Business Pittsfield, new resource to support city businesses

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, Mayor Linda Tyer announced the launch of Business Pittsfield, a new economic development resource dedicated to supporting existing and new businesses in the city. The announcement was delivered in Council Chambers at City Hall and was well attended by business leaders, small business owners, and members of the public.

In addition to Tyer, speakers also included Jay Anderson, president, Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC); Christina Wynn, chair, Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA); Michael Coakley, Business Development Manager, City of Pittsfield; and Roger Matus, business development consultant.

Local business owners were also a part of the speaker lineup and they included: Nick Martinelli, Marty’s Local; Alfred and Auric Enchill, Elegant Stitches; Kacey Boos, Shire Acupuncture, Steve Oakes, real estate investor, and Chris Kapiloff, LTI Smart Glass.

The mayor kicked off the event with welcome remarks and a brief historical perspective on the Business Pittsfield website as the latest installment in the city’s economic development efforts.

“Our vision of a strong city includes that of a strong economy and every day we strive to perfect that mission. Our story, the Pittsfield story, it’s a powerful story, and we have highly successful businesses that thrive right here in our city,” said Tyer. “Our success in this city is driven by partnerships. Whether they be business partnerships, neighborhood partnerships, or nonprofit partnerships, we are who we are because of our collaborations.”

In 2017, the city, PERC and PEDA announced the city’s new economic development strategy. The revamp included the creation of the Red Carpet Team, a collaboration of local and state business and thought leaders focused on developing strategies to attract and expand business opportunities in Pittsfield. It also included establishing the new role of Business Development Manager, a position now held by Coakley.

The development of the Business Pittsfield website continues this work. The site features a bevy of resources with four categories including: Start Your Business, Grow Your Business, Locate Your Business, and Explore. It also includes profiles on local businesses, some of whom spoke at the announcement and links to partner organizations.

“The launch of this website comes after the city, PEDA, and PERC have firmly established our partnerships, and it provides our local businesses with the attention that they deserve,” she said.

Anderson noted PERC’s integral role with local businesses. PERC also helped to fund EforAll, which provides support to new entrepreneurs. “We’re a boots-on-the-ground economic development corporation, which means we actually meet with the folks who are going to get the grants and loans. We can provide resources, whether they be monetary or people,” he said.

Matus, who developed the site for the city, highlighted the power of this new resource in the city’s economic development toolkit. “It’s more than a website, it’s an online mentoring tool, it’s a mirror and it’s a guide,” he said.

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