© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pittsfield Unveils Economic Development Strategy

JD Allen
Mick Callahan, chair of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, says the city can't miss an opportunity.

Pittsfield has unveiled a new economic development strategy in an effort to attract more businesses to move to and stay in the Western Massachusetts city. 


Mayor Linda Tyer calls it the Red Carpet Team approach to doing business.


“How do we do more with less resources?” Tyer says. “What outcomes might be realized if we streamline the experience for a business prospect, so they are not shuttled between this organization and that agency and then they are sent to this person and so on and so forth until they are exhausted, frustrated, confused, and really unsure of where they can find their best opportunity?”


At a press conference Thursday, Tyer joined the Chair of the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation, Jay Anderson, and Mick Callahan, chair of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority. They have created a roundtable collaboration with MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development to provide resources and assistance to startups and established companies. 


In addition, MassDevelopment will have monthly office hours in City Hall.


“We sought ways to sync up so that we are delivering the absolute best in the competitive arena of economic development,” Tyer says.


Tyer says businesses can now pitch plans to every agency, and each agency is able to offer its technical assistance and incentives.


“A full menu of opportunities is presented. Strategies aligned and a road map is created,” Tyer says.


The city has piloted the program over the past year.


PEDA, PERC and the city also announced a new shared full-time Business Development Manager position and a new appointment for the director of Community Development position, Deanna Ruffer.


The new role will serve as an ambassador and technician in recruiting and expanding businesses in the city. Pittsfield and the two agencies are allotting about $25,000 apiece to the position.


PEDA and PERC’s leadership will not be restructured due to the new shared position. The move comes the same month as Cory Thurston is stepping down as PEDA’s executive director.


There was no mention Thursday of Thurston’s replacement.


Callahan, with PEDA, says the city can’t miss any opportunities.


“So I think just aligning ourselves needs more efficiently is a role that the business community needs to take advantage of,” Callahan says. “Best practices, and we cannot continue to think like yesterday.”


“We are open and ready for business,” Tyer says.


Ruffer’s appointment will go before the City Council May 9th. After funding is approved by the City Council, Tyer says she anticipates the hiring process for the shared Business Development Manager role to start this summer.

Related Content