Page 11 - BusinessWest May 12, 2021
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 Mayor Linda Tyer says the city’s COVID-19 task force, which met daily at first, still gathers each week.
MAY 12, 2021 11
tainly faced difficult challenges when COVID first hit.
In her recent state-of-the-city address, Mayor Linda Tyer said Pittsfield entered 2020 with a robust agenda of ways to
enhance the city when, suddenly, all priorities shifted to man- aging a pandemic.
Tyer led a COVID-19 task force in Pittsfield that brought together medical, police, fire, and education professionals who meet daily at the beginning of the crisis. They still meet weekly to review public-health data and plans of action. As a result, Tyer said Pittsfield now has a solid response infrastruc- ture in place, as well as vaccinators and volunteers ready to deploy.
“There has been a 40% increase in net real-estate sales compared to last year. We’ve seen real-estate prices skyrocket in the Berkshires, anywhere from 10% to 30%.”
“State officials have recognized our task force as an exam- ple of best practices, and it serves as a model that could be replicated in other communities,” she noted.
Another key move early on was establishing the COVID- 19 Economic Relief and Recovery Program, a comprehensive economic package to support small businesses, nonprofits, and residents. By the end of 2020, Pittsfield had awarded 90 grants to local small businesses and restaurants totaling near- ly $700 thousand.
In addition, “we were able to provide easy access to food and supply Chromebooks to students after the schools were closed,” the mayor said. “We also created 13 ‘grab-and-go’ zones to support our restaurants with takeout and delivery services. These are just a few examples of the many ways we came together to support each other.”
Down to Business
Tyer pointed to a new, innovative company that opened
in Pittsfield in 2020 despite the pandemic. United Aircraft Technologies is a veteran-owned, minority-owned, female-led business that created a new type of sensing clamp for aircraft wiring. The clamps are 65% lighter than what is currently in use, and they do not need other hardware, such as screws or
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