1. Articles from BusinessWest Staff

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    1. 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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    2. Monson Savings Bank Donates $25,000 to Baystate Health’s Greatest Needs Fund

      Monson Savings Bank Donates $25,000 to Baystate Health’s Greatest Needs Fund

      Baystate Health has just completed construction of a rapid-response triage area outside of the Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department, allowing the hospital to better protect patients and medical staff from exposure to the virus as patients are being screened and tested. This new triage area is just one of the many large, unplanned expenses this health emergency has created. Additionally, the exploding demand for personal protection equipment for staff and myriad other needs to fight this outbreak are stretching resources and finances to the limit.

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    3. 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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    4. SBA Issues Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program

      SBA Issues Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program

      With record-breaking speed, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has begun providing guidance on how the recently created Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will work in practice, attorneys at Bulkley Richardson note. The PPP is one of the new programs created by the CARES Act, the more than $2 trillion emergency relief package fast-tracked through Congress in less than a week. The PPP is designed to encourage employers to keep employees on the payroll throughout the coronavirus crisis.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    5. 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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    6. To Jeff Daley, Healthy Development Means Healthy Communities - BusinessWest

      To Jeff Daley, Healthy Development Means Healthy Communities - BusinessWest

      Jeff Daley boasted a long career in development, with experience on the municipal, state, and private realms, when an intriguing opportunity came about last year: the role of CEO at Westmass Area Development Corp., which oversees a number of newsworthy projects in the region, most notably Ludlow Mills. He couldn’t pass up the opportunity to connect municipalities and developers on a larger scale — and help generate the sort of economic activity and job creation that makes communities strong.

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    7. Girls Inc. of the Valley to Receive Grant from Baystate Health

      Girls Inc. of the Valley to Receive Grant from Baystate Health

      Girls Inc. of the Valley will receive a community-benefits discretionary grant of $5,000 from Baystate Health to Girls Inc. of the Valley’s “Informed and In Charge” program, which is designed to teach healthy sexuality. Through “Informed and In Charge,” girls acquire the knowledge and skills for taking charge of and making informed decisions about their sexual health. Exploring values, practicing responses in different situations, and thinking about their futures helps girls identify ways and reasons to avoid early pregnancy and prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    8. HCC President Christina Royal Pledges $10,000 to ‘Together HCC’ Campaign

      HCC President Christina Royal Pledges $10,000 to ‘Together HCC’ Campaign

      Holyoke Community College (HCC) President Christina Royal has issued a personal $10,000 challenge gift toward a new HCC campaign that is as much about building moral support in a time of great uncertainty as it is about raising money for students experiencing financial distress. On Monday, the HCC Foundation launched “Together HCC — A Campaign for Caring.” As part of that campaign, students, staff, faculty, alumni, relatives, and friends are being asked to use the hashtag #TogetherHCC to share stories and images on social media that show the strength of the college community in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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    9. Baker-Polito Administration Temporarily Prohibits Utility Shutoffs to Protect Ratepayers

      Baker-Polito Administration Temporarily Prohibits Utility Shutoffs to Protect Ratepayers

      The Baker-Polito administration announced further action to support ratepayers during the COVID-19 outbreak, directing the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to issue an order prohibiting investor-owned utility companies from shutting off gas, electric, and water utility service to any customers for failure to pay a bill or a portion of a bill until the state of emergency is lifted or the DPU determines otherwise. The announcement builds on the DPU’s March 13 moratorium requesting utility companies refrain from shutting off gas and electric service to residents across the Commonwealth. The new order will expand the moratorium to include any ...

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    10. STCC Donates Personal Protective Equipment to Area Hospitals

      STCC Donates Personal Protective Equipment to Area Hospitals

      Responding to an urgent call for supplies, Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) School of Health and Patient Simulation is donating personal protective equipment to area hospitals and medical centers. The equipment, which includes surgical masks, isolation gowns, and exam gloves, will serve as a first line of defense for healthcare professionals and reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 while treating patients.

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    11. Elms College Reschedules Executive Leadership Breakfast to Sept. 22

      Elms College Reschedules Executive Leadership Breakfast to Sept. 22

      Elms College has rescheduled its third annual Executive Leadership Breakfast to Tuesday, Sept. 22 due to state-mandated caution regarding large crowds and coronavirus. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is still slated to be the keynote speaker for the event, which was originally scheduled for April 9. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, the college will announce more details as necessary.

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    12. Link to Libraries, MGM Provide Books to Springfield Students Learning from Home

      Link to Libraries, MGM Provide Books to Springfield Students Learning from Home

      Link to Libraries and MGM Springfield announced a partnership to promote learning and literacy in support of Springfield students who are out of the classroom and learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Link to Libraries and MGM Springfield donated more than 1,000 books to children ranging from kindergarten through high school. The books were distributed to families through the 15 schools designated as lunch pickup sites.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. HCC Donates Personal Protection Equipment from College Programs

      HCC Donates Personal Protection Equipment from College Programs

      In response to requests from area hospitals experiencing shortages of supplies, Holyoke Community College (HCC) is preparing to donate surgical masks, isolation gowns, exam gloves, and other personal protection equipment from its health-science programs to help front-line medical professionals as they battle conoravirus. HCC’s Emergency Response Team has been coordinating with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on the collection of supplies from the college’s Health Sciences division and its division of Business & Workforce Development.

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    14. MGM Joins Thunderbirds, Hotels, Restaurants to Feed Healthcare Providers, First Responders

      MGM Joins Thunderbirds, Hotels, Restaurants to Feed Healthcare Providers, First Responders

      As Western Mass. continues to mobilize in response to the COVID-19 crisis, MGM Springfield has brought together a group of local partners and stakeholders to help feed the men and women on the pandemic’s front lines. “This is a close-knit community, and we wanted to find some simple ways to say ‘thank you’ to those friends, neighbors, and family members working tirelessly to serve and protect us during this challenging time,” said Chris Kelley, president of MGM Springfield. In partnership with the Springfield Thunderbirds, Sheraton Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, and Uno Pizzeria & Grill, MGM Springfield is leading an effort ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    15. Square One Responds to Keep Children, Families Safe and Healthy

      Square One Responds to Keep Children, Families Safe and Healthy

      As one of the region’s largest providers of childcare and family-support services, Square One is continuing to provide essential services to support the children and families who rely on them. “This is a very unsettling time for everyone,” said Joan Kagan, president and CEO. “But for families who rely on us, and other social-services agencies, to meet their basic needs, the stress and fear they are experiencing is heightened. It is critical that they know where to go to access what they need. Most importantly, we want to make sure they do not feel isolated.” The large majority of ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    16. New England Veterans Chamber Offers Assist to Military-involved Business Owners

      The founder of the New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce (NEVCC), which serves businesses owned by veterans, active military, the National Guard, the U.S. Reserves, and their family members throughout New England, wants to hear from its constituents. As the COVID-19 sweeps across the country, temporarily shuttering businesses and devastating the economy, the founder of NEVCC wants to hear from military-involved business owners in hopes the nonprofit may be able to offer an assist.

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    17. WNEU General Counsel Cheryl Smith Honored at ‘Leaders in the Law’ Event

      WNEU General Counsel Cheryl Smith Honored at ‘Leaders in the Law’ Event

      Western New England University (WNEU) General Counsel Cheryl Smith was honored at the 15th annual “Leaders in the Law” event presented by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The event was held on March 5 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Smith was chosen from a field of nominees across the Commonwealth for the 2020 In-House Leader Award. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Leader Awards recognize general counsel and staff attorneys who are nominated by their colleagues, clients, and other legal professionals for being leaders in the community and forward thinkers.

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    18. 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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    19. SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

      SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

      The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Connecticut small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by President Trump, to declare a disaster following a request received from Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on March 15.

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    20. United Way of Pioneer Valley Establishes Recovery and Relief Fund for COVID-19

      United Way of Pioneer Valley Establishes Recovery and Relief Fund for COVID-19

      United Way of Pioneer Valley has established the COVID-19 Recovery and Relief Fund to provide aid and resources to those affected by the current public-health emergency. As the pandemic unfolds and schools, events, and workplaces close, hourly, low-wage workers and many others will experience unprecedented financial hardship. In Massachusetts, two in five workers lack sufficient savings to withstand a sudden loss in wages.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. State Grant to Support Springfield WORKS Financial-wellness Strategies

      State Grant to Support Springfield WORKS Financial-wellness Strategies

      Springfield WORKS leads local employers, educators, community leaders, and job seekers in developing innovative solutions to meet the economic needs of area residents and local businesses. A founding member in the Springfield WORKS collaboration, Springfield Partners for Community Action, recently received a second $50,000 award from the Baker-Polito Community Services Block Grant Special Projects Fund to support Springfield WORKS financial-wellness strategies.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    22. 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
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