1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. Springfield Regional Chamber champions WMass business growth

      Springfield Regional Chamber champions WMass business growth

      As we look ahead to 2020 and to all it may bring for businesses in our region, the Springfield Regional Chamber perspective is one of continued optimism. Among the very good reasons for this view: none other than Inc. Magazine included Springfield among its recently announced “Surge Cities: the 50 Best U.S. Cities for Starting a Business in 2020.”

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    2. Kristin Leutz leaving Valley Venture Mentors; Chris Bignell to serve as interim CEO

      Kristin Leutz leaving Valley Venture Mentors; Chris Bignell to serve as interim CEO

      Valley Venture Mentors, a Springfield-based nonprofit that provides education and support to new businesses through mentoring and accelerator programs, will soon have a new leader at the helm. Kristin Leutz announced Monday that she is stepping down as chief executive officer of the organization.

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    3. Bradley International Airport eyes continued growth, construction in 2020

      Bradley International Airport eyes continued growth, construction in 2020

      Bradley International Airport drew about 7 million passengers in 2019, besting its 2018 mark of 6.7 million by more than 2%. 2019 was the seventh straight year of passenger gains at Bradley, said Kevin A. Dillon, CEO of the Connecticut Airport Authority, which oversees Bradley. “We are in a very competitive environment,” Dillon said.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    4. Tobacco, candy, specialty foods and products are billion-dollar business for J. Polep Distribution Services

      Tobacco, candy, specialty foods and products are billion-dollar business for J. Polep Distribution Services

      For more than 120 years, J. Polep Distribution Services has been distributing specialty foods, candy, tobacco products and groceries, from its start in 1898 as the Polep Tobacco Co. to its role today as one of the largest wholesalers to the convenience and grocery store industry. The Chicopee-based fifth-generation company, which began primarily as a candy and tobacco distributor, still distributes those items, but is following the trend toward healthier fare and also offers its customers fresh sandwiches and salads along with organic options.

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    5. Economic development in Western Massachusetts

      Economic development in Western Massachusetts

      From a future economic development point of view, one of the biggest strength of Western Massachusetts is being home to some of the best, world-class colleges and universities. A recent University of Massachusetts publication, massachusetts.edu/impact, finds each campus of the University of Massachusetts has a tangible and intangible impact on its host region, through economic development, hiring, student and employee spending, and service and engagement activities.

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    6. East-west rail backers say state underestimates potential ridership, overestimates cost

      East-west rail backers say state underestimates potential ridership, overestimates cost

      U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, also called for the benefits of behavioral change in the population to be considered. In Washington parlance it’s called dynamic scoring and it was used in part to justify the Trump tax cuts of 2017. In the case of east-west rail, boosters say dynamic scoring makes sense.

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    7. Women supporting women: How a mentorship program seeks to ignite a women-led economy in Western Massachusetts - masslive.com

      Women supporting women: How a mentorship program seeks to ignite a women-led economy in Western Massachusetts - masslive.com

      Women Innovators and Trailblazers’ six-month, Mentor-Match program is designed for women to connect with other women at various professional levels who can provide mentorship or sponsorship. The goal is to help women find a trusted mentor or mentee who are ready to commit to honest conversations that can change lives.

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    8. Belchertown Day School buys land at former State School site for early childhood education center

      Belchertown Day School buys land at former State School site for early childhood education center

      Belchertown Day School has purchased two acres the former site of the Belchertown State School, where it plans to build a 8,600-square-foot early-childhood education center and afterschool facility. MassDevelopment announced the sale in a news release Wednesday. “We no longer will be renting; we will have a school to call our own that will be a forever home,” the school’s executive director Pat Bruni said in an interview Wednesday. “This new school means so much to us.”

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    9. Northampton chamber celebrates 100, seeds new vision: Viewpoint

      Northampton chamber celebrates 100, seeds new vision: Viewpoint

      A thriving economy means a thriving community, and, when the community thrives, the economy thrives. That is a fundamental belief of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. We have all ushered in a new year and a new decade, and for the Northampton chamber, a new century as we continue to celebrate our centennial anniversary year.

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    10. Bridging the ‘digital divide,’ Urban League of Springfield opens Digital Learning Lab in time for Census 2020

      Bridging the ‘digital divide,’ Urban League of Springfield opens Digital Learning Lab in time for Census 2020

      Applying for a job or for school, doing homework or making sure you’re counted in the upcoming census is difficult, if not impossible, with no internet access. And in low-income neighborhoods, only 40% of residents have reliable internet access. “The black and brown communities, low-income communities, have historically not been able to enjoy the internet and all the opportunities it provides,” said Henry M. Thomas III, president and CEO of the Urban League of Springfield.

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    11. ‘It’s going to look brand new’: Springfield council vote moves forward rehab of historic Knox building in Mason Square

      ‘It’s going to look brand new’: Springfield council vote moves forward rehab of historic Knox building in Mason Square

      Developer Gordon Pulsifer and his First Resource Development Co. will draw up more detailed plans for the historic Knox building now that they’re one step closer to owning it. The Springfield City Council passed Monday night a final vote selling the city-owned portion of the property and an adjacent Springfield Redevelopment Authority-owned vacant lot for $11,000.

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    12. South Hadley Town Administrator Michael Sullivan plans departure; search for successor begins - masslive.com

      South Hadley Town Administrator Michael Sullivan plans departure; search for successor begins - masslive.com

      own Administrator Michael Sullivan plans to depart at the end of his contract next year. In a letter to the Selectboard on Sunday, Sullivan confirmed that he and two board members, Sarah Etelman and Christopher Geraghty, are part of a subcommittee to “begin developing a strategy to find a new TA for the Town of South Hadley.”

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    13. Hazen Paper Co., maker of holographic images for Super Bowl programs, expands, hires in Holyoke

      Hazen Paper Co., maker of holographic images for Super Bowl programs, expands, hires in Holyoke

      The manufacturing process that will put a three-dimensional hologram into the hands of spectators at Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV began with water coursing through the Holyoke power canals and into the city’s world-famous hydroelectric turbines. In between there are the NFL-approved artists and publisher and workers in hairnets and lint-free coveralls in a controlled clean room at Hazen Paper Co.

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      Mentions: Holyoke Hazen Paper
    14. Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts focuses on financial literacy, economic education: Outlook 2020

      Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts focuses on financial literacy, economic education: Outlook 2020

      Western Massachusetts, like many other areas, is facing the challenge of securing an educated future workforce. Across Massachusetts businesses are “waging war” against securing qualified talent. The Associated Industries of Massachusetts reported that “hiring skilled employees remains one of the central economic challenges in the long-term plans for Massachusetts.”

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    15. Florence Bank President John Heaps retiring in May; Kevin Day named successor

      Florence Bank President John Heaps retiring in May; Kevin Day named successor

      Florence Bank President and CEO John F. Heaps Jr. announced Wednesday that he will retire in May after 25 years. Heaps, 71, is the longest-serving CEO in the 147-year history of Florence Bank. Florence Bank is headquartered in the Florence section of Northampton. It’s a mutual bank, owned by its depositors.

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    16. 'We believe that there is an opportunity in Springfield’: Red Lion Inn owners say they are exploring hotel opportunity with MGM Springfield

      'We believe that there is an opportunity in Springfield’: Red Lion Inn owners say they are exploring hotel opportunity with MGM Springfield

      Citing a relationship that has been “deepening for almost three years,” the CEO of the Main Street Hospitality Group — which owns Stockbridge’s historic Red Lion Inn — said Wednesday that her company is exploring an opportunity to transform 101 State St. into a new hotel in partnership with MGM Springfield.The project is in addition to Main Street’s partnership with the New England Farm Workers Council on a modern boutique hotel as part of the redevelopment of the Paramount Theater and Massasoit House.

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    17. Breaking the stigma: Businesses look for opportunities at Springfield Chamber marijuana summit

      Breaking the stigma: Businesses look for opportunities at Springfield Chamber marijuana summit

      Building contractors talked about air handling and wall finishes, a security professional talked about cameras and access points, and a credit union talked about loans and payroll. Other businesses laid out their wares at trade-show booths while American international College and Holyoke Community College worked to interest students and employers in their workforce-building programs.

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    18. Red Lion Inn owner exploring deal with MGM Springfield; planning continues on Paramount Theater, Massasoit House renovation

      Red Lion Inn owner exploring deal with MGM Springfield; planning continues on Paramount Theater, Massasoit House renovation

      Main Street Hospitality Group, best known for Stockbridge’s Red Lion Inn, is exploring a hotel project with MGM Springfield. Timothy T. Sheehan, the city’s chief development officer, confirmed the talks Monday. Main Street remains a partner with the New England Farm Workers Council on the $38 million rehab of the Paramount Theater and Massasoit House Hotel in Springfield, said both Sheehan and Heriberto Flores, president of the Farm Workers Council and developer of the historic building.

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