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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Berkshire COVID-19 Fund Help-a-Thon; isolation conversation; Google ranking webinar; historical society grant

Participants will learn concrete steps that they can implement at a low cost to improve their web presences and search engine results in order to thrive in the upcoming business environment.

Help-a-Thon to raise money, awareness for Berkshire COVID-19 fund

Pittsfield — Pittsfield Community Television, Pittsfield Community Radio, Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Northern Berkshire United Way and Williamstown Community Chest have teamed up to present the Berkshire COVID-19 Fund Help-A-Thon to raise awareness and funding for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County. The Help-a-Thon will air Thursday, May 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., and re-air Sunday, May 31, from 6 to 8 p.m.

To date, over $1.4 million from the fund has been distributed to more than 70 nonprofit agencies in the areas of food insecurity, emergency child care, housing and the homeless, and health care and mental health services. The fund will continue to respond to ongoing needs.

More than 30 artists connected to Berkshire County are joining forces to raise awareness about the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County, including drummer Kenny Aronoff and local musicians Randy Cormier, Matt Cusson, Jonathan Denmark, Jeff Hunt, Steve Sears, Bobby Sweet and Jack Waldheim; actors Karen Allen, Michael Gill and Jayne Atkinson; comedian Kevin Bartini; author Ty Allan Jackson; and more. Elected officials with messages of support include U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield; former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Jane Swift. state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield; state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield; state Rep. John Barrett III, D-North Adams; Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington; and Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer. The Help-a-Thon will also include stories from some of the fund’s grantees and local interfaith clergy offering prayers for those lost, struggling and serving the community.

The Help-a-Thon will be broadcast over a number of different media platforms. On television: Channel 1301, Pittsfield Community Television’s Access Pittsfield; Channel 1301, Community Television for Southern Berkshires; Channel 1301, Dalton Community Television; Channel 1301, Northern Berkshire Community Television; Channel 1303, WilliNet; and Channel 191, Lanesborough Community Access. On radio: WTBR-FM 89.7 Pittsfield Community Radio and WMNB-LP 107.1 FM Online: PCTV Facebook page; Berkshire United Way Facebook page; PCTV Select on Roku and Apple TV devices; and at


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Community conversation to be held on isolation and loneliness

Pittsfield — Age Friendly Berkshires invites municipal and community nonprofit leaders to a virtual Berkshire Community Conversation on isolation and loneliness in Berkshire County Thursday, May 28, from 10 a.m. to noon via Zoom. The community conversation is being underwritten by AARP Massachusetts.

Peg McDonough, regional coordinator for the Age Friendly Berkshires coalition and staff planner at Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, explained: “The forced isolation that we’re experiencing has challenged municipal leaders and community organizations to operate in new ways to be able to keep people safe while meeting residents’ most urgent needs. But the emotional health effects have yet to be fully realized. We want to take this opportunity to focus some needed attention on isolation and loneliness, a problem that affects young and old alike, while we’re experiencing it together.” The formation of a local subcommittee is part of the follow-up to the community conversation.

The Berkshire Community Conversation is free and open to the public. Registration is required. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Peg McDonough at (413) 442-1521 x16 or


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Downtown Pittsfield Inc. to host webinar on Google ranking

Roger Matus. Photo courtesy Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

Pittsfield — Downtown Pittsfield Inc. will hold the two-part webinar, “How to Rank Higher on Google,” Wednesday, June 3, at 9 a.m. and Wednesday, June 10, at 9 a.m.

Participants will learn concrete steps that they can implement at a low cost to improve their web presences and search engine results in order to thrive in the upcoming business environment. There will also time for questions and discussing specific concerns.

The webinar will be led by Roger Matus, an expert in developing market strategies and in executing digital marketing programs for clients in Boston and the Berkshires. His local clients include Berkshire Yoga Dance and Fitness, the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, the City of Pittsfield, the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation, Integrated Eco Strategy, Global-Z International, and the William Stanley Business Park.

The webinar series is free and open to the public. Registration is required. It is not necessary to attend both sessions. For more information, contact Downtown Pittsfield Inc. at (413) 443-6501 or


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West Stockbridge Historical Society receives grant

The metal roof on the West Stockbridge Historical Society’s Old Town Hall. Photo courtesy West Stockbridge Historical Society

West Stockbridge — The West Stockbridge Historical Society has been awarded an $80,000 matching grant from the Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund for the next phase of restoration of the Old Town Hall.

The matching grant will help WSHS fund the replacement and repair of the 1914 metal roof and restore the windows, which is necessary in order to move forward with measures for heat and air conditioning to make the space suitable for year-round use.



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