Welcome to the first issue of the Westfieldny.com Newsletter!
Autumn in Westfield is truly a feast for the senses. The heady aroma of grapes is in the air. The never-ending rows of picture-perfect vines juxtaposed against brilliant red and gold leaves and the blue autumn sky combine to create a stunning landscape. The seasonal tastes of fresh apple cider, Concord grapes and pumpkin pies linger. Nightfall comes ever earlier. The leaves rustle in the breeze. And the honking of south-bound geese overhead remind us all of the rhythm of the seasons here in Chautauqua County.
The summer tourists have gone and the lake and beach are considerably quieter than they were a few short weeks ago. But fall brings a flurry of activity for the many multi-generation family farms rooted in the agricultural heritage of the region. For them, and the interconnected industries that support them, this is harvest time – a bustling season of early morning grape picking and constant activity. These farms drive the economic engine of the region and the fruits of their labor sustain us all, quite literally, in countless ways.
We encourage you to explore autumn in Westfield and take time to smell the Concords. For a list of upcoming events, go to our Community Calendar.
by John Rawlinson
WDC Executive Director
Welcome to our first Newsletter. The Westfield Development Corporation (WDC) has been in existence for many years, and as with many volunteer organizations we have had our strong years with lots of activity and also years when for various reasons we have not been as active.
Even in this difficult economic period the WDC is experiencing a lot of activity, adding new members and launching a number of new initiatives to help Westfield progress and prosper, this newsletter is a further effort in this direction. We want to inform the community and hopefully engage it in our efforts and to connect with people outside our community who have interest in Westfield. Let me outline some of our recent achievements:
The WDC website has grown in popularity to the extent that we are getting as many as 2000 visitors in some months. It is a great resource and helps us to promote Westfield. Within the web site the Community Calendar brings all the community activities together for easy management by the various organizations and gives visibility on the internet.
By now many of you will have had the opportunity to see the DVD that was produced last year, if you haven’t please contact me and I will make one available to you. The DVD has had very good reviews and is a useful tool for showing off Westfield as a great place to live, work and play. Another tool now in our tool box is a Press Kit which is being sent to newspapers, magazines and other media outlets. It contains high quality literature, brochures and the DVD mentioned above. A rack card depicting our new village clock in a beautiful Moore Park setting was produced and has been distributed throughout the County and to tourist locations in Canada.
We have been working with the County IDA to develop a Business Park concept in our industrial zoned area on Bourne Street. This continues to be promoted to prospective businesses and will be a key element in the County Comprehensive Plan when it is developed next year. As well as keeping in touch with our existing businesses, we put effort into assisting new businesses. The most recent high potential start up businesses being supported by the WDC is TimberFish Technologies, a company that has the potential of putting Westfield at the forefront in the aquaculture field.
We hope this brief summary of the major efforts being undertaken by the WDC and this newsletter are both interesting and informative. We look forward to your feedback.
by Tony Pisicoli
Westfield-Barcelona Chamber of Commerce President
This has been a year of growth in Westfield despite a turbulent economic climate. We have seen the advent of several new businesses and the Chamber found a new home in the Seachrist Law office building. The Chamber championed several initiatives including a cross-marketing seminar, a business networking group, town hall meetings, a shopping and dining guide, way-finding signs, First Fridays, the Farmers Market, the Local Food Heroes competition, Celebrate Westfield and Light the Lakes.
In an attempt to bring value to our membership the WBCC held a cross-marketing seminar to discuss ideas and past practices used to promote Westfield as a whole rather than just individual businesses. Among the attendees and participants were County Executive Greg Edwards, CCIDA Director Bill Daly, Westfield Town Supervisor Martha Bills, Westfield Mayor David Carr and Executive Director and President of the WDC, John Rawlinson and Joel Seachrist.
The Business Networking Group was founded by Peter Aleksandrowicz as a forum for local businesses to get to know a little more about each other and their respective businesses. Town Hall Meetings are a quarterly endeavor to allow local residents and business owners to discuss local, county and state issues such as school consolidation and wind power.
For the second consecutive year the WDCC has produced a shopping and dining guide featuring local businesses and a detailed map of the area. The WDCC worked in conjunction with the village planning board to develop way finding signs for many of the businesses that are off of the main highways.
First Fridays continued in 2009, with live music, artist displays, craft and produce vendors and children’s activities along Main Street. Marilyn Hemmer led the committee to bring together the 3rd annual Celebrate Westfield festival. Food, music, kids activities, performances by Center Stage Dance Studio, an alumni tent and an opportunity for new businesses to showcase their product was planned.
The momentum continued for the Westfield Farmers Market, now in its third year. We have grown every year thanks to the dedicated group of vendors and volunteers that are the lifeblood of this event. All of the hard work has paid as we were named one of the top ten farmers markets of our size in the nation. The second year of Local Food Heroes was a success with even more community involvement. Seven restaurants participated along with many local food producers and farms. It was an all day event that included the Farmers market in the morning, a beer and wine garden, art in the park, live music and children’s activities. The WBCC also participated in the county-wide initiative Light the Lakes. Our festivities were centered in the Barcelona area and included great food, terrific live music magnificent fireworks.
The Chamber also teamed with the town and village of Westfield and the Westfield Development Corporation to write a successful request for occupancy tax money. This money will be used for a thruway advertising campaign in the coming months. It was a prime example of how working together can produce positive results for our community. We look forward to a productive 2010 for the entire Westfield and Barcelona community.