BUSINESS BRIEFS: Southern Berkshire Chamber Persons of the Year Celebration; farmers market grant; Great Barrington opens ARPA Applications to nonprofits; free nonprofit trainings; Ilana Steinhauer awarded; Old Navy Outlet to open

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Southern Berkshire Chamber Persons of the Year Celebration; farmers market grant; Great Barrington opens ARPA Applications to nonprofits; free nonprofit trainings; Ilana Steinhauer awarded; Old Navy Outlet to open

2022 Southern Berkshire Chamber Business Persons of the Year

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Great Barrington– David Renner and Kevin Schmitz of The Marketplace Kitchen are the 2022 Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce’s Business Persons of the Year. A celebration will be held in their honor, Wednesday September 14 at 5 p.m. at Catamount Mountain Resort, 17 Nicholson Road, South Egremont, Mass.

Tickets are $70/person and are now available. Event sponsorships are available at $1,000 and $275 levels. For tickets, call (413) 528-4284 or visit

Chefs David Renner and Kevin Schmitz. Photo courtesy of the Southern Berkshire Chamber.

After honing their skills in celebrated venues in NYC, David Renner and Kevin Schmitz’s idea was simple: provide high quality, specialty prepared foods that you would find in a restaurant to be shared at home. They offer hand crafted food with the finest locally sourced ingredients. They are the original farm-to-table food business in the Berkshires.

For Chef Kevin Schmitz, cooking and baking is all about the challenge of mixing experience, chemistry, and creativity. It starts with being respectful to the ingredients and using the finest you can find. Schmitz has had the opportunity to work in many amazing locations, including Chillingsworth Restaurant, The Riese Organization, Shearson Lehman Hutton, and the White Hart. Kevin lives in Great Barrington with his wife, Claudia. On top of employing dozens of locals through their five locations and donating thousands of meals to the community, Schmitz has served the community in many ways. He has been on the Sheffield Economic Task Force, The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, he has served both the Administrative Board and as a Deacon for the First Congregational Church of Great Barrington and for the Sheffield Community Bread Oven.

Chef David Renner thinks of food as an incredible world of opportunities to delight the senses. He would do anything to surprise someone with a delight they never experienced. He often says, “I love building the catering experience to bring in as many senses as possible.” Renner’s experiences stem from restaurants such as LeRegence Restaurant, Hotel Plaza Athénée, Entrepreneur Yacht Club, Wheatleigh, and the White Hart. Renner was educated at Florida International University and The Culinary Institute of America. Renner lives in Lee with his family, is a volunteer firefighter, and dabbles in history, gardening, and cooking for his family.

The Southern Berkshire Chamber promotes business prosperity and a healthy, inclusive community by providing information, services, and advocacy for its members. Contact Betsy Andrus, Executive Director, for more information on membership at (413) 528-4284; email [email protected]


Berkshire Agricultural Ventures awards $2,000 grant to Williamstown Farmers Market

Great Barrington– Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) has awarded a $2,000 grant to the Williamstown (MA) Farmers Market, one of 10 “Market Match” grants totaling more than $100,000 to farmers markets in the region.

Photo courtesy of Williamstown Farmers Market.

Grants from the Market Match Fund allow these markets to match Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits up to $30, giving SNAP recipients up to $60 to purchase fresh, local produce, meat, dairy, breads and baked goods, seeds and edible plants at each visit. These grants are designed to increase access to fresh, local food for low-income families while increasing sales for local farmers.

Other markets that have received grants, each based on the needs and capacity of the market, include those in Great Barrington, Lee, North Adams, Pittsfield, Sheffield, West Stockbridge, Copake-Hillsdale, Millerton, and New Lebanon.

Market Match Fund grants are made possible with support from Adams Community Bank, Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Food Co-op, The Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation, The Feigenbaum Foundation, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Guardian Life Insurance, The Donald C. McGraw Foundation, The Whitehead Foundation, Wild Oats Market, and a number of generous individuals.

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) is a nonprofit organization working to support the development and viability of local farms and food businesses throughout the Berkshire-Taconic Region, helping to build a thriving local food economy, improve access to fresh food for everyone, and address climate change through regenerative agriculture. For more information on BAV’s low-interest loans, grants, and technical assistance, please contact us at [email protected] or (413) 645-3594.


Great Barrington opens ARPA applications to local nonprofits

Great Barrington— Great Barrington has opened the application process for local nonprofits seeking grants from American Rescue Plan Act funds (ARPA) received by the town.

The town received $2,075,908 in ARPA funds to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on households in Great Barrington. In April, the town earmarked $850,000 to organizations supporting housing-related assistance.

The town will now distribute another portion of the ARPA funds to Great Barringtonbased nonprofits serving low- and moderate-income households, households that experienced unemployment, and households that experienced food or housing insecurity.

The application formNow open

Eligible nonprofits are those providing housing and housing assistance (including rent, mortgage and utility assistance), food/food assistance, health care, transportation-related assistance, and employment and job training assistance.

Download the application form here or from the Town Manager’s page of the town website, By September 30, at 4 p.m., proposals must be submitted via email. The Selectboard approved funding priorities and the town manager will award funding.

Recipient organizations will have to sign a grant arrangement with the town. They will also need quarterly program updates filed with the town. The U.S. Treasury may require any demographic or other data to help document ARPA funds’ use and ensure compliance with federal requirements.

ARPA grant money is eligible for expenses that were incurred between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2024. All funds must be spent by Dec. 31, 2026.


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Trainings for small- and medium-sized nonprofits

Pittsfield—The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission have teamed up to offer a series of workshops free of charge to small and medium-sized non-profits looking to build their resilience and capacity.

The “Level Up Series for Nonprofits”The fall of 2022 will be the venue. Between September and December, there are more than two dozen webinars and in person workshops. Evening trainings will also be offered to accommodate all-volunteer groups. All Berkshire non-profits are welcome to attend the workshops. These workshops are open to grassroots, small, all-volunteer organizations.

Workshops in grant writing and grant preparation will be offered by local and regional faculty.

These professional development opportunities are possible thanks to a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

Classes are limited at 20 participants. Free, limited, one-on-1 coaching is available for most topics. Workshop registration is open to all on a first-come basis. More information about the workshop is available here “Level Up Series for Nonprofits,”Register here


Ilana Steinhauer, Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, wins an award for health equity

Great Barrington—The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics has announced that Ilana Steinhauer (Executive Director of Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires in Great Barrington MA) received the Sixth Annual Robert Wood Johnson Foundation award for health equity. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care — developed this award program to find and honor individuals working for systemic change to address health inequities within their communities.

Ilana Steinhauer serves as the Executive Director of VIM Berkshires. She is also a clinical director and active nurse practitioner. The Massachusetts clinic serves approximately 1,300 patients, of which 80% are immigrants. She is committed to reducing health disparities by connecting patients with community health workers and ensuring that translators are available.

Ilana, a rural resident with limited public transportation, helped to create a transportation program that would transport patients to and from their appointments. The program provides nearly 1,000 rides per year, which significantly increases patient attendance and improves health outcomes. Berkshire Alliance to Support Immigrant Community was also founded by Ilana, and she continues to lead it. This group unites local organizations that work to support immigrant communities and improve health outcomes. Ilana also ensured that resources were available to combat the COVID-19 epidemic. Within the VIM clinic, Ilana ensures equity is central to the organization’s culture.

“We are grateful to have leaders like Ilana Steinhauer who are dedicated to providing accessible, affordable, and equitable care to the members of their communities,” NAFC President and Chief Executive Officer Nicole Lamoureux said.  “Ilana exemplifies the passion found at Volunteers in Medicine and other Free and Charitable Clinics for creating a culture of health, addressing disparities, and changing systems to have a positive impact on health outcomes in communities throughout the country.”


Old Navy Outlet will open in Lee 

Lee—Old Navy Outlet will open in Lee Premium Outlets, Lee, Mass., on Saturday, September 10.

Old Navy, part of the Gap Inc. brand family, offers affordable, fun and fashionable clothing for all ages. Some stores offer curbside pickup and/or designated pick-up stations in-store, where customers can pick up their orders without having to wait in line.

Interior of an Old Navy shop. Photo courtesy Old Navy

As part of the brand’s growth strategy, Old Navy is focused on opening new stores in smaller markets to reach new customers who have had the opportunity to shop the brand online but haven’t had access to a local store. The brand opened 42 new store locations last year in smaller markets. There are 30 stores (including three Outlets) planned for 2022.

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