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Business & Economic Development

Planning Is the Key By Barbara Trombley, CPA Does anyone like to pay taxes? Most of my clients tolerate paying taxes like eating their least-favorite vegetables. They are difficult to calculate and hard to understand, especially with a business generating uneven cash flow or an employed couple with disparate incomes. But what if I told

Unpacking the Controversy Presented by Jay Durand The topic of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing has become increasingly popular over the last two to three years, sparking many discussions and questions. What is, at its core, a simple attempt to make better investment decisions has surprisingly caused quite a bit of controversy. So, what

Employees at Gold Circuit

A New Chapter By John S. Gannon, Esq.   Last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision altering the standard used to determine whether employer handbook policies and work rules infringe on employee rights in the workplace. The NLRB will now use an employee-friendly test that asks whether workers could reasonably interpret

Critical Conversations   It’s easy to tell when someone is struggling with asthma, Krista Mazzuca said. “If I come to work with bad asthma, you see me breathing hard. My supervisor says, ‘hey, Krista, take a minute,’” said Mazzuca, first vice president of Human Resources at PeoplesBank. But mental distress, she noted, can be tougher

A Leap Well-taken   As her boutique marketing firm celebrates 10 years in business this year, Meghan Rothschild can’t help but recall the doubts that crept in before she made the leap as an entrepreneur. “I remember as if it were yesterday, the night I had decided to go full-time with the company, lying in

Payton Shubrick

What’s Next for Cannabis? By the time Payton Shubrick opened the doors to 6 Brick’s Cannabis Dispensary in Springfield last fall, she was well aware of how challenging the business was becoming. “The market is getting tougher across the board in Massachusetts,” she told BusinessWest. “Gone are the days when you could open a dispensary

Founder and CEO Nicole Polite

Applying Lessons As the staffing and recruiting company she launched in 2013, the MH Group, celebrates 10 years in business, Nicole Polite explained that her path wasn’t always in the employment world. But she quickly found a passion for it. After serving as an MP in the Army National Guard, she thought her natural progression

Deborah Christakos

Getting a Taste of the Region Deborah Christakos has spent most of her adult life in the food business — or several businesses, to be more precise. Trained in France, she was a chef in restaurants in several major large cities, including New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Later, after moving to Northampton, starting a

The mural on Bridge Street

Creating a ‘Time Machine’   You’ll need more than a glance to take in, and fully appreciate, the mural being created on the south-facing wall of the old Skyplex Building on Bridge Street in Springfield. You’ll probably need at least 10 minutes to fully absorb all the images on the 100-foot-long wall. There are dozens

Art and Soul Double Edge Theatre isn’t the easiest organization to describe. Or, perhaps more accurately, it’s not an entity that lends itself to one obvious description. And that’s a positive thing, said Adam Bright, the company’s producing executive director. “If you ask a different Double Edge ensemble member or anyone who works here, they’ll

charging stations

Power Play     Gary Rome understands the appeal of electric vehicles. Start with the long-term fuel savings. At a time when gas still costs around $3.50 per gallon, he said an electric charge might cost around $1.25 for the same number of miles. “It’s a good deal for someone who drives a lot,” said

A Legacy of Caring, Getting Involved   It’s been more than 30 years since the incident just outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Springfield, but Nate Johnson says he won’t ever forget what happened that Halloween afternoon. Or the woman who committed what he described not as an act of kindness, but

Who Bears the Brunt?   One common rationale against climate action is that the resulting fossil-fuel investment losses could affect the retirement or long-term savings of a vast number of people. However, research co-authored by an economist at the UMass Amherst Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) finds that the loss of fossil-fuel assets would have

Mike Marcotte shows off one of the Bronco Sport models

Driving Forces   Prior to the pandemic, Mike Marcotte recalls, there would be between 300 and 350 new cars on the lot at Marcotte Ford, the Holyoke mainstay started by his grandfather more than a half-century ago. At the height of COVID, when there were supply-chain issues and a massive microchip shortage, there were maybe

Founder and CEO Sheryl Blancato.

No Place Like Home     It’s called Homebound to the Rescue. The idea behind this initiative, one of many launched over the years by Second Chance Animal Services, is that many senior citizens can’t afford to provide basic medical care for their pets or don’t have transportation to bring them to a vet. What