The BerkShares Entry to Entrepreneurship class of 2018 and their mentors, from left to right: Jessica Garb, Kate Chebatoris, Mark Phillips, Chris Blair, Jeff Egan, Howard Lefenfeld, Oskar Hallig, Rachel Moriarty, Bob Climo, Michael Lesko, Maggie McRae and Henry Tirrell. BerkShares is accepting applications for its 2019 Entry to Entrepreneurship program through Wednesday, Sept. 25. Photo courtesy BerkShares Inc.

Business Briefs: Entry to Entrepreneurship applications; disaster relief donations; nonprofit workshop for women; fraud prevention seminar; Berkshire Taconic grant deadlines

Big Y World Class Markets are partnering with the American Red Cross to raise donations for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Applications open for BerkShares’ Entry to Entrepreneurship program

Great Barrington — Entry to Entrepreneurship, BerkShares Inc.’s crowd-sourced business planning program for young people, is accepting applications through Wednesday, Sept. 25.

The program, offered in partnership with the Schumacher Center for a New Economics and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network’s Berkshire regional office, begin Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Magic Fluke Company and will run for seven weeks, meeting on Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at rotating locations throughout the southern Berkshires. A light supper will be included. The class will not meet Wednesday, Oct. 9, or Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Over the program, students will benefit from the expertise and support of the local business people who volunteer their time in the classroom as instructors, mentors, advisors and business-plan reviewers. To gain insight into local production, participants will be introduced to different facilities each week, including Hosta Hill, Magic Fluke Company, SoCo Creamery and the Great Barrington Bagel Company. The program will culminate in a public presentation of business ideas by students to an audience of community members Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Applications require a deposit of $50 or 50 BerkShares. For more information, contact (413) 528-1737 or


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Big Y collecting donations to help Red Cross disaster relief

Springfield — Big Y World Class Market is partnering with the American Red Cross to raise donations for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Continuing through Sunday, Sept. 22, Big Y customers and employees will have the opportunity to donate to American Red Cross disaster relief at all Big Y World Class Market locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Donation containers will be available at all Big Y registers.

Past relief campaigns by Big Y include the 2004 tsunami; Hurricane Katrina; the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti; and hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Last year near this time, Big Y drives made a positive impact on the Red Cross responses to Hurricane Florence, and those impacted by the Merrimack Valley fires and explosions. The 10-plus-year partnership has raised over $1.5 million to support international and domestic disasters.

For more information, contact Claire D’Amour-Daley at (413) 504-4004.


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Workshop to focus on women looking to serve on nonprofit boards

Stephanie Lawrence. Photo courtesy Cause After a Pause

Pittsfield — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires will present “Women on Nonprofit Boards,” a workshop and networking session geared towards women looking to make a career change or find a new role in the nonprofit sector Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Workshop topics will include typical board structure; responsibilities of a board member; and how to determine the right organizational match by researching board job descriptions and bylaws, current member composition, and meeting attendance expectations. The program will also benefit nonprofit leaders looking to strengthen their board recruitment and on-boarding practices.

Instructor Stephanie Lawrence is a nonprofit sector career (re)entry advisor and philanthropic sector consultant. The founder and principal of Cause After a Pause, she provides advising services and strategies for those who are relaunching after a career pause or pivoting into the nonprofit sector.

The cost of the workshop is $35. For more information or to register, call (413) 645-3151.


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Salisbury Bank to offer seminar on elder abuse and fraud prevention

Canaan, Conn. — On Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Geer Village, Salisbury Bank will offer a seminar about elder abuse and fraud.

Topics to be discussed include what elder abuse is and how to prevent it; how to protect oneself from becoming a victim of financial exploitation; who the perpetrators are; and who is at risk.

The seminar will be presented by Stacey Curtis, assistant vice president, Canaan branch manager. Curtis joined Salisbury Bank in July 2008 as executive secretary. A 2014 graduate of the Connecticut School of Finance and Management, she was promoted to AVP, administration that same year. She became AVP, branch manager of the Canaan branch in January 2016.

The seminar is free and open to the public. Reservations are suggested, but not required. For more information or to sign up, contact Genia Wilson at (860) 453-3496, or email and type “Elders” in the subject line.


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Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation announces final round of 2019 grant deadlines

Sheffield — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced the final round of deadlines for competitive grants in 2019. Regional nonprofits, public agencies, schools and individuals are invited to apply for funding.

New grant opportunity for arts nonprofits
Berkshire Taconic’s Arts Build Community initiative is accepting applications from Berkshire County nonprofit arts, cultural and community organizations, in collaboration with one other organization, seeking to increase community engagement in the arts and creative process. Proposed collaborative projects must work to address the most significant barriers to cultural participation for underserved Berkshire residents. Applications are due Monday, Sept. 16.

For nonprofits and public agencies
The William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund supports nonprofits, public agencies and community organizations serving the residents of Adams, Cheshire and Savoy. Applications are due Sunday, Sept. 15.

The Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund supports projects that focus on improving water quality and protecting the community’s natural resources. Berkshire County nonprofits, public agencies, schools and civic community entities may apply. Applicants must be able to match the grant in cash or in-kind services. Applications are due Monday, Sept. 30.

The Central Berkshire Fund supports nonprofits, public agencies and community organizations serving the residents of Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor. Applications are due Thursday, Oct. 10.

For schools
Education enrichment funds will award grants for projects that enhance and enrich the educational experience of the students and teachers in Berkshire County schools. Applications will be accepted from students, teachers, administrators, parents and members of the community for:

For nonprofits and individuals
The Wassermann-Streit Y’diyah Memorial Fund supports projects that include an aspect of the culture, history or experience of traditional Judaism in material or programming. The goal of the fund is to encourage authentic knowledge of the expression of traditional Judaism, leading to an understanding of the commonalities of all people while acknowledging diversity. Applications are due Friday, Nov. 1.

All grant guidelines and applications are available online. For more information, contact Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation at (413) 229-0370 or