The small business owners of the Berkshires are my heroes. They have adjusted to the restrictions of COVID; they are meeting the economic challenges brought on by the pandemic with good spirits. I want to support them with the same good spirit and enthusiasm, letting them know the Berkshires are a better place because they are here. A payment in BerkShares means they are not sending off hard-won funds to a distant credit card corporation. A payment in BerkShares means I’m committed to keeping money local for the long run.
When I order takeout from nearby Swiss Hütte or John Andrews, I place my BerkShares payment in a clean envelope and leave it at the table where I collect the bag with my name on it--masked, of course.
At BerkShares, Inc. our goal is to foster economic self-reliance and support the locally-owned business community in the Berkshires. Our local businesses are proving their resilience during the COVID-19 crisis by adapting to local, state, and federal regulations to limit contact and encourage social-distancing by offering modified services like curbside pick up, take out, and delivery. Below you'll find a list of retail-based businesses in our local currency network and modifications to their business operations. If you are able, please demonstrate your support for the local economy during such a difficult time by patronizing these businesses. Please also consider utilizing our local businesses' online shopping platforms, purchasing gift certificates, pre-paying for services, making donations to local food banks, and contributing to local relief funds and non-profits providing assistance.
Tehd Okun will paint your house, hose out your gutters, scrub your windows, and perform practically any other task you need accomplished. The handyman-for-hire is new to the entrepreneurial scene in the Berkshires, but he’s been an understudy to the vibrant small business community for a while. With a passion for baking, Tehd came to the region to apprentice with sourdough master Richard Bourdon at Berkshire Mountain Bakery. His intrigue for fermented goods led him to work alongside Maddie Elling and Abe Hunrichs at Hosta Hill, the local fermented vegetable business. After many years in food production, the doldrums of monotony set in and Tehd longed for the freedom offered by self-employment.
Congratulations to the graduates of this year's Entry to Entrepreneurship program.
289 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
When Emily Carlotta goes out to dinner, she recognizes people by their feet. “I think, ‘I helped them get those boots – I knew they’d like them!’” Carlotta is the store manager and buyer at Barrington Outfitters at 289 Main Street in Great Barrington, and she loves where she works.
Brothers Richard and Peter Drucker founded Barrington Outfitters in
The Chef's Shop
31 Railroad Street, Great Barrington
(413) 528 0135
Like any good entrepreneur, Rob Navarino loves what he does and does not mind taking a plunge. Owner of The Chef’s Shop on Railroad Street in Great Barrington, Navarino “always knew” that he wanted to have his own business. In 1991, after “paying his dues” in the corporate world, he snatched an opportunity to fulfill his dream, and started a little store he originally
864 S. Undermountain Road (Rte 41) Sheffield, MA
(413) 229 8585
Nestled ’neath the shadow of Race Mountain, the Stagecoach Tavern is tucked beneath layers of history. Few places in Berkshire County have served as a “watering hole” longer than this tavern on Route 41 in Sheffield, and few have accumulated as much character. The oldest parts of the low-slung tavern date back to the early 1770s, while the grand brick “Coach House”
258 Stockbridge Rd. Great Barrington
31 Main Street, Stockbridge
By traditional Berkshire reckoning, Home Sweet Home Doughnut Shoppe is a newcomer. Owners Debbie and John Scalia are transplants from Enfield, Connecticut, and their Doughnut Shoppe at 258 Stockbridge Road (Route 7) in Great Barrington has not yet been open five years. But this new arrival has had no problem integrating into the community. In fact, the
“All of our local businesses should trade in BerkShares,” says Catherine Chester, an attorney at Hellman Shearn & Arienti LLP. In her view, BerkShares help to combat one of the main challenges that face the Berkshires. “We have an aging and a