A Packed Year at BusinessWest


In the 40 years BusinessWest has been delivering key business news, trends, profiles, and much more to our readers, the economy has swung back and forth many times, from the downturns of the early ’90s and ’00s to the Great Recession of roughly 15 years ago to the recent, hyper-challenging pandemic years — and, of course, the brighter, more robust stretches in between those downturns.

In most cases over those years, business owners could read the signs and pinpoint what kind of economy they were dealing with — good or bad, promising or worrisome.

The current landscape, though, is mixed in an unusual way, with low unemployment and a soaring stock market on one hand and persistent inflation and too-high home prices on the other, just to name a few competing trends. As the Economic Outlook shows, there’s plenty of concern out there, but optimism, too, as we enter a year of global uncertainty, from what promises to be a wild presidential election in the U.S. to serious geopolitical conflicts overseas.

What is more certain is that BusinessWest will continue to reflect these times, these trends, and these stories from a local perspective — that is, through the eyes, minds, and stories of business owners and economic experts throughout the 413.

In our very next issue, we’ll reveal our 28th annual Top Entrepreneur — an intriguing, outside-the-box choice you’ll be excited to read about. One issue after that, we’ll unveil our 16th annual class of Difference Makers, the first of four very popular recognition programs throughout 2024, along with 40 Under Forty in April, Healthcare Heroes in September, and Women of Impact in October. Please note that BusinessWest accepts nominations for all four programs all year long.

We’re also introducing a few regular features to accompany our town-hopping Community Spotlight and the monthly Professional Development story, which focuses on how area colleges and universities are connecting with the business world to help people access better career opportunities.

The new, quarterly offerings in 2024 will include Where Are They Now? — a visit with a past winner of one of the four awards mentioned earlier, detailing how their life and career have evolved since — as well as Nonprofit Spotlight, a quick look at one of the region’s nonprofit organizations and the important work they do, and our Faces of… series, which will offer thoughtful perspectives from leaders in the worlds of construction (in February), education (May), finance (August), and healthcare (November). That’s, of course, on top of our regular coverage of dozens of sectors.

Oh, and did we mention 40 years? We’ll be celebrating that milestone in a big way in our May 13 issue, with a comprehensive look at how several key industries and sectors have evolved since BusinessWest (then known as the Western Mass. Business Journal) first appeared in 1984, and a celebration of the people who made it all happen.

So, as another uncertain year takes shape (and, really, aren’t they all?) we’re excited to bring it all to you — on the page, at our recognition events, and at businesswest.com. Happy New Year.