Making news in business, June 27

Eric Cromwell

Eric Cromwell

Heather Hayes

Heather Hayes

Published: 06-26-2024 3:19 PM

Thornes seeks to fill four spaces

NORTHAMPTON — Thornes Marketplace recently announced it currently has four retail spaces to fill in the iconic downtown shopping center, which is unusual but not unprecedented.

Typically, Thornes has a full slate of retail vendors at the 150 Main St. location, but the closure of Acme Surplus after 43 years following the owner’s death, and several other shifts due to health issues and relocation, leave it with vacancies, said Jody Doele, marketing manager and co-owner of Thornes. She said Captain Candy closed after the owner was diagnosed with a serious health condition, Another business owner moved to Rhode Island, and a fourth decided running a brick-and-mortar retail operation wasn’t for him.

Available are the following: a second floor space with two entrances, a main floor space one door down from Thornes’ anchor tenant, Cedar Chest; a space on lower level one next to Herrell’s ice cream and Cornucopia; and the second largest retail space in Thornes — the former Acme Surplus space, also on lower level one.

Thornes, which gets 1 million visitors a year, has longstanding businesses such as Cedar Chest, Herrell’s, Paul and Elizabeth’s, and Jackson & Connor.

Free small businesslegal clinic taking applications

SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University (WNE) Small Business Legal Clinic is accepting applications from entrepreneurs and small business owners seeking legal assistance for the fall semester 2024.

Under faculty supervision, law students assist clients with legal issues including choice of entity, employment policies, contract drafting, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property issues relating to trademark applications and copyright. This is a free service available to local businesses that might not have the resources to obtain such services.

The Small Business Clinic has assisted more than 500 small businesses since it opened. The clinic requests small business owners to submit their applications by Aug. 1. Applications received after that date will be considered if additional resources are available. Students will begin providing services in September. For more information, call the Legal Clinic at 413-782-1469 or email Marie Fletcher, Clinical Programs Administrator at

For more information or to complete an online application, visit

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SPRINGFIELD — Heather Hayes and Eric Cromwell were recently elected to the board of directors of New England Public Media.

Hayes is senior vice president for strategic initiatives and chief of staff at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, where she serves as a key partner in the president’s executive leadership team and secretary to the board of trustees. She is a graduate of Clark University and Boston College Law School, and lives in the Berkshires with her family.

Cromwell is currently a franchise operator for multiple Burger King and KFC locations throughout the region. Under the owner-operator group, MHC Services, he oversees operations of these restaurants, and supervises over 200 employees. He graduated from Hofstra University with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship with a double minor in business law and art history. Cromwell lives in Longmeadow.

White Lion expands beer gardens

SPRINGFIELD — White Lion Brewing obtained local licensing approval to operate a series of beer gardens in Holyoke, Westfield and Springfield.

The beer garden in Holyoke is located at Armour Yard, 164 Race St. The Yard offers live music, food and craft vendors. White Lion partnerships include the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce and Holyoke Craft Beer. The beer garden opens at 5 p.m. every Monday until Aug. 26 at The Cubit, 164 Race St.

In Springfield, to stimulate small business awareness, White Lion will rotate through downtown and set up near key points of business. The two primary locations are One Financial Plaza at 1350 Main St., which is home to a small business incubator made up of several startup businesses. The second location is The Plaza at 1550 Main St., the home of the Springfield School Department and other government offices.

The beer garden opens every Wednesday at 4 p.m. until Aug. 28.

In Westfield, for several years 53 Elm St. was home to live music, food vendors, and a White Lion pop-up. White Lion in partnership with ArtWorks Westfield helped sponsor the weekly music events.

This year White Lion has set up in the newly renovated Elm Street Plaza Park every Friday until Aug. 30. The beer garden opens at 5 p.m.

Mount Holyoke prof part of team to share brain maps with students

SOUTH HADLEY — Kenneth Colodner, associate professor and chair of neuroscience and behavior at Mount Holyoke College, is the co-recipient of a collaborative center grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Colodner is part of a team of researchers in the High-throughput Integrated Volumetric Electron Microscopy (HIVE) Center, a $33 million project funded as part of the NIH Brain Connects program.

Brain Connects aims to develop novel technologies to map brains at unprecedented scales and levels of detail to help understand connections between neurons. The Allen Institute, a nonprofit research center in Seattle, leads HIVE. This national collaborative center includes partners at Princeton University, Argonne National Laboratory, Zetta AI, California State University, East Bay, Appalachian State University and Mount Holyoke.

The grant will fund advances in microscopy, image processing and artificial intelligence with the aim of mapping the connections between the neurons in a mouse brain. An essential part of the project is ensuring that the resulting dataset is accessible to and useful for society. Therefore, the project includes efforts to develop educational programs to train the next generation of scientists in utilizing this data.

Colodner will develop a new course next spring focused on connectomics, in which he will implement these educational materials.