The Berkshire Bank Foundation announced today that due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it has contributed more than $1 million to collaborative efforts supporting nonprofit organizations responding to community-based needs. Guided by the Foundation’s mission of investing in those living and working in its local communities, the total relief provided represents an additional $1 million + over the Foundation’s $3 million total annual grant budget.

The organizations supported in Berkshire County through Berkshire Bank Foundation’s contributions include Construct, Inc., Chabad of the Berkshires, 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance Foundation and Berkshire United Way, among others.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our local communities in ways that no one could have predicted, and the economic impact has created significant challenges for organizations who help so many every day… All of us at Berkshire Bank are proud that our Foundation can provide philanthropic support to help struggling families and businesses, not only here in Berkshire County, but across our entire footprint. ~ Matt Emprimo, Berkshire Bank’s Berkshire County Regional President

 

The Foundation’s grants this year have supported community-based organizations to help local families in the areas of affordable and safe housing, food security, health supplies, students in distress, and assistance to small businesses who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Foundation has also allowed nonprofits to utilize funds given for specific programs to help cover general operating costs and extended requirements and/or reporting deadlines where needed.

At Berkshire, we understand our responsibility to do our part to help the most vulnerable that are being economically impacted by the COVID-19 crisis… Our response has been guided by our Be First values and by our caring for those families and small businesses in the communities where we work and live who need help now. ~ Berkshire Acting President and CEO Sean Gray

 

The Foundation’s $1 million + in philanthropic support is on top of the Bank’s previously announced commitment to ensuring the health, safety and economic resiliency of its employees, customers, and communities. The Bank provided $3 million to launch The Futures Fund with the Black Economic Council and MA LGBTQ Chamber, $706 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding to assist nearly 5,000 businesses and created an employee assistance fund to help employees impacted by the pandemic, in addition to offering numerous programs to support its customers.

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