Business Briefs: 1Berkshire honors North Adams; Egremont businesses to support community garden; Community Cares initiative; Patriot Award for Native Habitat Restoration; SBA award for Yummy Treasures; Equifax data breach info

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By Tuesday, Sep 12 Trade and Commerce
Danielle Poulin
The community of North Adams will be presented with the Putting the Berkshires on the Map Award at 1Berkshire's Celebrate the Berkshires event in Williamstown on Thursday, Sept. 14.

‘Celebrate the Berkshires’ to honor North Adams

Williamstown — 1Berkshire has selected North Adams to receive its 2017 Putting the Berkshires on the Map award in recognition of the substantial contribution the community has made to the economy of the Berkshires. This recognition will be presented at 1Berkshire’s seventh annual Celebrate the Berkshires event on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m. at Bloom Meadows.

There were many reasons for the choice of North Adams such as its selection by Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of 10 Charming American Towns That Aren’t Famous Yet (But Will Be Soon); its being one of five finalists nominated by the Small Business Revolution as one of America’s most inspiring small towns; the opening of the massive Building 6 at MASS MoCA; and the transformation of the Greylock Mill.

In addition to honoring North Adams, Celebrate the Berkshires will showcase Berkshire-based individuals and businesses demonstrating excellence in several Trendsetter Award categories.

Tickets are $60–$500. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact 1Berkshire at (413) 499-1600 or info@1berkshire.com.

–E.E.

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Egremont businesses team up with Greenagers for community garden

South Egremont — On Friday, Sept. 15, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Kenver will host a fundraising party to help boost Egremont businesses’ efforts to raise money for construction of a Front Lawn Food garden installation by Greenagers at Egremont’s French Park in 2018.

The gardens will be available to Egremont residents who are interested in growing their own food, and special efforts will be made include lower-income families who may find retail prices for organic food too costly. Local businesses have contributed start-up funds for eight raised beds and the town’s selectboard has approved adding water service to support the garden project, but additional funds are needed to pay a part-time staff person to oversee planting and to maintain the gardens.

The evening will include wine and local beer, music, food, and a presentation by Greenagers. There is no admission price for the event, but guests are asked to give what they can to support the French Park project and Greenagers. Cash, checks and online donations will be accepted at the event. For more information, contact Kenver at (413) 528-2330.

–E.E.

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LitNet launches Community Cares initiative

Lee — The Literacy Network of South Berkshire has announced the Sept. 7 launch of its Community Cares initiative, an opportunity for local businesses to participate in LitNet’s American Dream Campaign, a fundraising effort that celebrates the core values of courage, strength and determination upon which the United States was founded.

During the initiative, LitNet volunteers will call upon local merchants to donate $50 to the campaign. The merchants will receive decals to place in their windows to demonstrate their participation in the initiative and share their support of the Berkshires’ local immigrant community.

By supporting the campaign, merchants will have the opportunity to say “thank you” to their own patrons who are LitNet tutors and volunteer to enrich the lives of adults within the community. Business participants will also be listed as LitNet community partners on LitNet’s website and given special visibility at the organization’s gala on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Berkshire Country Day School in Stockbridge, where LitNet tutors will be the honorees.

–E.E.

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Native Habitat Restoration to receive Patriot Award

Great Barrington — The National Guard will award Stockbridge-based Native Habitat Restoration with the Patriot Award on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at noon at the Barrington Brewery. Nominated by service members, recipients of the award are employers who go above and beyond in their support of employees in the National Guard. Sgt. 1st Class Denis O’Connor Jr. and Sgt. Gregory Elser, both currently serving in the National Guard, nominated Native Habitat Restoration co-owners Sari Hoy and Jessica Toro to receive the award, which will be presented by Bill Hebert, area chair of the Massachusetts Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, (RET) Command Sgts. Maj.

For more information or to attend the presentation of the award, contact Jess Toro at (413) 358-7400 or nativehabitatrestoration@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Yummy Treasures to celebrate SBA award

Beth and Greg Carpenter. Photo courtesy Yummy Treasures

Pittsfield — The Small Business Administration has named Yummy Treasures the 2017 Massachusetts SBA Microenterprise of the Year. To celebrate the honor, Yummy Treasures will host a celebration Thursday, Sept.14, at 3 p.m. Attendees will include SBA Massachusetts district director Robert Nelson; Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer; Sen. Adam Hinds; Lisa Fletcher-Udel, legislative aide for Rep. Tricia Farley- Bouvier’s office; and Keith Girouard, director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network Berkshire Regional Office.

After years of selling sporadically online and operating their crafts and jewelry supply business out of their home, Beth and Greg Carpenter formed Yummy Treasures in 2008. In 2014 they moved the business to a warehouse and office space, developing a portion of it into a showroom. Yummy Treasures is currently the No. 1 U.S. Etsy seller and No. 3 in the world based on number of sales.

–E.E.

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Advice from Salisbury Bank on the Equifax data breach

Lakeville, Conn. — Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit-reporting agencies, recently reported a data breach impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed.

Here are the facts according to Equifax:

  • The breach lasted from mid-May through July 2017.
  • The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.
  • Hackers also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.
  • Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canada residents.

Here are some other steps, recommended by Salisbury Bank, that consumers can take to help protect themselves after a data breach:

  • Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for free by visiting com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your credit report files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
  • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.

If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.

–E.E.


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