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    1. 9 Sales and Marketing Tips for Startups

      Marketing done right can be an incredible boon for your business’s net income. Done wrong, however, it can feel like throwing money into a raging bonfire. Because small business owners have to be whatever their small business needs — all the time — it can be difficult to master all the nuances that go into sales or marketing. If you’re not a natural salesperson, it can be even more difficult. Fear not, the following nine marketing tips for startups can help you make more sales, market better and waste less money.

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    2. Paragus IT Announces Three Additions to Board of Directors - BusinessWest

      Paragus IT CEO Delcie Bean announced the addition of three new board members. On Jan. 1, Nicole Nakashian, Michelle Abdow, and Scott Webster joined Randy Krotowski, Scott Foster, and John Drake on the board of the fast-growing IT firm.
      Nakashian currently serves as executive vice president at InvestCloud Inc. She helped launch Agio, an IT managed-service provider, and was responsible for building a client-centric progressive culture in addition to growing and managing the operations. .

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    3. Dena Hall to Chair Baystate Health Foundation Board of Trustees - BusinessWest

      Dena Hall, who has served as Baystate Health Foundation’s vice chair for the past two years, has succeeded Jean Deliso as the foundation’s chair.  “Jean has left an indelible stamp on the foundation over the past two years, and we are incredibly proud of all that we’ve achieved together under her leadership,” said Scott Berg, vice president of Philanthropy for Baystate Health and executive director of Baystate Health Foundation. “We are grateful for the gift of Jean’s talents and thrilled that she will be passing the baton to someone as accomplished and committed as Dena.”

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      Mentions: Springfield
    4. Greenfield Community College Increases Job-related Technical Training in Hampshire County - BusinessWest

      Greenfield Community College Increases Job-related Technical Training in Hampshire County - BusinessWest

      Thanks to a recent Skills Capital Grant award from the Commonwealth, Greenfield Community College (GCC) will soon increase its capacity and upgrading its medical assistant certificate (MAC) program by offering additional training at its existing satellite location on the campus of Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School in Northampton.  The Baker-Polito administration has awarded more than $52 million over the past three years through Skills Capital Grants across the Commonwealth.

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    5. SkinCatering, LLC Awarded National Women’s Business Enterprise Certficate - BusinessWest

      SkinCatering, LLC Awarded National Women’s Business Enterprise Certficate - BusinessWest

      SkinCatering, LLC, an all-natural skincare brand with two spa locations in Springfield and Holyoke, announced it has been awarded the national WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certificate.  WBENC’s certification validates that the business is 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women.

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    6. Asnuntuck’s Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program Offers Opportunities for Free Tuition, Wage Reimbursement

      Starting in March, Asnuntuck Community College is offering a new, free apprenticeship program that will provide employers an opportunity to both enhance their employees’ skills and receive wage reimbursements of up to $13,000 per participant. This two-year program has a $3,750 value per participant but will be entirely free for Connecticut businesses. The time commitment will be three hours per week (Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m.), with breaks for holidays and summer, and classes will occur evenings at Asnuntuck Community College.

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    7. Eastern States Exposition Touts Its Heritage and Continued Impact - BusinessWest

      Eastern States Exposition Touts Its Heritage and Continued Impact - BusinessWest

      When people think of the Eastern States Exposition, they often think immediately of the Big E, the 17-day fair that dominates the tourism landscape at the start of each fall. But Eastern States is much more than that, as reflected by its diverse array of events, both large and small, and the resulting economic impact on the region — not to mention its important mission of keeping its agricultural heritage alive for future generations.

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    8. Leadership Pioneer Valley Welcomes Rosemary Manu as LEAP Program Coordinator

      Leadership Pioneer Valley Welcomes Rosemary Manu as LEAP Program Coordinator

      Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) announced that Rosemary Manu has joined the LPV team as the LEAP program coordinator. She will hold various responsibilities in this position, including assisting in the planning, coordination, and execution of Leadership Pioneer Valley’s nine-month leadership-development program, in addition to helping recruit future LEAP program participants. Manu returned to Springfield last spring after obtaining a master’s degree from George Washington University in international development studies with a concentration in energy. Prior to this, she earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Connecticut. Most recently, she worked as a consultant ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    9. HCC Secures Grant to Create Hotel Training Lab

      HCC Secures Grant to Create Hotel Training Lab

      Holyoke Community College (HCC) secured a $35,000 grant to establish a hotel training lab on the second floor of the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. The award, announced by Gov. Charlie Baker and other administration officials, comes from the Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant Program, which funds the purchase of new equipment for educational initiatives linked to workforce needs. The lab will be set up like a hotel reception area with front desk and adjoining guest room and equipped with up-to-date technology and software. It will be used for non-credit workforce-training programs as well as credit-based associate degree and certificate ...

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    10. Greenfield Presents Blend of Familiar and New - BusinessWest

      Greenfield Presents Blend of Familiar and New - BusinessWest

      Greenfield could now be considered 4/20-friendly, said M.J. Adams, the city’s director of Community Development and Economic Development, adding that there is already a medical marijuana dispensary, Patriot Care, located within the community, and it is poised to become a recreational dispensary next month. And there are many other parties expressing interest in establishing different forms of cannabis-related businesses within Franklin County’s largest community.

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    11. Isenberg School Expansion Makes Powerful, Practical Statement - BusinessWest

      Isenberg School Expansion Makes Powerful, Practical Statement - BusinessWest

      The Isenberg Innovation Hub, a $62 million expansion and renovation of the business school’s facilities on the UMass Amherst campus, will open its doors to students later this month. The building’s exterior design is stunning, and it gives a new face to Isenberg and perhaps the university, but the architects have made it functional as well.

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    12. Big Y Announces Changes to Leadership Team

      Big Y Announces Changes to Leadership Team

      The board of directors of Big Y Foods Inc. announced the following changes to its senior leadership team, effective Jan. 1. These changes align with the enterprise’s expanding business activities and the dynamic shifts that are occurring within the supermarket, convenience, and retail liquor industries. Donald D’Amour, current chairman and CEO, will transition out of his day-to-day responsibilities as CEO and will continue to serve as an advisor to the board in his new role as chairman emeritus. He was appointed to CEO in 1980 and in 1997 succeeded his father and co-founder, Paul D’Amour, as chairman ...

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    13. Teach Western Mass Receives $250,000 Barr Foundation Grant

      Teach Western Mass Receives $250,000 Barr Foundation Grant

      Teach Western Mass has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Barr Foundation that will allow the education nonprofit to make investments in strategic planning and capacity-building efforts. Launched in 2015, Teach Western Mass is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the volume, quality, and diversity of teacher candidates in Western Mass.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    14. Hazen Paper Co. Launches Space-themed 2019 Calendar

      Hazen Paper Co. Launches Space-themed 2019 Calendar

      Hazen Paper Co. is sharing a futuristic view of holography with its 2019 calendar, titled “Space – the Infinite Frontier.” Hazen Holography creates the illusion of motion and dimension on two-dimensional printed items by reflecting and refracting light at different angles. Revolving around the design concept of concentric circles, the calendar depicts a view of space from within a space capsule and a rocket launch.

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      Mentions: Holyoke Hazen Paper
    15. Pride to Cut Ribbon on New Hadley Store Today

      Pride to Cut Ribbon on New Hadley Store Today

      Pride Stores will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, Jan. 23 at 12:15 p.m. at its newest store, located at 25 Russell St. in Hadley. The new store offers a wide range of services, including an expanded dining area, a café and bakery, fresh deli and grill, Subway, a convenient drive-thru lane, as well as a separate room for beer and wine sales. It’s the first Pride to offer Chester’s Chicken for fresh fried chicken and family meals. The site also includes 12 charging stations for Tesla vehicles.

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    16. Education to Employment Program Closes Gaps in Many Ways

      Education to Employment Program Closes Gaps in Many Ways

      Fortunately, the elective led to an opportunity to take an EMT class at the Holyoke Community College satellite located at the Education to Employment (E2E) site on Main Street in Ware. He and fellow Ware High students who finished the high-school elective are now contemplating a career in fire science and emergency medicine. Baystate Wing Hospital Corp., one of the E2E’s local business partners, provided a matching grant that covered half the tuition and textbooks for the EMT course for each of the students.

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    17. VVM Takes Agency — and Its Mission — to a New Place

      VVM Takes Agency — and Its Mission — to a New Place

      As Valley Venture Mentors completes its move into Springfield’s Innovation Center on Bridge Street, it is also moving into a new era in its history, one that is very entrepreneurial in nature — in keeping with its broad mission — and strives to continually expand and strengthen the region’s ecosystem for supporting and inspiring entrepreneurs.

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    18. Hampshire College Seeks Partner, Grapples with Future

      Hampshire College Seeks Partner, Grapples with Future

      Citing financial strain, Hampshire College on Tuesday outlined its desire to merge with another educational institution. The school is also evaluating whether to admit a freshman class for the fall. The news came in an e-mail from President Miriam Nelson. “I’m announcing today our intent to find a long-term partner that can help us achieve a thriving and sustainable future for Hampshire,” she wrote. “With the guidance and passion of Hampshire’s trustees we’ve begun a process to seek a strategic partnership to address the challenges we’ve faced as an underendowed institution, really from our very first ...

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    19. OMG Inc. Named Company of the Year by SmartDollar

      OMG Inc. Named Company of the Year by SmartDollar

      The statistics are alarming: 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. At work, stress over finances can take a toll on employee performance and impact productivity. Almost 10 years ago, OMG Inc. saw this as a factor limiting employee success and took action. OMG used SmartDollar, the financial-wellness program created by money expert and best-selling author Dave Ramsey, to teach employees how to take better care of themselves financially. “This has been a game changer for us,” said Sarah Corrigan, vice president of Human Resources. “More than 300 employees have taken advantage of the tools we offer for free ...

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    20. HCC, Westfield State Announce Nursing Degree Partnership

      Officials from Holyoke Community College (HCC) and Westfield State University signed a dual admission agreement this week that streamlines the process for students who want to continue their nursing educations at Westfield State after earning an associate degree in nursing at HCC.  The RN-to-BSN completion program partnership was announced during a ceremony at HCC’s Center for Health Education on Jarvis Avenue in Holyoke, home to the college’s RN (registered nurse) and LPN (licensed practical nursing) programs and medical simulation center.

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    21. Baystate Franklin to Launch Pilot Program for Stress Management

      Baystate Franklin to Launch Pilot Program for Stress Management

       Baystate Franklin Medical Center announced it will offer the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) course beginning Monday, Jan. 28. Developed by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the SMART program helps participants achieve greater quality of life and an enhanced sense of well-being. The program teaches self-care practices that help buffer daily stress, making participants less emotionally and physically vulnerable to it. Stress affects more than just mental health; an estimated 75% to 90% of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues. Stress is a factor in five out of the six leading causes ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    22. Springfield Leadership Institute to Begin 2019 Session on Feb. 28

      The 2019 Springfield Leadership Institute will focus on core management and leadership skills for increasing personal and organizational effectiveness. The practical and applied program will equip participants with the knowledge and skills to take their leadership to the next level. The Institute, which begins on Feb. 28, runs through June 6 on Thursdays from 1 to 4:30 p.m., and is directed by Robert Kleine III, dean of the Western New England University College of Business, and Associate Professor Stacie Chappell, who has a strong background in leadership development and consulting to a variety of organizations. The program is ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    23. West of the River Chamber Welcomes Box Paper Scissors to Agawam

      The West of the River Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed Box Paper Scissors to the Agawam community. Business owner Bryant Whitsett opened the store on Dec. 22, offering a wide variety of products and services, including key cutting, notary, DVD transfer, office supplies, conference-room rental, space to sell and promote local products and services, shipping, mailbox services, faxing and more.

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    24. Cool STUFF Made in Western Massachusetts

      Cool STUFF Made in Western Massachusetts

      Manufacturing jobs have been hard to fill and qualified employees difficult to find – While the manufacturing sector represents a robust 160,000 jobs in the state, the industry has a PR problem, especially with younger workers. The message of GOOD JOBS AT GOOD WAGES and a future career offering advancement in a growing company is just not getting through. And even with the state’s unemployment rate at 4.4% the industry struggles with recruiting, and needs potential workers to take a fresh look at manufacturing.

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