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Business Briefs: Fairview rehab earns certification; Guardian awards grants to area nonprofits; Sheffield Cultural Council seeks proposals; NPC to offer fall workshops; Columbia County tourism study

Columbia County had a 5.7 percent increase in tourism spending in 2015, the largest increase of any county in the Hudson Valley region.

Fairview pulmonary rehab program receives  certification

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital’s pulmonary rehabilitation program has received certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). AACVPR program certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for the adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies. Each program is reviewed by AACVPR’s program certification committee and certification is awarded by the AACVPR board of directors.

AACVPR program certification is valid for three years. Fairview’s cardiac rehabilitation program originally received AACVPR certification in 2010 and recertification in 2013 and 2016.

–E.E.

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Guardian grants to Berkshire nonprofit organizations

Piittsfield — The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® has awarded grants totaling $111,000 to 13 local nonprofit organizations in support of programs benefiting Berkshire County citizens, predominantly in the areas of financial empowerment, workforce development, and health and wellness.

The 2016 grant recipients are 1Berkshire’s Berkshire Starts Accelerator Programs for Entrepreneurs; Berkshire Children and Families’ Crittendon Women’s Union Mobility Mentoring program; Berkshire Community Action Council’s Community Connector program; Berkshire County Regional Employment Board’s Youth Works summer employment program; Berkshire Health Systems’ Operation Better Start; Berkshire Museum’s Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club “Grow Your Own Business;” Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity’s Building for Tomorrow Financial Fitness and Volunteers in Tax Assistance; Construct, Inc.’s Project Home Collaborative; Elizabeth Freeman Center’s Money School; Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts’ financial programs in Pittsfield schools; Berkshire Compact for Higher Education’s career fair for eighth graders; Miss Hall’s School’s Money Matters financial literacy workshop, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ door-to-door delivery program in Berkshire County.

In addition, Guardian supports the Berkshire United Way and annually honors the volunteer commitment of five Pittsfield-based associates through the Outstanding Community Service Award, consisting of a $1,000 check made out to the nonprofit organizations that each employee serves.

–E.E.

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Sheffield Cultural Council seeks proposals

Sheffield — The Sheffield Cultural Council supports projects that bring music, art, theater, interpretive sciences, and special educational experiences to Sheffield residents of all ages. In 2016, the Council provided grants for 30 programs including Mass Audubon nature walks, scholarships for music and art education, performances at Dewey Memorial Hall, painting demonstrations at the Sheffield Senior Center, 4-H livestock projects, local festivals, and school activities.

The Council is now accepting applications for grants for the upcoming fiscal year. All grant applications must be filed electronically. Organizations, schools, and individuals may apply. Applications are due no later than Monday, Oct. 17.

–E.E.

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NPC to launch fall workshop series

Great Barrington — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires (NPC) will offer six practical workshops geared toward nonprofits with topics ranging from grant writing to starting an endowment.

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, and Wednesday, Sept. 14, grant writer Ruth Dinerman will lead workshops focusing on the foundations of crafting a strong grant proposal. On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Mary Nash will educate participants on using surveys for program evaluation. Consultant Laurie Werner will present “Grant Funding for Arts & Culture Organizations” on Wednesday, Oct. 5. On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Lee Bank will sponsor a “Lunch and Learn” around the topic of starting an endowment with presenters to include Lee Bank CEO Chuck Leach and Gary Schiff of October Mountain Financial Advisors. On Tuesday, Nov. 15, and Tuesday, Nov. 29, Ruth Pearce will lead the two-part series “Strengths Training for Nonprofits.”

Workshops will take place in a variety of locations including the Berkshire Community College South County Center, Lee Bank, and 1Berkshire. Most workshops are $25 for NPC members and $35 for nonmembers. For more information, contact NPC at (413) 441-9542 or liana@npcberkshires.org.

–E.E.

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Study shows tourism’s importance to Columbia County

Columbia County, N.Y. — Of the six counties comprising the Hudson Valley region, Columbia County has the highest percentage of its labor force supported by visitors, according to findings in the recently released report “The Economic Impact of Tourism in New York State,” a survey commissioned by the state of New York and prepared by the company Tourism Economics that analyzed data from the New York counties of Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester.

Columbia County had a 5.7 percent increase in tourism spending in 2015, the largest increase of any county in the Hudson Valley region. Tourists spent over $130 million in Columbia County in 2015. Tax revenues generated by tourists grew by 6.8 percent in Columbia County, which was also the largest percentage increase of any county in the region.

For a copy of the study, contact the County’s tourism administrator, Ann Cooper, at (518) 828-3375 or ann.cooper@columbiacountyny.com.

–E.E.

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