Spring has sprung!

We’re getting ready for our annual auction this Saturday, April 22, (read more below) and sincerely hope you will plan to attend! In addition to a fun evening of food and bidding, the auction proceeds support the many activities of the Business Association.  

Our mission is "to empower, strengthen and sustain our region’s economy by helping businesses prosper and communities thrive. We promote and advocate, locally and with the state, to support the wide range of businesses that are part of our rural character through partnerships, networking, research, education, and events."

At the heart of what we do is the belief that forging closer regional ties strengthens us and that a healthy economy is essential to supporting our special and wonderful quality of life.  

Specifically, here's a list of just a few of the programs and projects we work on to support our members, community, and region:  

  • We support our members with website listings, connections to trainings and loan programs, and business promotion opportunities; 

Tourism Day with Adam Hinds, Peter Tomyl of Mohawk Trail Association, Carmela Lanza-Weil of GSFABA, Colleen Janz and Janine Vellucci.  

  • We promote tourism and economic development through advertising, advocacy, and partnerships with state funded Regional Tourism Councils (GSFABA does not receive state tourism dollars). These RTCs promote our region throughout the state, region, country, and the world.  The economic impact of our visitors for the Mohawk Trail RTC area shows tourism brought in around $227 million in direct spending and supported almost 2,000 jobs at a combined payroll of $53.6 million.  Earlier this month, I accompanied Peter Tomyl, President of the Mohawk Trail Association to Boston to promote our region with lawmakers in an effort to encourage state spending on tourism. Thanks to Pine Hill Orchards for providing apples for the attendees!  We distributed two bushels of their delicious apples. (Photo right: Tourism Day with Senator Adam Hinds, Peter Tomyl of Mohawk Trail Association, Colleen Janz, Janine Vellucci, and me!)  
  • We also provide other economic development activities, including working with potential businesses seeking to relocate to the area and providing information and networking opportunities. We work with a variety of regional committees, attend workshops and networking opportunities throughout the state, and tirelessly promote our towns.
  • Our events, including the upcoming Bridge of Flowers Classic Races, the Iron Bridge Dinner, and Moonlight Magic, attract thousands to our region every year bringing their discretionary income with them (and leaving a lot of it right here in our communities).  
  • We also manage the tourism website,, and the member site, These two sites attract more hits every year and businesses listed, as a member benefit, enjoy higher visibility and opportunity to interact with potential visitors. Our calendar continues to be the “go to” site for happenings and events throughout the region.
  • We produce the annual map of the region distributed to 30,000 visitors throughout the region – through visitor centers, the Bridge of Flowers, the Potholes, the Big E, and in member establishments. We’re in the last steps of production for the new map this year and will have it distributed next month.
  • Other activities include those closer to home – monthly networking opportunities at Business After Hours, our two member breakfasts – the Spring Breakfast is coming up May 5, and frequent email blasts to over 1,500 subscribers promoting events, tours, happenings, and recreational activities.
  • We partner with the towns to manage programs and initiatives including the Cultural District in Shelburne Falls and various studies that help with planning and strategies as we look into the future.

And that’s just our bigger projects all of which we do with tiny a tiny staff (1.5 or so) plus an abundance of volunteers including a wonderful board of directors and committee members who help get it all done.

We need your help to continue doing this work.  Several of our sponsors have realigned their priorities this year and will not be sponsoring at last year’s levels.  There is uncertainty at the state level for funding tourism and the arts, which may further impact our bottom line.

How can you help? Become an event sponsor for one or more of our events (more on that below), continue or begin your membership (easy to sign up online at, and consider volunteering. We can’t do it without you!

Stay in touch and thank you for your support.


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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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The face of our region is . This website is supported entirely by our business association.