Mayor Linda Tyer welcomed the gathering of business leaders to the launch of the new website on Tuesday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city has launched Businesspittsfield.com, a new website that will serve as a resource for existing businesses, new businesses, and those looking to relocate to Pittsfield.
Mayor Linda Tyer told a large gathering in the City Council chambers Tuesday that the new website is the next step in bringing and sustaining business in Pittsfield.
"I don't know if you have noticed but Pittsfield is really knocking it out of the park and right now we are just rounding second base and we are on our way to home base," she said.
Tyer said the website stems from the efforts of the city, the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corp., and other stakeholders.
She said the three came together three years ago to promote the city and change the economic landscape.
"For a very long period of time Pittsfield had been kind of waiting for someone or something to come in and start their business or make a big announcement," she said. "We decided that we were going to take control of our own destiny and help the businesses that are here now that are already successful that want to grow."
Business Development Manager Michael Coakley said the website represents the next steps in these efforts and will not only promote Pittsfield to potential global businesses but offer resources and testimonials to those interested in operating a business in the city.
Business development consultant Roger Matus, who helped build the website, said the goal was to build a tool that was available 24 hours a day and seven days a week that provides tools and contacts.
He said the website was designed to act as a mirror through the 12 profiles of businesses that benefited from the city's guidance or resources,
"You see these 12 companies that are up here and what we want is for entrepreneurs and businesses to see people like themselves," Matus said. "To see the story of what they have done and how they can do it themselves."
He also referred to the website as an online mentor to not only help those new to Pittsfield but new to business in general.
"Please go to businesspittsfield.com and look into the mirror and start consulting the online mentor," he said. "Find your path ... and find success in Pittsfield."
Jay Anderson of PERC also spoke to these resources and said although there is monetary aid available the city can provide some of the educational and professional resources are just as important.
"Sometimes it's not money, sometimes it is an accountant or a lawyer," he said. "People may not be capable or have that business experience and we can provide that."
Christina Wynn, a member of the board of directors at PEDA, said the website is the next "logical step" in PEDA, PERC, and the city's efforts to attract business of all kinds to the city.
"This is a way for us to share resources and join together and have a united voice as we look for ways to enhance business here," she said. "We are so proud of this partnership and this website."
Coakley invited up local business owners who have worked with the city to expand or open in Pittsfield.
Nick Martinelli of Marty's Local said his business was the recipient of a PERC grant and said through the city he was able to grow his business and connect with other local vendors.
"At every turn the city has been helpful to us ... and as we have grown we have connected with a number of vendors throughout the city," he said. "We are excited to be a part of this."
Alfred Enchill and his son Auric of Elegant Stitches said they have been in business in Pittsfield since the late 1990s and, after a fire at their former downtown location, they reopened and tapped PERC for a grant to help them build a new website.
"The city has been very helpful and receptive to our ideas and at this point we have seen a lot of growth," Auric said. "We are creating partnership with bigger companies."
Steve Oakes, who owns three office spaces in Pittsfield, said he has more businesses from outside of the area leasing space from him and thought the website would only improve these circumstances.
Kacey Boos, owner of Shire Acupuncture, said she moved back to the area with little resources or experience but PERC provided her with a technical assistance grant that helped her get a foothold allowing her to stay in Berkshire County "helping the people in my own back yard."
Chris Kapiloff, owner of LTI Smart Glass, said expanding his business in Pittsfield was a streamlined experience. The city came to him and started the process that instead of taking months as he expected, took 90 minutes.
"The government of Pittsfield did what I think most business owners would really like them to do," he said. "They take a step to the left and be out of the way ... My primary goal is to not interface with the government but to interface with customers throughout the world."
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Local Real Estate Firm Trying to Support Small Businesses
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nocher Realty is lending a helping hand to fellow businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
"If we don't support them through these unusual times they won’t be there when this all blows over, when business is back to normal we need these shops back in action," owner Jason Nocher said. "Small business is the backbone of the Berkshires."
Nocher Realty has partnered with various businesses throughout Berkshire County including the Corner Lunch and Berkshire Printing & Embroidery.
In many cases, Nocher has purchased something directly from the local business to help sustain and promote it. Like purchasing 50 breakfast sandwiches from the Corner Lunch and using its Facebook page to invite the public grab one, first come, first served.
The online store features a variety of vendors and is open to all local residents. Those who have SNAP benefits or those who have recently lost their jobs or are facing economic hardship from the pandemic are eligible for $30 a week in free food from the Virtual Farmers Market.
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Inspired by the book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," which Susan Wrba likes to read with her 2-year-old son, Wrba is organizing a "bear hunt" across the Berkshires from Friday, April 3, to Sunday, April 5. click for more