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Business Briefs: Berkshires on HGTV; Berkshire Trendsetter Award nominations; tax scams; solid 2015 for Greylock; Williams admits 1,206 to Class of 2020

The IRS has reported a large uptick in the volume of phishing and malware fraud schemes this year, an increase of about 400 percent in tax scams since 2015.

Berkshires to be featured on HGTV

Great Barrington — The Berkshires will be featured on the new HGTV program “We Bought the Farm,” which chronicles the stories of people who leave city life behind in favor of moving to the country. The episode, titled “Canning for the Future,” will portray the home-buying adventure of Stephanie Bergman and Robert Hoechster along with their agent, Annie Alquist of Barnbrook Realty. The episode will air on Saturday, April 2, at 11 p.m. and again on Sunday, April 3, at 2 a.m. on HGTV.

The show will highlight the Berkshires in general, and Great Barrington specifically. Voted one of Smithsonian’s “Best Small Towns in America,” Great Barrington has seen an influx of city transplants looking for a simpler life in the country. Says Bergman, “Moving to the Berkshires has given us the mental and physical space to create the life we truly want for our family.”

–E.E.

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1Berkshire invites nominations for Berkshire Trendsetter Award

Pittsfield — 1Berkshire has opened the nomination process for its sixth annual Berkshire Trendsetter Awards, which celebrate outstanding organizations and individuals whose achievement, innovation, and/or commitment has strengthened the regional economy and helped the Berkshires grow. The top finalists will be honored and the final winners announced at a “Celebrate the Berkshires” event on Thursday, September 15, at Tanglewood in Lenox.

This year’s categories are Comprehensive Marketing Campaign, Creative Economy Standout, Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year, Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy, Newcomer of the Year, Nonprofit Impact, and Under-40 Change-Maker.

1Berkshire encourages everyone to nominate deserving businesses and individuals for one of these prestigious awards by completing the online form before Friday, July 1. Finalists will be notified in mid-July, and asked to provide additional information for the selection process. Businesses and individuals are welcome and encouraged to nominate themselves.

–E.E.

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Tax scam protection advice

Lakeville, Conn. – Whether you crunch the numbers yourself or pay a professional to do it, tax season is usually a pain in the neck and the pocketbook. Additionally, the IRS has reported a large uptick in the volume of phishing and malware fraud schemes this year, an increase of about 400 percent since 2015. Salisbury Bank has compiled a list of ways in which consumers can protect themselves and their information from tax scammers.

–E.E.

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Greylock reports solid 2015

Pittsfield — Greylock Federal Credit Union has reported solid performance in 2015. In its 80th year of operation, Greylock posted net income of $3.25 million and total assets of about $1.1 billion. The credit union’s regulatory net worth ended the year at 9.7%, up from 9.4% in 2014, improving upon Greylock’s “well-capitalized” rating as determined by the National Credit Union Administration.

As part of its annual meeting proceedings on March 22, Greylock’s Board of Directors elected the following officers: Gerard E. Burke as Chairman of the Board, Ann D. Deely as Vice Chairman, Stanley B. Walczyk as Clerk/Treasurer, and JamieEllen Moncecchi as Assistant Clerk/Recording Officer.

Greylock maintained its position as the County’s largest mortgage lender with over 20 percent share of the Berkshire County mortgage market. The credit union also saw the expansion of core account relationships, with more than 2,600 members bringing their active checking relationships to Greylock in 2015.

At the end of 2015, Greylock posted the following results:

  • 75,473 member-owners
  • $1.079 billion in total assets
  • $866 million in total loans
  • $963 million in total deposits
  • $3.248 million in total net income

 –E.E.

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Williams admits 1,206 to the Class of 2020

Williamstown — Williams College has extended offers of admission for the Class of 2020 to 1,206 applicants. They were selected from a total applicant pool of 6,982, which is an overall acceptance rate of 17 percent.

Of the admitted students, 623 are women and 583 are men. One hundred are international students representing 45 different nationalities. Among American students, 49 percent are students of color: 221 students are Asian American, 186 are black, 169 are Latino, and 13 are Native American. Twenty-one percent (255) are first-generation college students, and nine percent (105) have a parent who attended Williams.

The target size for the Class of 2020 is 550 students, as it was last year. Through the college’s early decision process, 245 applicants were admitted to the class, and another 10 will join the Class of 2020 after taking a gap year, making up 46 percent of the class. The remaining admitted students received their acceptances by March 23 and have until May 1 to decide whether to enroll. All accepted students are invited to attend the Williams Previews program Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, to explore the college and meet many of their future classmates.

–E.E.

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