BUSINESS BRIEFS: Southern Berkshire Chamber People of the Year Celebration; subsidy for farmers market; Great Barrington Opens ARPA Applications to Nonprofits; free non-profit training; Ilana Steinhauer rewarded; Old Navy Outlet will open

Southern Berkshire Chamber’s 2022 Business People of the Year

Greater Barrington– David Renner and Kevin Schmitz of The Marketplace Kitchen are the South Berkshire Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Businessmen of the Year. A party will be organized 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 available now. Event sponsorships are available at the $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 at famous New York venues, David Renner and Kevin Schmitz’s idea was simple: provide high-quality, specialty prepared meals that you would find in a restaurant to share at home. They offer dishes made by hand with the best local ingredients. They are the original farm-to-table food company in the Berkshires.

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For chef Kevin Schmitz, cooking and baking is a challenge to combine experience, chemistry and creativity. It starts with respecting the ingredients and using the best you can find. Schmitz has had the opportunity to work at many amazing places including Chillingsworth Restaurant, Riese Organization, Shearson Lehman Hutton and the White Hart. Kevin lives in Great Barrington with his wife, Claudia. In addition to employing dozens of locals at his five locations and donating thousands of meals to the community, Schmitz has served the community in many ways. He was on the Sheffield Economic Task Force, South Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees, served both on the Board and as a Deacon for the First Congregational Church of Great Barrington and for the Sheffield Community Bread Oven.

Chef David Renner views food as an incredible world of opportunities to delight the senses. He would do anything to surprise anyone with a pleasure he’s never known. He often says, “I love building the dining experience to appeal to as many of the senses as possible. Renner’s experiences come from restaurants such as LeRegence Restaurant, Hotel Plaza Athénée, Entrepreneur Yacht Club, Wheatleigh and 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 to its members. Contact Betsy Andrus, Executive Director, for membership information at (413) 528-4284; E-mail [email protected]


Berkshire Agricultural Ventures awards $2,000 grant to Williamstown Farmer’s Market

Greater Barrington– Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) awarded a $2,000 grant to the Williamstown (MA) Farmer’s Market, one of 10 “Market Match” grants totaling more than $100,000 to area farmers’ markets.

Photo courtesy of Williamstown Farmer’s Market.

Market Match Fund grants 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, bread and baked goods, seeds and edible plants on 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 market need and capacity, include Great Barrington, Lee, North Adams, Pittsfield, Sheffield, West Stockbridge, Copake-Hillsdale, Millerton and New Lebanon.

Market Match Fund grants are made possible through 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 people.

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) is a non-profit organization that supports the development and viability of local farms and food businesses throughout the Berkshire-Taconic region, helping to build a thriving local food economy, improving access to fresh food for all and to combat climate change. 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

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

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

The city will now distribute another portion of ARPA funds to Great Barrington-based nonprofits serving low- and moderate-income households, households that have experienced unemployment, and households that have experienced food insecurity or of accommodation.

The application formOpen now

Eligible non-profit organizations are those that provide housing and accommodation assistance (including rent, mortgage, and utility assistance), food/food assistance, health care, transport and assistance with employment and vocational training.

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

Recipient organizations must sign a grant agreement with the city. They will also need quarterly program updates filed with the city. The US Treasury may require demographic or other data to help document the use of ARPA funds and ensure compliance with federal requirements.

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


Trainings for small and medium non-profit organizations

Pittsfield—The Berkshires Nonprofit Center and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission have partnered to offer a series of free workshops for small and medium-sized nonprofits looking to build resilience and capacity.

The “Level Up Series for Nonprofits” in Fall 2022 will be the place. Between September and December, there are over two dozen webinars and in-person workshops. Evening training will also be offered to accommodate entirely volunteer groups. All nonprofit organizations in Berkshire are invited to participate in the workshops. These workshops are open to small grassroots, all-volunteer organizations.

Workshops on grant writing and preparation will be offered by local and regional professors.

These professional development opportunities are made possible through a grant from the US Economic Development Administration for Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

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


Ilana Steinhauer, Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, Wins Health Equity Award

Greater Barrington—The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics has announced that Ilana Steinhauer (Executive Director of Berkshires Volunteer Medicine in Great Barrington MA) has received the sixth annual Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Equity Award. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – the nation’s leading health and healthcare philanthropy – developed this awards program to find and honor individuals working for systemic change to address health inequities within of their communities.

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

Ilana, a rural resident with limited public transportation, helped create a transportation program that would transport patients to and from their appointments. The program offers nearly 1,000 rides per year, significantly increasing patient attendance and improving health outcomes. Berkshire Alliance to Support Immigrant Community was also founded by Ilana, and she continues to lead it. This group brings together local organizations working to support immigrant communities and improve health outcomes. Ilana also assured that resources are available to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. Within the VIM clinic, Ilana ensures that fairness is at the heart of the organization’s culture.

“We are grateful to have leaders like Ilana Steinhauer who are dedicated to providing accessible, affordable and equitable care to members of their communities,” said NAFC President and CEO Nicole Lamoureux. “Ilana exemplifies the passion found at Volunteers in Medicine and other free and charitable clinics to create a culture of health, address disparities, and change systems to positively impact health outcomes. in communities across the country.”


Old Navy Outlet will open in Lee

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

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

Interior of an Old Navy store. Photo courtesy Old Navy

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

James V. Payne