Calling all entrepreneurs

by | Aug 18, 2014 | Downtown - Reinvest, Greater Jamestown, Renaissance Reflections



By Frank Besse

Do you have a great idea for a new business in Jamestown? A bookstore? A spice emporium? A zip line across the Chadakoin River?

Consider unleashing your idea this fall at the Pearl City Small Business Pitch Fest, a new event from the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation that will feature presentations by local entrepreneurs looking to launch or expand their businesses. The goal is to give these brave souls the opportunity to share their vision with key members of the business community and the general public. This exchange of ideas is a way to foster the relationship-building essential to the success of a business.

This initiative, modeled after successful efforts elsewhere, is part of a new phase in JRC’s promotion of development in Jamestown. Those efforts began in 2008 with partnerships between JRC, the city, and downtown property owners to restore the faded exteriors of numerous downtown buildings and boost the appearance of targeted alleys. To date, 36 façade improvement projects have been completed or are currently underway. In many cases, these improvements have helped turn old buildings from apparent liabilities into real assets – beautiful examples of how to blend artistic expression and commerce.

Once these exterior improvements were underway, efforts began to help fill the interior spaces with new apartments and businesses. The JRC has worked with a variety of downtown property owners and business owners to increase the number of residential units and the number of businesses operating within the urban core. The ten new apartments in the Willow Bay Commerce Center that began filling up earlier this year are a good example of this work, as is the Sprinkle Cone, the new ice cream shop at 207 Pine Street. That business is located in a building whose façade was refurbished three years ago.

Now that activity is on the rise, the JRC is focusing even more of its attention on filling vacant spaces and on empowering the business and community leaders of tomorrow who have ideas and passion that will fill the city new enterprise and activity for years to come. After all, a renaissance isn’t a renaissance if all you have are good looking buildings with darkened windows.

To that end, the Pearl City Small Business Pitch Fest is a way for anyone with an interest in opening, expanding, or supporting small businesses to get together and network with like-minded people. Cities work because proximity enables commerce and the kinds of person-to-person connections needed to get new and complex ventures off the ground.

The Pitch Fest is also a way for the JRC to identify people with promising ideas that might be good fits for downtown retail space, the farmers market, neighborhood commercial areas, or industrial lofts.

The JRC is looking to connect with entrepreneurs, investors, customers, suppliers; in short, anyone who thinks they may have a role in continuing to push the Jamestown economy forward. A date for the first pitch fest has not been set, but will be once the JRC has enough entrepreneurs willing to participate. If you would like to learn more about this event and other JRC initiatives visit this page or contact Frank Besse at 664.2477 or

Renaissance Reflections is a biweekly feature with news from the front lines of Jamestown’s revitalization. This article was originally published in the Post-Journal on August 18th, 2014.

Recent Posts

2022 Downtown Building and Business Grant Pre-Application Now Open

Are you looking to adapt or improve your business?Is the downtown building you own not living up to all of its potential?The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Building and Business Improvement Program(BBIP) may have the resources you need. The program is a 50/50...

2021 BBIP Grant for Downtown Buildings and Businesses Now Open

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is excited to announce the opening of its 2021 Building and Business Improvement Program. Downtown building and business owners have until April 5th, 2021, to apply to receive matching support towards investments related to...

Historic Tax Credit Workshop

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, in collaboration with Preservation Buffalo Niagara, is hosting a Historic Tax Credit Workshop on February 17th at 6 pm. Jamestown is home to three historic districts: Downtown, Forest Heights, and Lakeview. Properties in these...

Your Ideas for Downtown!

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is looking for the community's input on where to focus resources next year and years to come, specifically ideas that relate to improving our community within the context of the downtown urban core. We are looking for great ideas...

New Grant Program for Downtown Businesses

Our Retail Expansion Grant is now available to downtown businesses. This grant offers matching grant dollars to support the purchase of gift cards, branded merchandise, and expenses related to offering a new product or service. Learn a little bit more about the grant...

Doors Open Jamestown Recap

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is proud to report on another successful Doors Open Jamestown, with 17 participating attractions, and total attendance over 1,000. JRC and Jamestown Up Close would like to thank the attractions for their participation and support, as well as everyone that came out to see the attractions, and support downtown businesses on a snowy winter day.

Jamestown Up Close Shop Small, Win Big Winners Announced

Jamestown Up Close and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) are excited to announce the winners and results of this year’s Shop Small, Win Big contest. In an effort to boost local commerce during the 2019 holiday season, Jamestown Up Close encouraged shoppers to shop downtown from Small Business Saturday through December 18th.

Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration Fireworks Brought to You by Chautauqua Region Community Foundation

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is proud to continue their partnership with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF), to once again bring fireworks to the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration. The parade will be held this Friday, December 6th, with live music at 5pm by “For the People”. The parade kickoff, tree lighting, and National Anthem start at 6:30pm, and the parade ends with a Santa-led fireworks celebration at the conclusion of the parade.