Fall Workshop Series to Support Small Businesses

Nov. 7, 14, 21: The North Adams Chamber of Commerce (NAC) will host a series of fall workshops to assist small businesses in the Northern Berkshires. In November, the NAC will start a technology-makeover series that will dive into online commerce, effective software options, and digital marketing. Each class costs $15 to attend, or $30 for all three. The Monday sessions run from 6 to 8 p.m. and will be held in the NAC office at 85 Main St., Suite 200A, North Adams. The sessions include “Get Organized: Digital Management Tools for Workflow Efficiency,” Nov. 7; “Get Found: Digital Marketing Basics to Get Your Business Found,” Nov. 14; and “Get Social: Social Media Marketing Strategies and Content Planning,” Nov. 21. This workshop series is the result of two years of recognizing the technology needs of local businesses through the chamber’s Business Assistance program. In 2019, the organization received grant funding through the Franklin County CDC to launch this one-on-one consulting program and has since helped the business community grow and maintain jobs, get access to legal and financial help, and grow their social-media presence. After an event the NAC hosted in June called “Reimagine the Chamber,” two dozen business owners expressed their everyday challenges. Many of those challenges were related to implementing technology to run their businesses more efficiently and learn how to use digital marketing tools more effectively. All businesses throughout Northern Berkshire County interested in improving their digital marketing or learning how to make their business more efficient using the latest tech tools are encouraged to attend one or all of the upcoming workshops. Learn more about the workshops and register at


Free Line-cook Training Course

Nov. 8 to Dec. 16: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will be running a free, six-week line-cook training course. The course runs Tuesdays to Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute at 164 Race St. in Holyoke. The program is designed for those already in the restaurant industry who want to upgrade their skills as well as unemployed or underemployed individuals interested in starting a new career. The program is taught both online and in person at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. Participants will learn all the essential competencies they need to become successful line cooks: knife skills; how to prepare stocks, soups, sauces, desserts, poultry, fish, and meat; culinary math and measurements; moist and dry-heat cooking methods; as well as workplace soft skills, such as building a résumé and searching for jobs. Offered as part of HCC’s Business & Workforce Development division, the line-cook course is free to qualifying applicants. For more information, contact Laura Smith, HCC job-placement assistant and career-development counselor, at [email protected] or (413) 552-2833, or fill out the inquiry form at


A+ Awards

Nov. 17: The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce will present its 2022 A+ Awards from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the UMass Student Ballroom at UMass Amherst, with returning presenting sponsor Peoples Bank and major supporting sponsor UMass Amherst. Each year, the Amherst Area Chamber bestows A+ Awards to individuals and organizations that enrich the life of the community through their work in business, education, and civic engagement across the area that the chamber serves: Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury, Sunderland, and the Pioneer Valley as a whole. This year’s awardees include United Way Franklin & Hampshire Region (Legacy Award), Angelina Ramirez , CEO of Stavros Center for Independent Living (Lifetime Achievement Award), Joshua Rousseau, CEO of Amherst Intelligent Security (Leader in Innovation Award), Taylor Robbins of UMassFive College Federal Credit Union (Young Professional Award), Sean Barry of Four Seasons Wines & Liquors (Community Service Award), and Kyle Dumas of Greenfield Savings Bank (Chamber MVP Award). The chamber will also honor its 2022 Cooley Dickinson Health Care & Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce $1,000 Scholarship Award recipients — four deserving seniors from Amherst Regional High School, Hopkins Academy, Belchertown High School, and Frontier Regional School pursuing business- and/or healthcare-related studies at an institution of higher education. Tickets to the A+ Awards event cost $90 per person and $700 for a table of eight, and registration is open at


LumiNAMA Holiday Lights

Nov. 23 to Jan. 1: The North Adams Chamber of Commerce announced the first citywide LumiNAMA holiday lights initiative. LumiNAMA is intended to brighten up the city, give residents and visitors a memorable experience, and encourage foot traffic during the holiday season. All businesses, not just downtown businesses, in North Adams are encouraged to create a window display and illuminate their windows with holiday lights from 4 to 8 p.m. daily, coinciding with the city’s tree-lighting ceremony on the evening of Nov. 23. The LumiNAMA downtown holiday lights route will run along Marshall, Holden, Main, and Eagle streets, and Route 2 between Big Y and behind 85 Main St. Many downtown businesses have already committed to participating in the initiative, including MASS MoCA, MCLA, and Gallery 51. The city of North Adams will also assist in installing lights along Route 2. Additionally, the chamber is connecting commercial real-estate owners with local artists and community groups to activate unoccupied storefronts. Businesses interested in participating in LumiNAMA are encouraged to register their display by Nov. 18 at Those who register will be considered for the following awards: Brightest Lights, Best Window Display, and Best Art Installation. Voting begins on Nov. 23 and ends on Dec. 14. Winners will be announced on Dec. 16.


Women of Impact Gala

Dec. 8: BusinessWest has long recognized the contributions of women within the business community and created the Women of Impact awards in 2018 to further honor women who have the authority and power to move the needle in their business, are respected for accomplishments within their industries, give back to the community, and are sought out as respected advisors and mentors within their field of influence. The class of 2022 features Latoya Bosworth, program officer at Mass Humanities; Sr. Mary Caritas of the Sisters of Providence; Jodi Falk, executive director of Rachel’s Table; Anika Lopes, Amherst town councilor and president of Ancestral Bridges; Laurie Raymaakers, president of J.L. Raymaakers & Sons Inc.; Hilda Roqué, executive director of Nuestras Raíces Inc.; Ashley Sullivan, president of O’Reilly, Talbot & Okun; and Aelan Tierney, president of Kuhn Riddle Architects. Their stories are told in the Oct. 31 issue of BusinessWest and at The fifth annual Women of Impact Gala will take place at the Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place. Tickets cost $85 per person, and tables of 10 are available. Visit to purchase tickets. The event’s presenting sponsors are Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group, and the supporting sponsors are Comcast Business, Granite State Development Corp., and Smith Executive Education.