes to say those at the Big E ‘manufacture’ the 17-day annual fair that is by far the biggest single event on the region’s calendar. “It’s like putting an automobile together,” he told BusinessWest. “You really can’t cut components out and expect the vehicle to run; it costs ‘X’ number of dollars to produce the fair, and we’re still going to spend that — we have to produce a fair that people are going to want to come to.” And so, those planning the 2020 edition of the Big E are proceeding with the mindset ...

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    13. Iconic White Hut Will Reopen with Same Menu, Slightly New Look

      Iconic White Hut Will Reopen with Same Menu, Slightly New Look

      Those hungry for some good news in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — and that’s just about everyone — received some Thursday with the announcement that the iconic White Hut, a Memorial Avenue landmark since 1939, will reopen under new ownership. Those owners, Peter Picknelly, chairman and CEO of Peter Pan Bus Lines, and Andy Yee, president of the Bean Group of restaurants, told BusinessWest they plan to start with a food truck slated to open on or soon after May 18 — the new date for possibly restarting the state’s economy — and eventually reopen the small but historic  restaurant ...

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    14. PPP Creates Positive Stories — and Lots of Frustration

      PPP Creates Positive Stories — and Lots of Frustration

      Char Gentes calls the Paycheck Protection Program “a lifeline.” Her nearly 200 employees no doubt agree. Gentes is the president and CEO of Riverside Industries, a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities, helping them find ways to achieve daily independence, from securing and maintaining jobs to undertaking activities like voting and going to the store. In mid-March, the organization was shut down by the same mandate that has shuttered the doors on countless businesses and nonprofits across Massachusetts. Four weeks later, Riverside hadn’t laid anyone off — but that situation was unsustainable.

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    15. Chambers of Commerce Face the Same Challenges as Their Members

      Chambers of Commerce Face the Same Challenges as Their Members

      Kate Phelon says she misses her members. Claudia Pazmany recalls the early days of this crisis, when she was bought to tears on an almost daily basis by the stories related to her by devastated business owners. Nancy Creed says it’s become her mission to provide members with comprehensive and reliable information as they try to navigate their way through a crisis the likes of which they’ve never seen before. Collectively, these chamber of commerce directors — Phelon in Westfield, Pazmany in Amherst, and Creed with the Springfield Regional Chamber — spoke not only for each other, but for colleagues ...

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    16. Plastics Company Steps Up with COVID-19-related Products for Healthcare Workers

      Plastics Company Steps Up with COVID-19-related Products for Healthcare Workers

      It’s called an ‘intubation box,’ or an ‘InTuBox,’ to be more specific. As that name suggests, this is a box that helps shield healthcare workers while they are intubating a patient, thus helping reduce the likelihood of spreading infection. Pia Kumar says the product was conceptualized by an anesthesiologist in Taiwan, and in what would still be considered limited use, it has proven successful in doing what it was designed to do. And now, the company she serves as president, Universal Plastics in Holyoke, will start to produce them for healthcare providers, with the first boxes due to roll ...

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    17. Bankers Say Institutions Are Committed to Helping Communities Through the Crisis

      Bankers Say Institutions Are Committed to Helping Communities Through the Crisis

      Steve Lowell called it a “fireside chat.” That’s how he chose to describe his efforts to reach out to customers during this time of crisis and communicate a number of key points. “With my wife holding my phone in front of me and me speaking onto the camera … we put it on our YouTube channel and sent out an e-mail blast with a link to it for our customers to get an update,” said Lowell, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, adding that, like the creator of the original fireside chat, Franklin Roosevelt, he used his to talk ...

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    1-24 of 277 1 2 3 4 ... 10 11 12 »
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