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It can be confusing for newcomers to find the organizations and resources that best fit their needs. To help make it easier, Lever has put together a list of Berkshire County economic development organizations. Resources these organizations offer can be grouped into two broad categories: capital and business development. Capital includes loan financing, grants, and equity funding. Business development resources can include a broad range of assistance, like business planning, workforce training, product prototyping, and networking. Use the chart below to learn more information about a local support organization.

Brittney Cappiello, MyCoreFloor

Local Support Organizations

OrganizationCapitalAcceleration/Technical AssistanceNetworkingWorkforce Support
1BerkshireProject grantsBusiness plan supportEntrepreneur Meetups
Berkshire Agricultural VenturesLoans and grantsFor farms and food businesses
Berkshire Black Economic CouncilBusiness grantsBusiness plan support, minority owned business certification
Berkshire Business and Professional WomenScholarships for working womenProfessional and personal development
Berkshire Community CollegeNursing and hospitality programsStudent interns
Berkshire GrownLoans and grantsWorkshops for food producers
Berkshire Innovation CenterProduct prototypingTopical eventsManufacturing Academy
Berkshire Immigrant CenterImmigrant support resources
Berkshire Regional Planning CommissionRegional planning support; economic development strategydata and information services
CDC of South BerkshiresSmall business support
EforAll BerkshiresPitch awardsBusiness planning and mentoringRegional mentors
LeverEquity investment and grants for startupsAcceleration programs for innovation-based startupsAngel Investor NetworkStudent interns
Mill Town CapitalGrants for social impact, equity investment for businessesCo-working space
Mass College of Liberal ArtsBusiness Bootcamp ProgramCareer support for students and alums, student interns
MassHire BerkshiresHelp accessing tax creditsEmployee, employer, and youth programming
Mass Small Business Development CenterBusiness plan development and help accessing loan capital
Schumacher Center for New EconomicsEntry to Entrepreneurship training at Berkshire Community College
Williams College Entrepreneurship ProgramStudent business plan developmentStudent interns

Berkshire Business Support Organizations

Private Non-profit Organizations


Mission: Build and grow innovation-driven enterprises. Attract revenues to the region and create jobs. Expand our ecosystem for entrepreneurs, innovators, and young people.

Programming: Challenge competitions for startups with scalable business models; general entrepreneur support; connecting startups with investors; enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in MA through the Massachusetts Founder Network

Contact: Jeffrey Thomas, executive director, jthomas@leverinc.org; Avril Levesque, communications manager, alevesque@leverinc.org

Best fit: Scalable companies in any stage.

More info: https://leverinc.org

Berkshire Innovation Center

Mission: The Berkshire Innovation Center serves as a catalyst to spark innovation and sustainable growth of technology-focused companies.  We do this through programs that promote learning and enrich people in technology-led career paths and by providing research and innovation space for people and companies to explore new technologies, all while convening and connecting a community of like-minded people.  For more information, visit: BerkshireInnovationCenter.com

Programming: Member company projects and prototyping, video production capabilities, AR/VR equipment, wet lab, technology education and enrichment programs; incubator office space and collaborations

Contact: Ben Sosne, Executive Director, ben@the-bic.org

Best fit: Small to medium sized manufacturing companies (SME’s) in advanced manufacturing, life sciences and the life sciences supply chain

More info: https://www.berkshireinnovationcenter.com/

EforAll Berkshires

Mission: Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is accelerating economic and social impact in communities nationwide through inclusive entrepreneurship.

Programming: One-year business accelerator program, offered twice a year with business training, mentorship and networking. Pitch contests for early-stage entrepreneurs.

Contact: Allison Schmitt, program manager, berkshire-county@eforall.org /

1-833-336-7255 x7209

Best fit: Early-stage entrepreneurs of any kind

More info: https://eforall.org/ma/berkshire-county/


Mission: 1Berkshire is the regional economic development organization of the Berkshires. They provide leadership development, economic development, and promotion of the region as a preferred destination to visit, live, work, and grow a business. It provides programs that connect businesses with each other and potential customers, working to support future leaders and entrepreneurs.

Programming: Entrepreneurial meetups; business retention and expansion services; one-on-one coaching and workshops; grants for specific activities; leadership programs; technical assistance. Many benefits for member businesses.

Contact: Ben Lamb , blamb@1berkshire.com; schedule a meeting here: link

Best fit: Berkshire County businesses at any stage

More info: www.1berkshire.com

Berkshire Black Economic Council

Mission: To foster Black businesses and introduce policies to spur economic development in the Berkshires and the Commonwealth.

Programming: Grants; help with attaining minority-owned business certification; help for Black-owned businesses to gain access to business coaching, professional development, grants, and capital

Contact: A.J. Enchill, President and executive director, contact@berkshirebec.org

Best fit: Black and minority-owned businesses

More info: https://berkshirebec.org/

Berkshire Immigrant Center

Mission: The mission of the Berkshire Immigrant Center is to advocate for the rights of all immigrants by helping them navigate the complex U.S. immigration system with affordable legal services, local resources, and education.

Programming: Legal help, assistance with immigration status-related concerns, citizenship assistance, connections to translation and interpretation services

Contact: Office: 413.445.4881 / info@berkshireic.org

Best fit: Immigrants to the U.S.

More info: https://www.berkshireic.org/

Schumacher Center for New Economics

Mission: The Schumacher Center for a New Economics works to envision the elements of a just and regenerative global economy; undertakes to apply these elements in its home region of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts; and then develops the educational programs to share the results more broadly, thus encouraging replication.

Programming: Library and resources on sustainable development and Community Supported Industry

BerkShares: Local currency supporting locally owned business

Contact: schumacher@centerforneweconomics.org / (413) 528-1737

Best fit: Entrepreneurs interested in economic justice and sustainability

More info: https://centerforneweconomics.org/

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures

Mission: Berkshire Agricultural Ventures’ mission is to support the development and viability of local farms and food businesses in order to build a thriving and equitable local food economy.

Programming: Business and technical assistance; loans and financing; grants (usually mini-grants of up to $5,000)

Contact:Interim executive director Glenn Bergman, glenn@berkshireagventures.org

Best fit: Farmers and agricultural businesses

More info: https://www.berkshireagventures.org/bav-services

CDC of South Berkshire

Mission: to provide both affordable housing and economic development opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents of our community, by building homes that are affordable to all, and creating jobs by helping small businesses launch, scale or grow, and pivot.

Programming: Free, highly individualized assistance and mentorship program providing fundamental business operations knowledge in specialized areas, including entity formation, business planning, risk assessment, marketing & advertising, financial planning & software, personnel organization, technology, sales strategy and more.

Contact: Giulia Laveto-Emery, program manager: giulia@cdcsb.org / (413) 528-7788

Best fit: Small business owners looking for help and coaching at any stage of their business, including determining the type of business entity, shifting to digital software, creating business plans, refining sales strategy, financial planning and risk management, developing a team and their benefits

More info: https://cdcsb.org/what-we-do/economic-prosperity/smallbusiness/

Mill Town Capital

Mission: To improve the quality of life in our community through sustainable investments and projects. Our goal is to enhance the opportunities to live, work, and play in our region. Through investment, we aim to stabilize and grow local and regional assets that have high potential to create value and positive impact. We invest in and support entrepreneurs with scalable concepts across all stages of company development. Our work spans many business sectors and company stages, from idea generation to business expansion.

Programming: Investment in Berkshire businesses and startups; partnerships with other economic development organizations

Contact: Tim Burke, CEO and managing director, info@milltowncapital.com

Best fit: Businesses at any stage

More info: https://milltowncapital.com/

Public Non-profit Organizations

MSBDC – Mass Small Business Development Center – Berkshire Regional Office

Mission: The Berkshire Regional Office provides free and confidential business assistance to prospective and existing small businesses. Certified Senior Business Advisors meet with clients for in-person, or phone and video conference sessions. Services are augmented with access to 37 other career professionals across the state including export and government contracting assistance.

Programming: Business plan development, pre-venture feasibility, conventional and non-conventional financing, cash flow analysis, organizational and personnel issues and marketing.

Contact: Jayne Bellora, client services coordinator, jmbellora@msbdc.umass.edu

Best fit: New and existing businesses in Berkshire County

More info: https://www.msbdc.org/berkshire/

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Mission: Berkshire Regional Planning Commission provides leadership and assistance to the County’s municipalities, organizations and citizens in achieving County-wide inter-relationships, prosperity, opportunities, quality of life, strength and vibrancy.

Programming: Economic development and strategy, including economic planning for municipalities; data and information services; general regional planning activities

Contact: Laura Brennan, economic development program manager,  413.442.1521 x14 /  lbrennan@berkshireplanning.org

Best fit: Businesses seeking regional or local data (www.berkshirebenchmarks.org) and/or regional economic development information

More info: https://berkshireplanning.org/about/services/

MassHire Berkshire

Mission: MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board and Career Center develop partnerships, generate resources, and advocate for workforce solutions that result in a skilled workforce, prospering businesses, and equitable access to meaningful career pathways and quality employment for residents and youth.

Programming:  Recruitment, retention, and training for EMPLOYERS.  Workforce development, education, training, and job search for JOB SEEKERS/CAREER CHANGERS. Career readiness, exploration, and pathway development for YOUTH.  Workforce resources, business insights, and labor market information for the TRAINING PROVIDERS/COMMUNITY.

Contact: Melanie Herzig, business services coordinator: 413-499-2220 Ext. 124 / BusinessTeam@masshireberkshirecc.com or Heather Boulger, executive director Heather@masshireberkshire.com

City of Pittsfield

City of Pittsfield Community Development

Mission: The mission of the Department of Community Development is to enhance the viability of the community as a desirable place in which to live and work through sound urban planning practices; housing, human services and economic development activities that will primarily benefit persons of low and moderate income; and by eliminating conditions of slum and blight.

Programming: Administers business loan programs; tax incentive programs and public works projects funded by the department. The City funds small business loan and technical assistance programs that are offered through the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC). Other programs of this division include making loans to commercial property owners to assist with making handicapped accessible improvements to their buildings; implementing “Artscape”, which is a program whose mission is to place sculptures and other works of art in downtown public spaces; and providing funding to various non-profit organizations for capital improvements to their facilities.

Contact: Laura Mick, (413) 499-9378

Best fit: Businesses and entrepreneurs in Pittsfield (or considering relocation)

More info: https://www.cityofpittsfield.org/departments/community_development/economic_development/index.php

Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC)

Mission: PERC’s primary purpose is to further the economic development and social welfare of the City of Pittsfield and Berkshire County to increase employment opportunities and facilitate growth and development of small businesses.

Programming: Direct loans and access to a variety of public loan programs to help businesses that are unable to obtain conventional financing; programs to assist entrepreneurs locating or expanding businesses in Pittsfield and Berkshire County.

Contact: Laura Mick, (413) 499-9378

Best fit: Businesses and entrepreneurs in Pittsfield (or considering relocation)

More info: https://businesspittsfield.com/perc/

Academic Institutions

Williams College ‘68 Center for Career Exploration

Mission: Prepare Williams students to explore and pursue their goals through comprehensive, individualized career education.

Programming: College entrepreneurship program; employers can post jobs, internships and projects for students.

Contact: For entrepreneurship program: Tonio Palmer, associate director/director of entrepreneurship, twp1@williams.edu. For employer relations: Scott LaChapelle, associate director of employer relations, srl4@williams.edu

Best fit: Businesses and startups looking for collaborators, internships, recruitment needs

More info: https://careers.williams.edu/employer/

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Mission: MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship.

Programming: Career Center resources for MCLA alumni; internship connections for local/regional businesses; spring Business Bootcamp program run by Business Administration department and held at 1Berkshire offices


  • Career Center:
  • Anthony Napolitano, anthony.napolitano.jr@mcla.edu, 413-662-5332
  • Entrepreneurship: Tara Barboza at tara.barboza@mcla.edu or Amy Shapiro at Amy.Shapiro@mcla.edu

Best fit: MCLA graduates or regional business owners looking to hire interns; early-stage businesses looking for training and resources.

More info:

Berkshire Community College Community Education and Workforce Development

Mission: BCC is committed to providing an exceptional education and a wide range of opportunities that meet the diverse needs of our community, and offers a wide range of noncredit learning opportunities for people of all ages. Designed to meet either vocational change to career or recreational goals, its workforce development and community education team members are focused on serving the community.

Programming: Tuition-free programs completed in a year or less for creative making and manufacturing, health and wellness, and food, culture, and the local economy; Associate in Nursing degree as well as other workforce development-oriented degrees and certifications

Contact: workforce@berkshirecc.edu

More info: www.berkshirecc.edu

Chambers of Commerce

North Adams Chamber of Commerce

Mission: The mission of the North Adams Chamber is to explore, define, share and promote the unique story of Northern Berkshire County by connecting individuals, facilitating conversations and leading the development of responsible growth practices.

Programming: Professional guidance and support for new and existing businesses

Contact: Nico Dery, business development director, hello@nachamber.org

Best fit: New or established businesses / sole proprietors in Northern Berkshire County

More info: https://nachamber.org/

Williamstown Chamber of Commerce

Mission: The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce is committed to promoting an inclusive and vibrant business community, facilitating learning opportunities, producing events, and engaging with local government to serve our member businesses, residents, and visitors.

Programming: Networking, educational programming

Contact: Susan Briggs, executive director, info@williamstownchamber.com / (413) 458-9077

Best fit: Williamstown businesses and sole proprietors

More info: https://destinationwilliamstown.org/venues/category/about-the-chamber/


Mission: Promote and honor the quality and character of Adams; drive growth; create vibrancy

Programming: Business directory; networking events; general townwide events

Contact: Info@ExploreAdams.com / 413.446.9858

Best fit: Adams businesses and sole proprietors

More info: https://exploreadams.com/

Other organizations to know


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