State Grant Funding Builds On Positive Momentum

$10-million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funds that will flow to the City of Jamestown will build upon the positive momentum occurring in Jamestown. The state award will be used to leverage private investments and to create a series of attractions and settings in downtown Jamestown that are worthy of the community which is poised to host a national attraction. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, in her announcement of the awards last week, called it a “new lease on life” for Jamestown. She is right.

Ten local projects receiving funding are: $2.4 million to rehabilitate a closed downtown hotel and turn it into a Hilton Double Tree; $1.5 million for upgrades to the Robert H. Jackson Center; $1.5 million to implement much of the master plan for the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts; $1 million for the redevelopment of the former KeyBank building which will become a multi-use facility including commercial, office, and residential space; $830,000 for the Jamestown Brewing Company development; $670,000for the excursion train infrastructure and depot to prepare for an excursion train from Buffalo to Jamestown; $610,000 for streetscape and pedestrian improvements; $600,000 for downtown programming and activities; $325,000 for lighting and other improvements for the Riverwalk park project; and $265,000 to improve the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown. The remaining $300,000 will cover the costs of consultants and administrative fees.

It’s important to note that the DRI funding is in addition to state funding already committed to the National Comedy Center through Empire State Development. It’s also on top of state funding for other projects in Chautauqua County including the Athenex plant in Dunkirk and the Northern Chautauqua Regional Water District. Hochul, who is a native of Hamburg, noted that all of this attention represents a “sea change in how state government views upstate New York.”

One of the greatest testaments to Jamestown securing the DRI award is the people who have helped to make this possible. Dozens of individuals representing a broad cross section of the community from business, education, tourism, non-profits, and elected officials, participated in the planning process. Nothing good happens without people who are determined to work together for the benefit of an entire community, and that is a resource we have in this region that outweighs many challenges. Congratulations to all who helped to bring these projects to this point! We eagerly anticipate the construction seasons ahead.



The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Spring Membership Drive continues through June 15, and so far 28 businesses have become part of our Chamber family since the drive began! Business people who join during the drive will be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes. The drawing will be held during our Business After Hours event at Johnson Estate Winery on June 15. For more information or to join online, visit our website at www.chautauquachamber.org or call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.



Our weekly Mornings on Main coffee hours around Chautauqua County have literally brought a wide variety of businesses to the table. Discussions have focused on ways to improve foot traffic in our communities and how to meet the workforce needs of some of our smaller businesses. All business people are welcome to attend and join in the discussion. These events are Tuesday mornings at 8:00am for the next two weeks as follows: June 6 with the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber at J & B Mayville Diner, 7 West Chautauqua Avenue, Mayville; and June 13 with the Hanover Community Chamber at Tom’s Family Restaurant, Irving. There is no registration required. Join us for coffee and conversation!



Join with business people from all over Chautauqua County during our Experience Chautauqua Business After Hours at Johnson Estate Winery! This event will not only provide a terrific opportunity for networking, but it will include some amazing wine tasting and appetizers! It’s also the culmination of our Spring Membership Drive, where winners will be drawn from our new Chamber members. There will be lots of door prizes, too! This event is proudly sponsored by M & T Bank, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and Webb’s Year Round Resort. The cost is just $11 for pre-registered Chamber members or $13 for walk-ins or non-members. If you are a new Chamber member business, you can use your complimentary passes for this event and attend for free. Call the Chamber now to register at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or register online at www.chautauquachamber.org/events.


In your search for the perfect gift for dad this Father’s Day, look no further than tickets to the four-day PGA Web.com LECOM Health Challenge at Peek’n Peak! The event runs July 6-9. You can purchase tickets now for this spectacular event through the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. Your purchase will help to support initiatives of the Chamber and its Community Chambers including workforce development, community events, business training programs, and more. Single day passes are just $10, or you can buy week-long general admission passed for $25 each. For more information, call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200, or buy your tickets online at www.chautauquachamber.org/events.