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City Branding, Marketing Effort Continues

Pictured are examples of what a new Jamestown branding, marketing concept might look like. City officials are working with community stakeholders and Block Club Inc., a Buffalo-based branding agency and design firm, on the new initiative. Submitted photo

A new branding and marketing initiative for the city of Jamestown continues to move forward.

The Jamestown Local Development Corp. discussed last week some examples of what the logo, font, themes and tagline might be for the new branding and marketing initiative.

Crystal Surdyk, city development director, said community stakeholders are working with Block Club Inc., a Buffalo-based branding agency and design firm, on the new initiative. She provided one example of a possible tagline being “Jamestown: Comedy’s Hometown.” She added not all of the stakeholders agree that should be the tagline for the city because, even though Jamestown is now the home of the National Comedy Center and childhood home of Lucille Ball, that there’s not much of a local comedy scene outside of Lucy Fest.

“We’re not really comedy’s hometown. We’ve adopted comedy as our hometown,” she said.

However, Surdyk said some of the local stakeholders believe that because of the National Comedy Center, which host an extensive collection of comedy memorabilia, and because it was the “First Lady of Comedy” native city that the tagline is appropriate.

Kim Ecklund, JLDC member and At-Large councilwoman, said maybe the tagline could be “Jamestown: The Celebration of Comedy.” Anthony Dolce, JLDC member and council president, said possibly the tagline could just state “Jamestown: The Home of the National Comedy Center.”

Another aspect of the branding and marketing initiative discussed was the font used in the tagline. The consensus of the group was that they didn’t like the filling in of letters in the tagline. The JLDC members agreed that block lettering or script writing would look much better than what Block Club had proposed.

The group also discussed possible themes like “Come for the funny, stay for the eats” or “Come for the funny, stay for the hops,” with both referencing the several restaurants and bars in downtown Jamestown. The JLDC members believed both those themes were satisfactory, with one member suggesting that one should also include the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.

Surdyk said she will pass on the feedback she received from the JLDC members to Block Club and the local stakeholder groups as they continue to work on the city’s new branding and marketing initiative.

In other business, Stephanie Wright, city economic development coordinator, discusses some of the possible new loan programs the JLDC might offer city businesses. In September, Surdyk said city officials would like to restructure the loans offered to provide more flexibility. She said some of the loans offered by the JLDC haven’t been used in a number of years.

Wright suggested one of the new loans might lend $10,000 to $15,000 to a startup or new small business.

Currently, The JLDC offers loans ranging from $35,000 to $350,000, with rates varying depending on the loan. The applicant is expected to fund at least 50% of the total project costs, with loans ranging from five-, seven- and 10-year terms. Approved uses vary by loan program, collateral must be project related and personal guarantees are required.

Wright said there seems to be more of a need for businesses looking for a loan that is less than $35,000. She said some of the criteria for the new loan program would include the applicant demonstrating a measurable self-investment into the business, a list of investment and business partners and the taking of courses at the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College, with SBDC also helping to create a business plan.

Another example of a possible new loan is a small business assistance loan that would range from $15,000 to $75,000, Wright said. She said this loan could be given to established businesses or ones looking to move into Jamestown. She said in recent months, two businesses tried to move into the city, but couldn’t do it because they lacked the financing.

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