Local Matters

Community Sponsors

BID

July 10, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in business, BID, Tasty Tuesdays, downtown city restaurants.

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) is rolling out a Tasty Tuesdays campaign for the Summer 2020 to support our Downtown restaurants.

Our Downtown participating restaurants are offering up exclusive Tuesday night specials that you won’t want to miss.  

The BID will promote Tasty Tuesdays each week, offering diners that choose to participate an option to upload an image to Instagram or Facebook using #tastytuesdays and tag the restaurant to be entered to win a gift certificate to one of our independent restaurants Downtown.

Tasty Tuesday Specials may be different each week and vary depending on location and hours. Make sure to check out our Facebook page for these sizzling specials and post your participation for the free giveaways!

"If we get enough momentum, we may continue this into the fall," said Beth Kemp, BID executive director.

For more information on BID and Downtown events, please visit this website.

May 13, 2020 - 1:58pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, BID, news, united way day of caring, covid-19.

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Today was supposed to be United Way of Genesee County's annual Day of Caring, which was cancelled due to COVID-19.

It nonetheless prompted the Business Improvement District businesses and supporters to draw chalk messages of support and shout-outs for local business during the pandemic.

Chalk was handed out on Main Street for anyone who wanted to participate. Social distancing was practiced by those involved in this event. 

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April 30, 2020 - 6:59pm

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District Board of Directors regretfully announces cancellation of Jackson Square Concert Series and Beertavia.

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, the need for social distancing, and our concern for the health of the community, vendors, volunteers, and attendees we have decided to cancel these two events for 2020. 

We are hopeful to see everyone back in Summer of 2021 and look forward to the times we can come out and enjoy the music and festivities again as a community. 

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit our website

March 25, 2020 - 3:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, NY Main Street Grant Program, BID, dri.

Press release:

The City of Batavia announced that applications for a $300,000 New York Main Street Grant Program that is available to all building owners within the Batavia Improvement District (BID) and Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) area will be extended until 4:30 p.m. April 10, 2020.

In light of recent events, mandates and changes to all of our routines, the City of Batavia will extend the due date of these grant fund applications to the close of business -- 4:30 p.m. -- on April 10th, 2020.

The City of Batavia encourages all residents to stay safe in these unprecedented times and continue to support your local businesses in any way possible. Our local businesses need our community support now, more than ever.

Guidelines and the applications can be found on the BDC website.

If you have any questions please contact Andrew Maguire by email at:   [email protected]

November 26, 2019 - 1:35pm

From Mike Bakos, market manager, Genesee Country Farmers' Market:

On behalf of the members of the Genesee Country Farmers' Market, I would like to thank everyone that supported this year's Market -- the City of Batavia, the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District, our 2019 Market Sponsors, our market vendors, and of course, our loyal customers.

The Market, located at the Downtown Batavia Public Market, on the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place, was, once again, able to sustain a three-day/week market schedule being open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from mid-June through the last Friday of October.

This year marked the fourth year of collaboration with the BID. The popular Friday "BIG" Market continues to grow and receive inquiries from new vendors interested in joining the Market. It is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 people visit the Market each week bringing 30,000 to 40,000 market customers into the Downtown Batavia Business District over the 20-week market season. 

During the off-season, the Market will be pursuing new/prospective vendors with a goal of growing/enhancing the upcoming 2020 Market. The Market is committed to its mission of "providing a family-friendly environment where the residents of the Greater-Batavia area and Genesee County can shop for fresh, locally-grown, produce and specialty artisanal items" -- and our vision of "making the Genesee Country Farmers' Market @ The Downtown Batavia Public Market a WNY Destination."

We’re hoping to be back again next June with fresh, locally grown produce… providing the residents of the greater-Batavia area with a market that dovetails nicely with Batavia’s developing Healthy Living Campus. We wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Comments/inquiries regarding the Market are welcomed at the Genesee Country Farmers' Market's Facebook page or by emailing [email protected].

October 6, 2019 - 10:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, downtown, BID, batavia, wine walk.
Video Sponsor
September 27, 2019 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, business, batavia.

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This afternoon, Sarah and Casey Stockwell install a display for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on East Main Street, Downtown Batavia, as part of the Business Improvement District's annual scarecrow contest.

Sarah is in accounting and HR at the Chamber. Steve Falitico, the chamber's membership development director, helped design the display.

June 6, 2019 - 11:29am
posted by Billie Owens in news, Jackson Square Concert Series, batavia, BID.

Here's the lineup for this year's Jackson Square Concert Series in Downtown Batavia.

Free, live music performances will be from 7 to 9 p.m. on Fridays in Jackson Square, located between Center and Jackson streets.

June 21 -- Genesee Ted (classic rock)

June 28 -- Skycats (classic rock party)

July 5 -- It's My Party ('60s music)

July 7 -- The Ramble (music festival)

July 12 -- Old Hippies (acoustic & orginal)

July 19 -- Red Creek (party rock)

July 26 -- Mitty & The Followers (Motown)

Aug. 2 -- OHMS Band (classic rock)

Aug. 9 -- Ghost Riders (hardcore country)

The free concert series, brought to you by the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (BID), is made possible by these sponsors:

  • M&T Bank
  • Erdman Anthony
  • Turnbull Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning
  • T.F. Brown's Restaurant
  • Tompkins Bank of Castile/Insurance Agencies/Financial Advisors
  • Western NY Concrete
  • Dan's Tire & Auto
  • L&L Transmissions Inc.
May 20, 2019 - 2:13pm

Press release:

The Genesee Country Farmers' Market @ The Downtown Batavia Public Market opens for the season on Friday, June 7th, at the market's location on the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place in the Downtown Batavia Business District.

Market hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays with the season running from Friday, June 7th, through Friday, Oct. 25th.

"This year marks the fourth year of collaboration with BID (Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District)", says Market Manager Mike Bakos, "The Market will remain a three-day per week 'Grow-Your-Own' market, featuring the freshest locally-grown produce along with unique specialty items from local artisans.

"Vendors are excited about the upcoming market season with many of last year's vendors returning along with some new additions. The market will once again participate in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), DUFB (Double-Up Food Bucks), NYS FreshConnect, WIC and Senior Farmer's Market Check Programs. Stop by and talk directly to the people that grow your food."

The market is committed to its Mission of "providing a family-friendly environment where the residents of the Greater-Batavia area and Genesee County can shop for fresh, locally-grown, produce and specialty artisanal items" -- and its Vision of "making the Genesee Country Farmers' Market @ The Downtown Batavia Public Market a WNY Destination."

Parties interested in joining the market to become a Seasonal Vendor or Day Vendor may contact Sharon Brent at (716)-560-0853 or by email at [email protected] or Mike Bakos at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

Qualifying charities, service-groups, or 501c3 organizations that would like to participate in the market may obtain a FREE market stall by contacting the market at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

January 25, 2019 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, BID, downtown.

Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Barbara Dietrich as the B.I.D.'s new Executive Director.

Dietrich comes to the B.I.D. from an extensive background of marketing, event management, public relations, promotions and business startup skills. She was the president of Dietrich Consulting in Batavia starting in 1998. She consulted for a variety of businesses on marketing, advertising trends, promotions, sponsorship and events. She was the radio personality on Entercom Buffalo; News Radio 930 WBEN – “Easy Living with Barb Dietrich."

Dietrich was the sponsorship director of “The Great Pumpkin Farm ”Oink”toberfest, NYS BBQ Cook-off Competition in Clarence. During her time at Dietrich Consulting she was the director of Marketing and Development for the YWCA Genesee County, director of Marketing for Empire Tractor Inc., director of Marketing, Public Relations and Sponsorship for Rivera Theatre in North Tonawanda, and general manager for WNY Event Centre in Clarence.

Dietrich has volunteered for many organizations over the years, she was a board member as well as past chairperson for Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Batavia Business Advisory Board, Cornell Cooperative Extension Board, Genesee County Business Advisory Board for Tompkins/Bank of Castile and Junior Achievement.

“Most of my marketing/management career has been in the Buffalo area and I’m so happy to use those skills and experiences here in my own community," she said. "It’s an honor to be a part of the exciting growth of Batavia!”

Dietrich moved to Batavia from State College, Pa., with her husband, David Dietrich, more than 25 years ago. They have two children, Joe and Petra.

She said she is happy they chose Batavia as their home.

Dietrich is looking forward to joining the B.I.D. and working closely with the downtown businesses, volunteers, board members, the City of Batavia and its community. Her official start date will be Monday, Jan. 28. We warmly welcome her to the B.I.D.

December 2, 2018 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Christmas in the City, Christmas, batavia, news, downtown, BID.

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The Batavia Improvement District hosted Christmas in the City last night, which included sleigh rides, a toy train ride, visits with Santa (and the Grinch) along with local Christmas shopping.

For pictures of the parade by Jim Burns, click here.

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Gregory Hallock as Grinch and Nora Browne as Cindy Lou at GO ART! Hallock made his costume while Paige Sikorski, who is 13, put on his makeup.

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Paul Grazioplene posed with Grinch, trying to convince his child that Grinch wasn't scary but the child didn't buy it.

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There's a tiny little bundle in Santa's lap. It's 1-month-old Greyson Malcomb getting his first picture with Santa.

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Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey with Bo Coffey and Alyssa Coffey. Bo and Dan were in line waiting for a ride in the horse-drawn sleigh.

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October 22, 2018 - 5:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, BID, Scarecrow Contest, batavia, business.

The Batavia Business Improvement District hosted its first Scarecrow Contest for Downtown Batavia.

As a creative way to add some more fall flavor to downtown decorating, the BID invited any business, group or organization to enter the contest.

For $20 each business was provided basic supplies of straw, a post and zip ties along with their pole assignment. Each business could then get creative in creating their scarecrow.

All voting for favorite scarecrow ended Friday, Oct. 19th. 

  • First-place Winner for 2018 is Batavia Pediatrics;
  • Second-place Winner is Genesee Valley PennySaver;
  • Third-place Winner is Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle

First-place winner receives $100 cash prize, second place $75 and third place $50. The BID would like to thank Home Depot for sponsoring the scarecrows and donating of posts, and to our City of Batavia Fire Department for assembling the posts.

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit our website at www.downtownbataviany.com.

October 16, 2018 - 5:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beth Kemp, BID, downtown, batavia, business, news, notify.

Beth Kemp, executive director of the Batavia Improvement District, has decided the business she co-owns with her husband Brian, T-Shirts Etc. needs more of her time and attention so she's resigned her position.

"It was an extremely hard decision for me because I love working as director of BID but T-Shirts Etc. continues to grow and I felt it was shortsighted of me to allow my own small business to struggle and continue my role here," Kemp said.

"I was only able to maintain a few hours at T-Shirts Etc. while working for BID, which was definitely not enough to support what we need to do over there."

Kemp has given notice to the board but she didn't share her final work day.

The Batavian reached out to Jennifer Gray, president of the BID Board of Directors, for comment and information about finding a replacement for Kemp but we have not yet received a response.

Kemp became director in November 2016.

"This opportunity has been amazing and I am so thankful to have been able to work with so many amazing people in our community," Kemp said. "In the past two years we have put in a lot of work in.

"We are in a great place with our finances, events, sponsorships, business relationships, community relationships, and mission. I look forward to still volunteering for events and community projects as the BID needs."

File photo.

October 7, 2018 - 8:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, batavia, news, wine walk, BID.

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The annual Downtown Batavia Wine Walk, sponsored by the Business Improvement District, was held Saturday evening.

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To purchase keepsake prints of photos or digital downloads, click here.

July 29, 2018 - 12:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beertavia, batavia, BID, news, downtown.

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It wasn't all fun and games at Beertavia on Saturday afternoon. There was also the serious business of sampling beers from more than two dozen brewers from Batavia, Buffalo, Rochester, the Southern Tier, the Finger Lakes and beyond.

Four years ago, there were only three brewers participating and 300 people in attendance. This year, at least 700 people attended.

"It’s only going to get bigger and bigger every year," said Cory Wolcott, who has been one of the organizers of the event since its inception. "People love it. We run it well. People are happy, so it will grow."

Four years ago, there were no breweries in Batavia and how we have Eli Fish Brewing Company, reviving a local brand that died out 100 years ago. Eli Fish was a lead sponsor of this year's Beertavia.

This is the first year that VIP tickets sold out in advance.

Wolcott said one reason people love Beertavia is it's easy to try so many different craft beers.

"They like the ability to get to a brewery and try their beer pretty effortlessly," Wolcott said. "There are a lot of bigger events but this is like a medium event so you can still try just about everybody who is here without waiting too long or feel like you’re elbow-to-elbow with somebody. It’s so relaxed but still big enough to enjoy a lot of different breweries."

Previously: Photos: BID's first Beertavia

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June 8, 2018 - 10:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farmers market, public market, downtown, BID, news, batavia.

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It was a bright, beautiful day for the first day of the Batavia's Downtown Public Market at Bank and Alva.

In addition to many returning favorites for the Genesee County Farmer's Market, there were two new vendors at the market today, Market Manager Mike Bakos told WBTA. 

Pickle Annie's offers a variety of pickles as well as flavored cider vinegar, which Bakos said is supposed to be good for joint health.

Also new this year is Bad Ash BBQ (The Batavian's publisher and editor can recommend the pulled pork sandwich with baked beans and coleslaw).

"This is a really good spot for the market because we can attract vendors all season long and expand," Bakos said. "We can make the market bigger as needed and that’s really nice."

The market sells $5 Farmers Market Money gift certificates and if you buy $45 worth you get another $5 free.  

The market also accepts SNAP benefits and thanks to a grant, through July, customers who use their SNAP benefits card at the market will receive a $2 coupon for each $5 purchased from a food vendor.

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May 31, 2018 - 11:59am

Press release:

The Genesee Country Farmers' Market located at the Downtown Batavia Public Market opens for the season on Friday, June 8th, at the market's location on the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place.

Market hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with the season running from Friday, June 8th, through Friday, Oct. 26th.

"This year marks the third year of collaboration with BID (Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District)," says Market Manager Mike Bakos. "The Market will remain a three-day per week "Grow-Your-Own" market featuring the freshest locally grown produce along with unique specialty items from local farms and artisans.

"Vendors are excited about the upcoming market season with many of last year's vendors returning along with some new additions. The market will once again participate in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), NYS FreshConnect, WIC and Senior Farmer's Market Check Programs. Stop by and talk directly to the people that grow your food."

Parties interested in joining the market to become a Seasonal Vendor or Day Vendor may contact Sharon Brent at (716)-560-0853 or by email at [email protected] or Mike Bakos at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

Qualifying charities, service-groups, or 501c3 organizations that would like to participate in the market may obtain a "FREE" market stall by contacting the market at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

May 23, 2018 - 5:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, business, BID.
Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) Board elected new officers for the 2018-2019 term.

New executive board is made up of Board President Jennifer Gray, Board Vice President Leanna DiRisio, Board Treasurer Kristine Duran, and Board Secretary Lisa Casey.

The BID Board welcomed five new board members this year that were announced at the BID’s Annual Meeting in April. The new members to include: Wesley Bedford, Joann Baiocco, Marc Johnson, Rick Mancuso and Tina Rose.

The newly elected officers represent the first female President and Vice President to serve on the BID Board since its origination in 1998. 

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit here.

April 28, 2018 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, batavia, news, notify, business.

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Pastor Marty Macdonald was an evangelist for Downtown Batavia at the Business Improvement District's annual meeting and awards breakfast in the Generation Center on Friday morning.

Macdonald, pastor of City Church and the keynote speaker Friday, delivered a sermon on the virtues and values of Batavia, his belief in its potential, and his encouragement for Downtown's business owners to remain steadfast in their commitment to growth and community.

“This is the greatest city on the face of the Earth,” Macdonald said. “I really believe that. We as leaders are commissioned to make incredible decisions, not just once in a lifetime but every single day because we are presented with the call to make the future around us great. And not just for five, 10 or 15 years. We are called to change generations yet to come.”

He said he is overjoyed to see the success he sees coming Batavia's way and encouraged business owners not to gripe about the problems they might see but embrace what is going right.

"I’m thankful when I pull into the parking lot next to our building and I can’t find a place to park," Macdonald said. "I remember there was a time you could have thrown a bowling ball in any direction and not hit anything. Now people are upset because they’ve got to walk a little bit. Come on, we need to walk more anyways."

Instead of listening to the few lingering negative voices in the community who badmouth everything they see, Macdonald said we all should aim higher.

"I know I’m not talking to anybody in this room who talks about things that can’t be done," Macdonald said. "I’m talking to people who are can-do people here. Instead of saying what cannot be done or listening to the two or three voices in the community that seem to have the largest megaphone built into their mouths, let’s decide to live at a higher level than we’ve ever lived before. Let’s commit our attitude to be changed in order to go higher and go further than we have ever gone before."

After comparing and contrasting two birds of the desert -- the vulture that feeds only on dead things and the hummingbird that seeks beautiful flowers and spreads life -- Macdonald said, "Can I encourage you today to start thinking like a hummingbird, to start thinking like that one who is looking for life, looking things that are living, instead of focusing on something that is dead. I just want to throw this out here, and I don’t mean to insult anybody, but urban renewal is over. It’s dead. It’s gone. Yes, we learn from yesterday but we can’t stay stuck in yesterday if we are going to move on to a great future."

Adding, "In my church, everyone would say, ‘Amen’ right now."

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Jon Mager, co-owner of the newly established Eli Fish Brewing Company, along with Matt Gray and Matt Boyd, delivered the opening remarks, talking about how the new restaurant, brewery, and restaurant incubator came to be.

"We all grew up in Batavia," Mager said. "We’re all very familiar with the area. We recognize that Downtown has been hurting for quite a few years. Over the years we, unfortunately, saw many restaurants and retail stores leave Downtown or close up completely. We admit we looked other places. We saw places with lower rent, lower operating costs, and lower construction costs over the entire project."

But they picked the former Newberry building for several reasons, including (the fact that) its surrounded by parking; Jackson Square is a hidden gem; there is ample traffic passing past the location; the current Downtown businesses are "awesome," and they are all nostalgic and love old buildings.

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City Council President Eugene Jankowski talked about the benefits of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the process of the city winning the $10 million prize.

He recalled that while making a presentation in Albany, a slideshow of pictures was on a screen behind him when serendipity struck.

"I was talking about how I was walking to school and I remember the smell of those wet, demolished bricks and seeing this once beautiful downtown just rumble down," Jankowski said. "I remember that smell and I was telling the story, and unbeknownst to me, the picture came up of urban renewal and a pile of wet bricks. Jason (Molino) told me that afterward and I thought maybe the timing is right on this one."

Jankowski expressed his appreciation for Downtown's local business owners.

"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for investing your time and your hard-earned money in our Downtown and in our City," Jankowski said. "I know it’s a risk and I know sometimes it’s not always easy, but I as a Batavian really appreciate driving down Main Street and seeing all the traffic."

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Jeff Gillard was named a Volunteer of the Year.

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Derek Kane was named a Volunteer of the Year.

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The Genesee Valley PennySaver, celebrating its 70th year in business, was named a Business of the Year. Pictured are Manual Karem, PennySaver ad manager, owner Steve Harrison, BID Director Beth Kemp, BID Board President Steve Krna, and Beth Walker, a sales associate with the PennySaver.

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Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, celebrating its 100th anniversary, was a Business of the Year. Pictured are Buzz Masse, Mark Masse, Joyce Masse, Cathy Roche, Michael Mugler, John Roche, and Krna and Kemp from the BID.

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