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Business & Money

Embargo is under the rug, so Persian carpets can roll in

Monday, February 8, 2016

By Sarah Parvini Los Angeles Times (TNS) LOS ANGELES - The call came in to the rug store at 10:30 last Wednesday morning: After five days in U.S. customs, the first batch of carpets imported from Iran were ready for pickup. Years of waiting finally ended for Alex Helmi, owner of Damoka, a Persian rug store in Westwood. He quickly gathered his employees and told them to drive to Los …

Steady economic growth expected for Valley region in 2016, experts say

Monday, February 8, 2016

Dropping oil prices, low unemployment and interest rates and a continued bounce back from the Great Recession make for a relatively favorable economic climate for the Pioneer Valley. But with economic jitters at the international level and a soft recovery nationally, experts say the three counties on the Interstate 91 corridor are experiencing …

Voices of Valley economy: Tight budgets, depleted savings

Monday, February 8, 2016

Route 9 is perhaps the region’s key commercial artery. So it was there the Gazette went last week to see how well the economy is treating everyday people. Dreadfully, said Cheryl Platts, 60, of Baldwinville. Marginally, said Nancy Kinnery, 63 of Amherst. Decently, said Chris Boyd, 51, of Amherst. Those were three of …

  • CAROL LOLLIS
Allison Johndrow,13, puts on the finishing touches to a snow man she and her brother,   Luke,10 Johndrow of Westhampton,built in their yard Friday morning.

    CAROL LOLLIS Allison Johndrow,13, puts on the finishing touches to a snow man she and her brother, Luke,10 Johndrow of Westhampton,built in their yard Friday morning. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING
Wielding an umbrella for some protection against the wet spring-like snow, Yao Wu makes her way to work at the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton on Friday morning during a snowstorm that dropped about 4 inches on the area and caught many residents by surprise.

    KEVIN GUTTING Wielding an umbrella for some protection against the wet spring-like snow, Yao Wu makes her way to work at the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton on Friday morning during a snowstorm that dropped about 4 inches on the area and caught many residents by surprise. Purchase photo reprints »

  • DAN LITTLE
Zachary Holmes, 21, center, during a hearing to determine his release from jail Friday at Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton.

    DAN LITTLE Zachary Holmes, 21, center, during a hearing to determine his release from jail Friday at Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
Jamie Smith,11, chooses glass pieces during an art class taught by Leslie di Curcio Marra with Cynthia Fisher as part of an arts in residency program on mosaic's at Norris Elementary School in Southampton.

    CAROL LOLLIS Jamie Smith,11, chooses glass pieces during an art class taught by Leslie di Curcio Marra with Cynthia Fisher as part of an arts in residency program on mosaic's at Norris Elementary School in Southampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS
UMass Physical Plant, Thursday.

    JERREY ROBERTS UMass Physical Plant, Thursday. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS
Michael Marcotrigiano, who is the director of the Botanic Garden of Smith College, points to a geological timeline that corresponds to a series of eight murals that line the wall behind him that depict plant life through the ages, Monday, Jan. 11, at Lyman Plant House.

    JERREY ROBERTS Michael Marcotrigiano, who is the director of the Botanic Garden of Smith College, points to a geological timeline that corresponds to a series of eight murals that line the wall behind him that depict plant life through the ages, Monday, Jan. 11, at Lyman Plant House.

ONE BLOCK A look inside the life and business times of 141 Damon Road, Northampton

Monday, February 8, 2016

THE BLOCK: An unlikely set of neighbors share a commercial plaza at 141 Damon Road in Northampton: A hair salon, a mixed martial arts school, and two pentecostal churches. These local businesses operate alongside an electronics store and …

Q&A: In what ways can a small business or an individual declaring bankruptcy disrupt the local economy?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Alexandra Hogan, an attorney in Springfield with Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., specializes in bankruptcy. She was recently selected to serve on the Emerging Insolvency Professionals Subcommittee of the American Bankruptcy Institute. In this Q&A, she explores the …

Area business briefs

Monday, February 8, 2016

Easthampton Chamber holds networking event EASTHAMPTON — The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Networking by Night event from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, at the Glendale Grill, 65 Glendale St. There will be a cash bar and door prizes. The event is sponsored by Canon …

Mass. hydropower plan could change region’s energy landscape

Sunday, February 7, 2016

BOSTON — Tapping into Canadian hydropower is hardly a new concept in energy-starved New England. But Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to authorize long-term contracts between utilities and hydropower producers is being viewed in some quarters as a …

Costco delays credit card switch

Friday, February 5, 2016

SEATTLE — Costco’s switch from American Express to Visa is being pushed back to this summer. Costco Wholesale had previously announced that the switch in the only credit card it will accept in its U.S. stores would happen in April. It’s now saying that transition will happen in …

Congress unites in scorn for Shkreli, but gridlock remains

Friday, February 5, 2016

WASHINGTON — A smirking Martin Shkreli briefly united Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill this week, as lawmakers took turns blasting the price-hiking former CEO who has become the new poster child for corporate greed. But the gridlocked …

Lawsuit challenges tribal reservation decision

Friday, February 5, 2016

TAUNTON, Mass. — A group of Massachusetts residents is challenging the federal government’s decision to grant the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe reservation lands to build a casino. The lawsuit filed Thursday in Boston federal court argues the U.S. Department of the Interior is not authorized to take lands into …

Stocks lose more ground as jobs report disappoints

Friday, February 5, 2016

NEW YORK — Stocks posted steep losses Friday, ending the week with broad declines, as investors fretted over a report showing that U.S. job creation slowed last month. Technology stocks fell especially hard, and shares of LinkedIn had …

Thaw triggers sap run in maple country

Thursday, February 4, 2016

WEST TOPSHAM, Vt. (AP) — A winter thaw in the Northeast has triggered sap to flow in maple trees, launching an early start to the syrup season for some producers in parts of New England who have already …

Stocks see modest gains

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks posted modest gains Thursday as investors await Friday’s closely watched jobs report, which could offer insight about the U.S. economy and help determine whether the Federal Reserve raises interest rates again next month. …