2011-06-09 / Editorial

Taking a look at economic development in Jamestown

One doesn’t normally use the words “economic development” and Jamestown in the same sentence.

But that is what is on the agenda for the next Jamestown Planning Commission meeting set for Wednesday, June 15. The Planning Commission has invited the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce to tackle the issue of economic development head on.

According to a memo about next week’s meeting from Town Planner Lisa Bryer, economic development can be loosely defined as “action taken by a community to provide economic opportunities that improve social, civic and environmental conditions in a sustainable way.”

Bryer said that “sustainable” means that the “actions would have long term consequences as well as short term gains.”

“In other words, economic development actions should have the ability to build long term community capacity to deal with future challenges or opportunities,” Bryer said.

In small towns, she said, often times the existing business climate that is realized in each aspect of community life – economic, social, civic and environmental.

Maintaining a healthy business climate is vital to a healthy community. Here’s what will be covered at next week’s meeting, according to the recent memo send by Bryer to chamber members:

1. How is business defined in Jamestown? What types of businesses do we have?

2. What are Jamestown’s assets related to business? These include history, small town and the waterfront.

3. What are Jamestown’s obstacles or threats related to business success?

4. What are the issues facing Jamestown businesses today?

5. Is there concern or need for business retention? Expansion? Or recruitment?

6. What is the market of a Jamestown business?

7. What will the market support? Is a detailed market analysis necessary?

8. What is Jamestown’s identity? Do we need to be branded? Marketing and promotion?

9. How can the town help the businesses?

10. How can the chamber help the businesses?

11. What is the main goal of an economic development plan?

12. Do you feel a specific plan is necessary and can we agree to be partners?

— Jeff McDonough

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