There is a lot coming down the pike in Greenfield, from a redesign of Main St. to a Mayoral election, and we are recommitting our efforts to sharing crucial information with you, connecting you to other business owners and opportunities, marketing Greenfield in the Valley and beyond, and continuing to restore and advance our city.
Since taking on this role in May, my focus has been on Membership. The heart of our organization, after all, is being worthy of our business community - letting business owners, executive directors, employees, entrepreneurs, and freelancers know that we have their back. Membership allows us to continue meeting the needs of our constituents - and we've been listening, asking questions, and inviting businesses to join the GBA at new levels. We are deeply grateful for everyone who has renewed their membership, joined us for the first time, and stepped up to a sponsorship role.
When I took this role on and the GBA began to reshape our membership offerings and structure, I heard the same thing over and over - businesses will want to know what's in it for them. And of course that's true, and why not? Membership must come with real benefits and perks, and our members should easily understand what's in it for them, if we're doing our job right. And I have also found that many businesses in Greenfield have been excited to tell me what THEY have for US.
They offer their knowledge and insights, they offer volunteers and Board members, they offer advice, and a real connection to their corner of the community. They let us know what's in it for the GBA, when we take the time to show up for them.
As we say goodbye to business community anchors like Baker's Office Supply and Goose Divine Energy, we continue to support in every way we can - working with our partners to make Greenfield the best place to shop, eat, find services, work, live, and have fun.
This Fall brings exciting events and opportunities, beginning with Vintage Days in mid-October (read more below), followed by a business listening session (stay tuned), and we're already gearing up to deck the halls (er, streets) with twinkly lights and stars for the holiday season. It'll be here before we know it. We hope you'll reach out, follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and STAY CONNECTED!
Introducing Greenfield's New Economic Development Director!
Amy Cahillane joined the City of Greenfield as the Director of Community & Economic Development on July 31, following six highly successful years as the Executive Director of the Downtown Northampton Association. Now a month in, Amy has been joining the conversations in Greenfield with great energy, careful listenting, and a wealth of knowledge.
With a robust background in all the skills it takes to make a city thrive, Cahillane is excited to be in a position that will push her work, and Greenfield, to the next level. “I feel like I’ve been here for about 30 seconds and I love it already,” Cahillane told MassLive. “I loved my prior job and I would not have left it unless it was for something that I was feeling really excited and passionate about.”
The MassLive article went on to note her priorities will include creating more housing for people who don’t meet the requirements of affordable housing but can’t pay the increasing price of rent in the area. She will work to fill vacant storefronts, bring in more foot traffic to the city, and sees a need for increased hospitality - hotels and smaller places to stay, to better capitalize on Greenfield being a gateway to Franklin County, Southern Vermont, and the lower Valley.
Cahillane takes on the role with many projects already in motion - from the redesign of Court Square, to the transformation of the former Wilson's Building into 65 units of much-needed housing and a larger Greenfield's Market on the ground floor. There's also a resdesign of Main St. on the horizon, which will greatly impact our business community, both during and after. With all this, and a great collection of businesses, including vintage stores, art galleries, restaurants and performance venues, Cahillane says she’s optimistic about Greenfield's next steps. She hopes Greenfield's affordability over other towns will also help draw more new, small business owners to the city, not just downtown, but in every commercial corner.
Keep an eye out for upcoming opportunities to meet Cahillane at a GBA event or public meeting, she's excited to get to know our business community better!
Shout-out to our Member organization, Franklin Community Co-op, for sharing some great resources to include in this month's newsletter. Our agricultural businesses, in Greenfield and beyond, continue to fight for recovery after historic rainfall and subsequent flooding. Consider hosting a fundraiser, donating a portion of proceeds, or volunteering your time, as we pull together as a business community to support this crucial sector.
You can also consider a donation to CISA’s Emergency Farm Fund, which provides no-interest loans to farms in the wake of extreme weather events, The Fund is currently accepting applications for loans up to $25,000 for farms impacted by the July flooding and rain or the damaging freezes earlier this year.