2015 October

Carmela Lanza-WeilEric Grant, President of the Board of Directors of the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association (GSFABA) announced that the organization has appointed Carmela Lanza-Weil to serve as its next Executive Director. “Carmela has proven herself by overseeing the management of the organization since July and has done a great job. The board unanimously agreed to invite her to stay on permanently in the position to help lead us into the next chapter of the GSFABA’s story.”

“I’m thrilled to accept this appointment. It is truly an honor and I look forward to leading the organization,” said Lanza Weil. “Building on the solid foundation that Mary Vilbon -- and those before her – created, we’ll be able to take advantage of some exciting opportunities coming up. We’ll work diligently to leverage the prospects ahead, build partnerships to attract and retain businesses, support and grow the creative economy, and continue to build on our robust tourism initiative. Through all these development strategies, we’ll see the entire region grow and stabilize economically – while retaining the unique, rural character of the area. “

Lanza-Weil noted the organization was recently awarded funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for new activities in the Shelburne Falls Cultural District. Details on that effort will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Founded in the mid-1980s, the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association works tirelessly to improve the economy and sustain the rural quality of the Village of Shelburne Falls and surrounding Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts.

The Town of Shelburne will hold a public meeting on Thursday, October 22 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in the select board meeting room at the Shelburne Town Hall, 51 Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls, to explore how and whether to launch a “Solarize Shelburne” project in 2016. All Shelburne residents and business owners are invited to attend, particularly those interested in installing sun-powered electricity generating systems at their homes or businesses. The meeting is also open to residents of neighboring towns who may wish to join a multi-town bulk purchasing Solarize program.

The meeting will include two brief presentations and time for questions and discussion. Tim Walter, solar coach for the town of Plainfield, will describe the Solarize program developed by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to organize discounted bulk purchase and installation of solar systems. Ashfield, Buckland and Plainfield are currently collaborating on a 3-town Solarize program that has so far enrolled 90 participating households. John Walsh, former energy efficiency program manager for the Western Massachusetts Electric Company (now Eversource) will provide details on installing and operating a typical roof or ground-mounted solar system designed to generate the electricity needed for an average home. He has installed a 2.6 kilowatt system and a 4.4 kilowatt system that he co-owns with another household on the roof of his home in Shelburne Falls.

According to Shelburne Selectman Andrew Baker, “the purpose of the meeting is to see if there is interest among Shelburne residents in creating a group purchasing program for solar systems this coming year. The 30% federal tax credit for solar systems expires at the end of 2016 – that means we have a little over a year to create a Solarize program, choose a solar company to work with and get systems installed. For those interested and able to install your own solar system, now is the time to get going, and a bulk purchase program can lower the cost.” For more information about the public meeting or to join a Solarize Shelburne working group, contact Andrew Baker at (413) 625-8465.

The Roundhouse – Colrain, MA
October 23rd, 5 pm to 24th, 5 pm, 2015
Community Leaders share knowledge and experience in building large solar projects that 20 to 500 families can share.

Keynote Speaker: Steven Strong, Solar Design Associates

Steven Strong is acknowledged as a pre-eminent authority on integration of renewable energy systems in buildings. Drawing on his background in architecture and engineering, he has pioneered the concept of integrated design with applications such as solar electricity (photovoltaics), solar thermal and wind energy. Steven has designed dozens of homes and buildings powered by solar electricity - from the Outermost House to the White House.


Friday, October 23

  • 5 – 6 pm Dinner
  • 5:30 – 6:20 pm Pre-Training Workshop
    Eli Moulton, Merritt, Merritt and Moulton - Community Shared Solar Projects and Securities Law
  • 6:30 – 7:45 pm Solar Energy On the Line
    Keynote Address: Steven J. Strong, President Solar Design Associates.
  • 7:45 – 9 pm Music, socializing, etc.

Saturday, October 24

  • 8 – 8:45 am Breakfast
  • 8:45 – 9:15 am Putting the Community Back in Community Solar - Welcome and Introductions with Lynn Benander, Co-op Power’s CEO
  • 9:30 – 10:45 am Workshop 1
    • Community Shared Solar for All · Peter Wingate, Community Action and Lynn Benander, Co-op Power - Brainstorming Strategies for Including Participants from Limited Resource Communities in Community Solar
    • Solar Options for Homeowners · Dwayne Breger, UMass Energy Extension - Lease, Buy a System, or Buy a Share in a Community Solar Project - How do you choose?
  • 11 – 12:15 pm Workshop 2
    • Community Shared Solar Basics · Josh Hilsdon, PV Squared - Site Selection and Solar Technology Options for Community Shared Solar
    • Community Shared Solar Policy · Claire Chang, The Solar Store of Greenfield - An overview of Solar Policies supporting Community Shared Solar in Massachusetts and what we’re doing to ensure they continue. Claire will also talk about the community solar project she’s working on with Greening Greenfield.
  • 12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 – 2:45 pm Workshop 3
    • Community Shared Solar Legal Considerations · Jill Winans, McCauley Lyman LLC - Legal Considerations for Community Shared Solar
    • Co-op Power’s Model for Community Solar · Isaac Baker, Co-op Power - Community Shared Solar Partnership Flip Financial Model
  • 3 – 4:30 pm What’s Next?
    • Building Community Shared Solar - Options and Opportunities
    • Massachusetts Solar Loan Program
    • Next Steps

Business Banking Made EasyNovember 4, 2015
58 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls

The nation's highest-potential shoppers are turning away from the mall and back to 'Main Street'

Macy's just announced it will be closing 35-40 stores in 2016. This will likely mark the slow, steady progression toward death for the malls to which those stores are attached. But maybe the closure of these Macy's stores are a symptom of a deeper problem in the mall shopping experience, not the cause of the malls' failure.

Today shopping malls are becoming 21st-century ghost towns. Since 2010, more than two dozen enclosed shopping malls have closed, and an additional 60 are on the brink. By 2025, an estimated 15% or more malls will be closed or repurposed, according to projects by Green Street Advisors.

While mall owners blame the trend on the closing of anchor stores, like Macy's, the real reason behind the demise of malls is that shoppers, especially the high-potential affluent customers, have lost interest.

Today, the sameness and ubiquity of the big-box store experience is beginning to show fatigue. Walk through any of the nation's 1,000 or so enclosed malls and you might notice they all look much the same.

Filled with the same stores offering the same merchandise at the same 'sale' price, it's too much of the same thing. Consumers are beginning to look for something new and different and finding it on 'Main Street' not in the malls.

Shoppers are abandoning malls and coming back to Main Street

Main Streets and the independent retailers that thrive there are on the cutting edge of a new shift in retailing. While the Great Recession took out a wide swath of retailers -- economic natural selection at work -- the successful retailers that remain represent, by and large, the best and brightest. They have come through the worst and emerged onto the other side stronger, smarter and more resilient.

Specialty retailers need to target the affluent customers in their communities. While the middle class lost its spending power in the recession and has yet to recover, the affluent, especially the HENRY (high-earners-not-rich-yet) mass-affluent who are the new mass-market customers with discretion, have the incomes on which specialty independent retailers rely.

The HENRYs are passionate about fulfilling their desires in smaller shops where they know store owners and staff. They tend to demand to be treated with a high level of personal service, and expect a differentiated, experiential sell.

Over the next 10 years, independents will thrive as multi-generational customers cut back on the one-size-fits-all approach of mass retail and the sameness that it engenders. Customers will seek these smaller stores for a variety of reasons, based on their socio-economic, psychographic and demographic outlooks. As a result, growth at mass will slow down and profits will shrink.

The next decade will see a great winnowing down, restructuring, and right sizing of mass-market retail, which will give a new opportunity to independent specialty retailers.

From Pam Danziger & Unity Marketing Blog

Robert DeLeoThe Franklin County Chamber of Commerce's next breakfast will be October 23 at Terrazza at the Country Club of Greenfield. Robert DeLeo, Speaker of the House of Massachusetts, will be the presenter. He is unquestionably one of the three most powerful figures in Massachusetts government and he comes to us through the efforts of Representative Paul Mark, who represents many of our Franklin County towns.

Among possible topics, Speaker DeLeo will discuss issues related to energy, the environment, state budget, higher education, tourism and agriculture. Speaker DeLeo lives in Winthrop and represents the 19th Suffolk District. He was elected Speaker of the House in January, 2009. A Globe article in February of last year praised him as "one of the biggest champions of our innovation economy" and described him as "knowledgeable and fluent in getting things done, what the innovation economy needs."

Please join us for this opportunity to hear the words and opinions of someone who influences the decisions and initiatives that affect you and all the residents of the Commonwealth. It is your chance to make certain that the issues important to you and your business in Western Massachusetts are heard and delivered to Beacon Hill.

Please make reservations by October 16. FCCC members $13 (if prepaid or pay-at-door), $14 (billed) or non-members $16. Call (413) 773-5463 or email.

Franklin County Community Development CorporationNovember 17, 2015
At the Arts Block,
Downtown Greenfield
Everyone welcome!

  • Guest Speaker - Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary - Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Hear stories from local entrepreneurs are that are innovating and stimulating our local economy
  • Taste some new delicacies from FCCDC clients
  • Drink local fermented beverages (and some non-fermented ones as well!)
  • Catch the entrepreneurial excitement!

Variety of classes & support

Business Training is available from a variety of organizations and consultants along with Information Sessions for Small Businesses to Start and Grow.

Boswell's Books

Sunday, October 18 at 4:00 pm, Lisa Rogak, author of Cats on the Job, will be at Boswell's Books signing copies of the book along with our own Boswell the cat, who is featured in the book.

Thursday, November 5 at 6:30pm, Archer Mayor, the prolific author of the Brattleboro-based detective Joe Gunther series, will be at the Arms Library in Shelburne Falls to talk about and sign his new novel, The Company She Kept.

Sunday, November 15 from 2:00-4:00 pm: Boswell’s Annual Game Day! Come enjoy a fun time learning some new games or playing old favorites. It's a great opportunity to preview and select games as holiday gifts or just have a good time. We will be offering free hot cider and cookies!

The Art Garden

In Someone Else's Shoes (about perspectives and empathy): A community exhibit.

Participation is free and open to the public. Deadline for submissions is November 2; Opening reception November 7th 6 -8 pm with performances at 7pm.

New Series at Mocha Maya’s

We're very excited to announce a new series that will run from Tuesday, Oct. 20th through Tuesday, Nov. 24th.... it's Taste of Theatre Tuesdays! It's a series of six play reading performances with professional actors. The plays range from a comedic send-up of Hitchcock's 39 Steps to an Irish drama about five sisters to a play about a couple at a Boston party who meet 30 years after an exciting night in Capri. The shows start at 7 and are on Oct. 20, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Nov 17 and Nov. 24. Admission is by donation. Come join us for an evening of laughs and fantastic theatre.

On October 20th, we present 'Dancing at Lughnasa' (1998). This extraordinary play is the story of five unmarried sisters eking out their lives in a small Irish village in 1936. A radio is their only link to the world at large and romance. Then their older brother arrives from a missionary in a Uganda leper colony, followed shortly by the father of the only child they've begotten.

Ponte Restaurante’s New Menu

Download the PDF!

Soup: 4.00
Check Today’s Specials

Chips and Salsa
Blue Chips and Mild Salsa: 3.25


Beef: 3.95
Ground beef, cheese, sour cream, carrot cabbage slaw

Pulled Pork: 3.95
Pulled Pork, cheese, sour cream, salsa,carrot cabbage slaw

Chicken: 3.95
Shredded Chicken, cheese, sour cream, salsa, carrot cabbage slaw

Swordfish: 6.00
Swordfish pieces with watercress pesto and carrot cabbage slaw

Bean: 3.00
Black Beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and carrot cabbage slaw

Taco de Papa: 3.75
Roasted Garlic Chipotle mashed potatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa and carrot slaw

Deviled Egg Salad: 3.50
Made with Chipotle Peppers, lime, mayo, and served with carrot cabbage slaw.

Baked Goods

7 inch Individual Plain: 5.00
Cuban: 6.00
Margherita: 6.00

Jamaican Meat Pie: 4.95


Ginger Fizz: 2.75
Hibiscus Iced Tea: 1.75
Limeade: 2.75
Mexican Sodas: 2.25

Cubano Sandwiches

Classic: 12.50
Pressed sandwich on house made Pan Cubano bread, Roasted Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese, pickles, jalapeños, mustard

Veggie: 7.50
Pressed sandwich on house made Pan Cubano Bread, Swiss Cheese, Pickles, Jalapeños, Deli Mustard

Pulled Pork Sandwich: 7.00
1/2 lb BBQ pulled pork on a roll topped with carrot slaw

Slider: 2.50
All Beef Patty with Mexican Spices served on a roll

Hot Dogs

The Flying Dog returns to Ponte Restaurante

The New Englander: 3.25
Dog, Bun, Mustard and Relish

The Mexican: 3.75
Bacon Wrapped dog with cheese, salsa, sour cream, jalapeños, carrot cabbage slaw

The New Yorker: 3.25
Sauerkraut, mustard, chili pepper

The Puerto Rican: 3.25
Puerto Rican style onion sauce, Deli Mustard

The Reuben: 3.25
Sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, 1000 Island dressing

The Chili Dog: 3.75
Chili, Raw Onion, Cheddar Cheese Sauce, Deli Mustard

The BBQ Dog: 3.75
BBQ Sauce, Crumbled Bacon, Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Beans and Rice

Rice, Black Beans, Salsa, Carrot Cabbage Slaw, Cheese and Sour Cream: 6.50
Add Chicken, Pork or Beef: 1.50

Please inform us of any food allergies before ordering.
Call and place your order: 413-489-3062

CiderDaysGet involved in one of the county's most exciting events - CiderDays! The Cider Days Committee is looking for individuals to help pour tastes of hard cider during the tasting salons at the event on Saturday afternoon (November 7) at Berkshire East. We also need some help for a few hours setting up chairs at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center Friday afternoon (November 6).

Contact Lisa Duval to sign up!

pancakesGSFABA Annual Pancake Breakfast & Membership Meeting

October 30, 2015
7:30 - 9:00am
Trinity Church, 17 Severance St. in Shelburne Falls

For reservations, call the office at 625-2526 or email Wes

Art WalkLast Art Walk of the year!

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015
4:00 - 8:00 PM
Shelburne Falls ​

CiderDaysCider Days

November 7-8, 2015
Workshops at the Community Center, Berkshire East, and other locations throughout West County!

Moonlight MagicMoonlight Magic's Coming!

Look for an invitation to help light the village coming soon!​

Post an Event

Davenport Maple Farm opens their restaurant on weekends through November 1st. The restaurant is a very important part of their farm and helps support the farm throughout the year. Go enjoy great food and support our local economy!

Join Our Mailing List

Join the Business Association

Download our Member Brochure.
Outside Inside

You will soon be able to join online. Until then, call us and we can help you get started. 413-625-2526

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