Business Ticker Springfield Med to restore pay on Sunday; Manchester granola maker honored as Exporter of Year

SMCS to restore employee salaries after budget cuts

Springfield Medical Care Systems has announced that it plans to restore employee salaries and wages effective May 5, 2019 with the reduction of its operating budget by more than $6.5 million on an annualized basis.

Through implementation of a series of expense reduction strategies, including workforce restructuring, salary and wage reductions, a new emergency services team, and the planned closure of its Childbirth Unit on May 3, the health system has begun the process of turning its financial picture around.

In a press release, Mike Halstead, interim chief executive officer for Springfield Hospital said, “We explained to staff that, as soon as we possibly could, wage restoration would be a top priority.” While the organization still has work to do in terms of service line review and planning, it recognizes and appreciates the critical importance of a talented, skilled workforce. “Our entire staff’s contributions are essential to patient care and a strong future for this organization,” Halstead added.

While SMCS will likely post a loss at the end of its Sept. 30, 2019 fiscal year, the financial
improvement plans recently implemented have identified approximately $7 million in expense reductions that will help stabilize the organization’s finances into the future, the press release stated.

Halstead said, “This is a process of continuous improvement and a necessary operational strategy for any health system in today’s challenging environment.” He adds, “There will be no sacrifice in quality. High quality patient care remains mission critical and access to necessary services remains our first priority.”

SBA honors Manchester granola maker as Vt. Exporter of Year

A Manchester Center manufacturer of granola is being recognized by the federal Small Business Administration for its global sales, the Vermont division of the SBA announced.

Lindsay Martin of Small Batch Organics

Small Batch Organics, owned and operated by Lindsay Martin, has been named the 2019 Vermont Exporter of the Year by the SBA. The company’s largest export markets are Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. According to a 2018 report by the International Trade Administration, Canada is the largest market for Vermont exports, followed by Hong Kong.

“Our Small Batch Organics items are sold to a variety of stores. From local Vermont mom and pop stores to an organic grocery store chain in Taiwan, Small Batch Organics has a broad reach in the marketplace. At our facility, all elements of the process are managed, all of the granola and bark are produced, packaged and shipped by the Small Batch Organics team,” Martin said.

As a child, Martin’s family lived in and traveled throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. She says exporting has given her the opportunity to stay connected with her upbringing.

Small Batch Organics also has a significant national reach. Its granola is sold in more than 1,000 grocery stores throughout the United States. The business has 13 employees and occupies a 13,000-square-foot facility on Natural Form Way with 5,500 square feet dedicated to production and 7,500 to warehousing.

Small Batch Organics global reach is continuously growing. It recently attended a trade show in Japan and in early April began exporting to Panama. The company is also working on a new package, so its granola will have a longer shelf life to be exported to more countries.

Small Batch Organics and other small business award winners will be presented their awards during the 2019 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony in June.

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