1. Articles from BusinessWest Staff

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    1. UMassFive Donates Hundreds of Winter Coats and Clothes to Amherst Survival Center

      UMassFive Donates Hundreds of Winter Coats and Clothes to Amherst Survival Center

      UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced that its members, staff, and community partners have donated hundreds of winter coats and clothing to Amherst Survival Center. Donations were gathered through a collection drive held at UMassFive’s Hadley and Northampton branches throughout the month of December. “This is a drive that we hold annually, and we weren’t sure what to expect in terms of donations during the pandemic,” said Cait Murray, Community Outreach manager at UMassFive. “We were pleasantly surprised to receive a record number of donations this year. The generosity of our members, staff, and community partners is truly ...

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      Mentions: Amherst Northampton
    2. State Awards 638 Business Grants, Extends Capacity Limits, Lifts Early-closing Mandate

      State Awards 638 Business Grants, Extends Capacity Limits, Lifts Early-closing Mandate

      The Baker-Polito administration announced $37.4 million in awards to 638 additional small businesses in a fourth round of grants through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp. Restaurants, bars, and retail stores, which have been especially impacted during the pandemic, are among the key industries to lead this round.

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    3. Boulevard Machine & Gear Moves Headquarters to Larger Space in Westfield

      Boulevard Machine & Gear Moves Headquarters to Larger Space in Westfield

      Boulevard Machine & Gear, a precision-machining facility, announced it has moved its headquarters to a new, larger space in Westfield to accommodate steady business growth over the last decade. The new address is 326 Lockhouse Road. Boulevard Machine will leverage its new facility to provide additional capacity for its customers while providing new internal operational efficiencies. The new facility also will provide Boulevard with improved, state-of-the-art production space to facilitate internal and external collaboration and communication, while providing the company with further room for growth with its ongoing investment in equipment.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    4. Comcast Introduces Fastest Internet Speeds over Wi-fi Across Northeast

      Comcast Introduces Fastest Internet Speeds over Wi-fi Across Northeast

      Comcast announced it has introduced the fastest internet speeds over wi-fi available across the Northeast, including 14 states from Maine to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Customers can now take advantage of advanced wi-fi technology that is capable of delivering speeds faster than a gig to support the ever-increasing number of connected devices in their homes. The speed increase was rolled out in Comcast’s Northeast markets on Jan. 7 for no additional charge to customers, and will be introduced to the rest of its service areas throughout 2021.

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      Mentions: Comcast
    5. UMass Amherst Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

      UMass Amherst Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

      In partnership with Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration, UMass Amherst announced it will expand its role in distributing COVID-19 vaccines, providing vaccinations for the foreseeable future in concert with the criteria and timeline of the state’s phased vaccination plan. Currently, the Commonwealth is in phase one of vaccine distribution, with first responders, COVID-facing healthcare workers (including college health staff), and congregate care and shelter staff eligible to receive the vaccine at the UMass facility. All eligible individuals must schedule an appointment in advance for the vaccine at www.umass.edu/coronavirus/vaccine.

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    6. HCC Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series Returns Jan. 27

      HCC Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series Returns Jan. 27

      Luz Lopez, executive director of MetroCare of Springfield, and Annamarie Golden, director of Community Relations for Baystate Health, will be the featured presenters on Wednesday, Jan. 27, for the first Holyoke Community College (HCC) Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series of 2021. The spring Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. over Zoom on the last Wednesdays of January, February, March, April, and May. Once a month, participants will join a group of women leaders to discuss current issues and ideas to help their leadership development. They will also have the opportunity to ...

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    7. Big Y Announces Third-generation D’Amour Family Appointments

      Big Y Announces Third-generation D’Amour Family Appointments

      The board of directors of Big Y Foods Inc. announced the promotion of two third-generation D’Amour family members. Colin D’Amour has been named senior director of the Big Y Express Gas & Convenience Stores division, and Christian D’Amour is director of E-commerce. Both appointments represent new and expanding divisions within the company. Colin’s responsibilities include oversight of store operations, site selection, site acquisition, and day-to-day responsibility for product procurement, including fuel for the division. Currently, there are 12 Big Y Express locations, with four more planned for the coming year.

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    8. What’s in the New COVID-19 Relief Package for Contractors?

      What’s in the New COVID-19 Relief Package for Contractors?

      The term ‘construction’ appears 636 times in the $908 billion pandemic relief package and $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump at the end of December. In other words, while the relief package was less than half the size of last spring’s $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, there’s still plenty in the overall bill for contractors to be happy about.

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    9. The Year of the Entrepreneur

      The Year of the Entrepreneur

      Starting in 1996, ˆ has, at the start of each year, presented something we call the Top Entrepreneur award. We do this to pay homage to a long — as in three centuries long — tradition of entrepreneurship in Western Mass., and to recognize companies, institutions, and individuals who are carrying on that tradition today. Over the years, the winners have included traditional entrepreneurs — those leading tech companies, multi-faceted corporations, and some family-owned businesses that have been part of the landscape for decades, if not a century or more — and also some non-traditional entrepreneurs — a college president and a hospital CEO, for example.

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    10. Pandemic Doesn’t Halt Greenfield’s Progress

      Pandemic Doesn’t Halt Greenfield’s Progress

      For MJ Adams, 2020 felt like someone had pushed a ‘pause’ button. Adams, director of Community and Economic Development for the city of Greenfield, had taken part in a dynamic public forum early in the year titled “A Deliberate Downtown” that focused on revitalization plans for Greenfield. Then the pandemic hit. And when it became clear the pause would last for more than a few weeks, she and her staff shifted their focus. “We knew there was going to be an immediate cash-flow problem for local businesses, so we moved quickly to develop a small-business assistance program to provide micro-enterprise ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    11. 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
    12. Beveridge Family Foundation Donates $50,000 to MHA to Keep Residents Warm

      Beveridge Family Foundation Donates $50,000 to MHA to Keep Residents Warm

      The building at 157 Pine St. served the people of Springfield for generations as a fire station, before being retired from service 25 years ago and converted into 16 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Today it’s home to people with developmental disabilities who receive support services through MHA. During the conversion to apartments, the building’s heating system received some upgrades, but time has taken its toll. “Our facilities team has managed to keep the heating system afloat, but Band-Aid fixes can only do so much for so long,” said Kimberley Lee, vice president of Resource Development & Branding for MHA ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. State Awards Another $78.5 Million to 1,595 Businesses Impacted by Pandemic

      State Awards Another $78.5 Million to 1,595 Businesses Impacted by Pandemic

      The Baker-Polito administration announced $78.5 million in awards to 1,595 additional small businesses in the third round of grants through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp. (MGCC). To date, the administration has awarded close to $195 million in direct financial support to 4,119 small businesses out of a $668 million fund set up to support small businesses across the Commonwealth. Additional grants will be announced in the coming weeks for thousands of additional businesses.

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    14. HCC Adds Cannabis Job-training Program to Spring Schedule

      HCC Adds Cannabis Job-training Program to Spring Schedule

      The Cannabis Education Center (CEC) at Holyoke Community College (HCC) has added a second cannabis core training program to its spring calendar of workforce-training programs. The CEC will offer another round of its intensive, two-day cannabis core training program on Saturday, March 20, and Sunday, March 21. Slots also remain open for the weekend of Saturday, Jan. 23, and Sunday, Jan. 24. Each day will be broken down into two sessions, 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4 p.m. Each session will include presentations from cannabis-industry experts followed by a question-and-answer period.

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    15. Agawam Looks to an Energized Future - BusinessWest

      Agawam Looks to an Energized Future - BusinessWest

      As the world looks to generate energy from different sources and reduce waste, a new facility just opened in Agawam that contributes to both efforts.  What looks like a plain green building on Main Street is actually a plant that converts food waste into natural gas and fertilizer. Vanguard Renewables, based in Wellesley, approached Agawam Mayor William Sapelli about locating an organics-recovery facility in Agawam. After addressing some initial concerns about truck traffic and potential odor from the plant, the town gave the go-ahead.

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    16. W.D. Cowls Names Tony Maroulis VP of Real Estate and Community Development

      W.D. Cowls Names Tony Maroulis VP of Real Estate and Community Development

      W.D. Cowls named Tony Maroulis its vice president for Real Estate and Community Development. A respected regional leader in economic and community development, tourism, and the arts, Maroulis brings a well-rounded blend of experience to W.D. Cowls as it continues to develop and market the Mill District in North Amherst as a premier dining, arts, and entertainment destination.

       

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    17. Join Us as We Honor the 2020 Healthcare Heroes on Jan. 14

      Join Us as We Honor the 2020 Healthcare Heroes on Jan. 14

      BusinessWest and the Healthcare News will celebrate the Healthcare Heroes class of 2020 with a free virtual event on Thursday, Jan. 14 from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Join the event that day by clicking this link. This year’s heroes include Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health; Christopher Savino, Emeline Bean, and Lydia Brisson, clinical liaisons for Berkshire Healthcare Systems; Friends of the Homeless; the Nutrition Department at Greater Springfield Senior Services Inc.; the staff at Holyoke Medical Center; the Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst; Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, director of Spiritual Life at ...

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    18. 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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    19. UMass Amherst Establishes COVID-19 Vaccination Site for First Responders

      UMass Amherst Establishes COVID-19 Vaccination Site for First Responders

      As part of Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to begin statewide vaccinations to deter the spread of COVID-19, UMass Amherst will establish a vaccine clinic for Massachusetts first responders starting the week of Jan. 11. Individuals eligible to get vaccinated under state guidelines include police, fire, and emergency medical services professionals, who will need to show a professional ID or license confirming their status. All first responders in Massachusetts are eligible to schedule an online appointment in advance and come to UMass Amherst to receive the vaccine. For details, visit www.umass.edu/coronavirus/vaccine.

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    20. Baker-Polito Administration Launches Programs to Boost Internet Connectivity

      Baker-Polito Administration Launches Programs to Boost Internet Connectivity

      During a visit to Springfield on Jan. 5, Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced new programs to boost internet connectivity statewide, including a subsidy program to assist job seekers in the MassHire system that are facing a technology barrier. In addition, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) at the MassTech Collaborative will expand a wi-fi hotspot program statewide, delivering free, high-speed access points to gateway cities, helping expand internet accessibility in areas hard-hit economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    21. Tighe & Bond Named Engineering Excellence Awards Finalist

      Tighe & Bond Named Engineering Excellence Awards Finalist

      Tighe & Bond Inc. has been recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) as a 2020 Engineering Excellence Award Finalist (Gold Award). Tighe & Bond, in conjunction with a team of subconsultants and property owner ENGIE North America, transformed the site of the Mt. Tom coal-fired power plant into the state’s largest community solar and energy storage facility.

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    22. Nursing Schools Almanac Names AIC among Best Schools for Nursing in Mass., N.E.

      Nursing Schools Almanac Names AIC among Best Schools for Nursing in Mass., N.E.

      Nursing Schools Almanac has released its 2020 rankings of the best nursing schools in the United States. In collecting data on more than 3,000 institutions nationwide only 20% made the list of the best nursing schools in each geographic region. The nursing program at American International College (AIC) was named in both the New England and Massachusetts categories placing 45th in the region and 21st in in the state.

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    23. Square One Names New President & Ceo

      Square One Names New President & Ceo

      On the heels of the recent retirement of Joan Kagan, Square One has named Dawn Forbes DiStefano its new president and chief executive officer. The announcement follows an extensive national search lead by the agency’s board of directors, staff and members of the community. Following a 25-year career with the YWCA of Western Massachusetts, DiStefano joined the Square One team in January 2016 to lead the agency’s grant research, grant writing, and program-compliance efforts. She was quickly promoted to chief finance and grants officer, where she added oversight of the agency’s financial team to her list of ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
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