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Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — After almost 26 years of providing a learning environment for business leaders of Western Mass., the Family Business Center (FBC) of Pioneer Valley is closing its doors, effective immediately, and no further programming will be provided, according to a statement from its board of directors, Charlie Epstein, Ross Giombetti, Howard Cheney, and Jim Young.

Started as an outreach program at UMass Amherst Continuing & Professional Education, the program evolved into a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and a forum for entrepreneurs to develop personally and professionally.

“Over the years, FBC was a thought leader globally, and proud to serve several hundred family businesses in Western Mass. and the Pioneer Valley,” the board noted.

Under the leadership of Ira Bryck for 25 years, and most recently Jessi Kirley, and with the support of expert advisory and service firms, the FBC produced a series of dinner forums, morning workshops, peer-advisory groups, custom consulting, and a network of Western Mass entrepreneurs.

“The changing business environment, coupled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has proven to be too much to overcome financially,” the statement continued. “We believe the spirit of the Family Business Center will live on in the legacy of the businesses it served so well. We are grateful for the support of our business community that was our lifeblood.”

Questions should be directed to Kirley at [email protected]