1. Articles from George O'Brien

    1-24 of 323 1 2 3 4 ... 12 13 14 »
    1. BusinessTalk with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council

      BusinessTalk with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council. The two discuss the state of the economy and the outlook for the balance of 2021. The two also discuss the pandemic, its impact on the local business community, and the possibility that it might provide some opportunities for the region in terms of attracting new businesses — and new residents — who might view Western Mass. as a viable option to higher-cost urban centers like Boston and New York. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by ...

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      Mentions: Rick Sullivan
    2. BusinessTalk with Andy Yee, president of the Bean Restaurant Group

      BusinessTalk with Andy Yee, president of the Bean Restaurant Group

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Andy Yee, president of the Bean Restaurant Group. The two discuss the ongoing plight of area restaurants as they battle the pandemic, ever-tighter restrictions on their operations, and the onset of winter. They also discuss the various forms of relief restaurants are receiving and whether they will be enough to help them withstand the many challenges they are facing. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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    3. BusinessTalk with Amy Royal

      BusinessTalk with Amy Royal

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Amy Royal, a principal with The Royal Law Firm and an employment law specialist. The two discuss the pandemic, vaccines, what employers can mandate, and what they can’t. They also discuss changes in employment law and new measures that take effect in 2021, and what employers should know as they turn the calendar. They also dive into in the matter of employee handbooks and how and why these important documents need to be on point and completely up to date. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented ...

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    4. North Adams Remains a Draw on Many Levels

      North Adams Remains a Draw on Many Levels

      The last time BusinessWest spoke with Mayor Thomas Bernard for the Community Spotlight, about a year ago, he was talking up the city’s Vision 2030 plan, which was hatched in 2011 and is revisited regularly. At a public information session last year, city leaders discussed the plan’s seven priorities — economic renewal, investment in aging infrastructure, creation of a thriving and connected community, intergenerational thinking, fiscal efficiency, historic preservation, and food access — and some specifics of what’s happening in each. But 2020 has been about reacting as much as planning — though Bernard says communities need to do both ...

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    5. At Hadley Printing, the Presses Have Started Rolling Again

      At Hadley Printing, the Presses Have Started Rolling Again

      Chris Derosiers was searching for a way to describe what things were like last spring, at the height of what’s now being called the first COVID-19 surge. And he found an analogy that probably works for just about every small-business owner in this region. “It’s like being on the highway … you’re going to 65, 70 miles an hour and cruising along nicely, but with three-quarters of your trip still in front of you,” he said, effectively summing up how things were going during Q1 at Hadley Printing, the family-owned venture he serves as president. “And then … it ...

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    6. BusinessTalk with Paul Scully

      BusinessTalk with Paul Scully

      George O’Brien talks with Paul Scully, president and CEO of Country Bank. The two have a lively discussion about everything from the bank’s sponsorship of the Worcester Red Sox and what it means for both institutions, to the outlook for 2021 for small businesses in this region, to how banks, and specifically Country Bank, are coping with the many pandemic-related challenges they are now facing. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk.

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      Mentions: Paul Scully
    7. Danielle Williams Takes Her Place on the Bench

      Danielle Williams Takes Her Place on the Bench

      Danielle Williams was asked about the style, or approach, that she would bring to the bench as a District Court judge. She paused for a minute to think, and then recalled a conversation she had with a colleague recently — one that revealed just how she intends to address each matter that reaches her. “Each case that comes before you represents people, it represents families, and it represents communities,” she said. “Cases are not just papers, they’re not just documents … and you have to address each case with that in mind.”

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      Mentions: Northampton
    8. Community Colleges Bear the Brunt of the Pandemic

      Community Colleges Bear the Brunt of the Pandemic

      Yves Salomon-Fernández says the region’s community colleges were facing some pretty severe headwinds before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Western Mass. in March. Indeed, these institutions, like all colleges and universities, have been seriously impacted by demographic trends — specifically, a decade or more of consistently smaller high-school graduating classes, said Salomon-Fernández, president of Greenfield Community College (GCC). But they’ve also been adversely impacted by what was the nation’s longest economic expansion and historically low unemployment rates, in a continuation of a trend that has become quite familiar to those in the community-college realm — when times are ...

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    9. Ludlow Keeps Building and Improving

      Ludlow Keeps Building and Improving

      Despite the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, the town of Ludlow keeps building and improving. As coronavirus rates continue to rise across Massachusetts, Manuel Silva, chairman of the Ludlow Board of Selectmen, said officials in town are closely monitoring the number of cases there. A long-time selectman who served an earlier term as chairman, Silva said the pandemic has brought more challenges than a typical year. Like most places, Ludlow Town Hall is closed to the general public except by appointment. Silva said some town functions, such as the town clerk and tax collector’s offices, are conducting limited public business ...

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    10. BusinessTalk with Nancy Creed

      BusinessTalk with Nancy Creed

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Nancy Creed, president of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce. The two discuss the pandemic, the recent surge in cases, its impact on the local business community, and what might come next. They also discuss the lingering impact of the pandemic  on area chambers of commerce as well as the growing notion that changes brought about by the pandemic may position this region as a home for businesses currently headquartered in major urban areas. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk.

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    11. Progress Continues on Projects in Longmeadow - BusinessWest

      Progress Continues on Projects in Longmeadow - BusinessWest

      For Longmeadow Town Manager Lyn Simmons, it’s been quite a first year on the job.  With 16 years of experience in municipal government in of Northampton — the last six years as chief of staff for Mayor David Narkewicz — Simmons became Longmeadow’s town manager a year ago this month. After three months on the job, Longmeadow — like the entire world — found itself in uncharted territory.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    12. Bright Nights Will Be a Bright Spot in a Trying Year

      Bright Nights Will Be a Bright Spot in a Trying Year

      Judy Matt says the Spirit of Springfield (SOS) exists for one reason — to entertain residents across the region and create some memories. It hasn’t been able to do any of that to this point in 2020, obviously, and Matt, the long-time executive director of the nonprofit agency, has been frustrated and disappointed by this reality. Annual events such as the pancake breakfast (long heralded as the world’s largest), the Fourth of July fireworks, and the Big Balloon Parade have been wiped off the calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there remains uncertainty about whether any of those ...

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    13. Region’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry Proves Resilient

      Region’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry Proves Resilient

      When the Big E recently announced the sale of 100 ‘golden tickets’ — lifetime passes for the holder and a guest, plus parking and other perks — for $1,000 each, it was an exciting promotion for fans of the annual fair and a way to keep the event top of mind during a year when it was called off because of the pandemic.

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    14. A Paycheck Protection Program Update

      For many of us, 2020 has been nothing but a new four-letter word. Unemployment has run rampant, long-standing businesses have shuttered their doors, people have gotten sick, and many have lost loved ones. Those businesses remaining open have had to deal with shutdowns, employees on medical leave, and, ultimately, having to create a whole new way of doing business. To help businesses from a financial standpoint, the U.S. Congress intervened with the CARES Act back in March. A significant component of this act was the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a series of government loans overseen by ...

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    15. BusinessTalk with Eugene Cassidy

      BusinessTalk with Eugene Cassidy

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Eugene Cassidy, president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition. The two discuss the pandemic and its impact not only on the Big E, but the region’s large and very important tourism and hospitality sector. They also discuss ways businesses like the Big E have pivoted and created new revenue streams, such as the Big E’s hugely successful Golden Ticket campaign. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk.

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    16. Food Bank Responds to Rising Need Fueled by the Pandemic - BusinessWest

      Food Bank Responds to Rising Need Fueled by the Pandemic - BusinessWest

      As Andrew Morehouse conducted his tour of the facilities at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the sights and sounds helped tell the story that is emerging at this agency — and within this region — at a critical time.  The first thing to notice was the copious amounts of food of all kinds — from sweet potatoes in huge bins to hundreds of cases of canned tuna — now stored at the complex in Hatfield and in other locations as well, destined for local meal sites and food pantries. Indeed, the Food Bank is “over capacity,” as Morehouse, its executive director, put it ...

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    17. Northampton’s Downtown Faces New Reality

      Northampton’s Downtown Faces New Reality

      For the past four years, Amy Cahillane has led the Downtown Northampton Assoc. (DNA) in its many efforts to boost vibrancy in the city’s center. The DNA typically handles such things as city plantings and holiday lights, and sponsors events that bring visitors to downtown, like Summer Stroll and Holiday Stroll, Arts Night Out, and sidewalk sales. Note that word ‘typically.’ Because this hasn’t been a typical year. “The pandemic changed it completely,” said Cahillane, the DNA’s executive director. “We usually focus heavily on events — it’s sort of our centerpiece. In light of COVID, I’d ...

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      Mentions: Northampton
    18. Christina Royal

      Christina Royal

      As she talked about the COVID-19 pandemic and her administration’s multi-leveled response to it, Christina Royal related a story that speaks volumes about both the impact of the crisis on every aspect of the higher-education experience at Holyoke Community College (HCC) and her own efforts to lead this institution through it — and beyond it. It also helps explain why she’s been named a Woman of Impact for 2020. This story is about a student, one of the many who needed some help with learning virtually from home — help that went beyond providing a laptop and internet connectivity.

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    19. BusinessTalk with Peter Rosskothen

      BusinessTalk with Peter Rosskothen

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Peter Rosskothen, owner of the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House and other hospitality-related businesses. The two discuss the state of the local events industry, the new restrictions imposed by the state, and how this vital sector of the economy is pivoting and looking for new and viable sources of revenue in these difficult times. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk.

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      Mentions: Peter Rosskothen
    20. BusinessTalk with Tom Senecal

      BusinessTalk with Tom Senecal

      George talks with Tom Senecal, president and CEO of PeoplesBank. The two discuss the state of the local economy, how the pandemic is impacting the business community specific sectors of the economy, the short and long-term impacts of state and federal stimulus initiatives, and what lies ahead in 2021. They also discuss the impact of the pandemic and falling interest rates on the banking industry. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk.

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    21. Companies Find Imaginative, Fun Ways to Help Employees Cope with a Crisis - BusinessWest

      Companies Find Imaginative, Fun Ways to Help Employees Cope with a Crisis - BusinessWest

      The food truck from the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House pulled into the north parking lot of the PeoplesBank building in Holyoke around 2 p.m. on Oct. 15.  By 2:30, a large number of employees from the accounting and tax-planning firm Meyers Brothers Kalicka had gathered to enjoy gourmet grilled cheese, tomato soup, hard cider, and some pumpkin beers, and to play a little cornhole.

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    22. Hadley Faces Challenges While Planning for Future - BusinessWest

      Hadley Faces Challenges While Planning for Future - BusinessWest

      Before the pandemic, up to 80,000 cars would travel on Route 9 in Hadley each day, bringing workers, students, and customers to and through the town.  Known for its agriculture, proximity to the Five College community, and a robust retail corridor along Route 9, Hadley has been challenged, like all towns, since the arrival of COVID-19. But efforts by a group of town officials are meeting those challenges to keep Hadley viable today and well into the future.


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    23. Celebrating the 2020 40 Under Forty

      Celebrating the 2020 40 Under Forty

      Amid new restrictions imposed by the governor on large gatherings and with a strong desire to keep everyone safe, it was decided that the most prudent course was to instead celebrate our honorees’ accomplishments with a hybrid platform. The hybrid event has been spread out over two days on Tues., Oct. 13 and Wed., Oct. 14. Each “mini-event” will allow 10 honorees to celebrate in person at the Upper Vista of the Log Cabin. For those who can’t join us in person, we’ve created a livestream option so friends and family can cheer on the Class of 2020 ...

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    1-24 of 323 1 2 3 4 ... 12 13 14 »
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