How Small Minority-Owned Businesses in Pittsburgh Are Shaping the Housing Market

How Small Minority-Owned Businesses in Pittsburgh Are Shaping the Housing Market

How Small Minority-Owned Businesses in Pittsburgh Are Shaping the Housing Market

ashley-cantley   Ashley Cantley
October 15, 2023   •   Local Market Insights   •   Real Estate Tips   •   First-Time Homebuyers

Imagine a city where every street corner tells a story, not just of its history but its future. Pittsburgh, the vibrant metropolis once defined by its steel, is experiencing an exhilarating rebirth through the voices and ventures of its minority entrepreneurs. And prospective homebuyers should be all ears.

Let's take a moment to get sauced - a sauced that's sizzling, in fact, with Uncle Jammy's Chicken Sammy. If you found yourself sinking your teeth into this sandwich at GetGo on a balmy summer day, then you have Jamal Etienne-Harrigan and Pittsburgh's commitment to supporting minority-owned businesses to thank for that explosive taste.

The Spice of Success: A Pittsburgh Tale

Everyone loves a good origin story – especially if it involves food. Etienne-Harrigan, a proud borrower of the URA (Pittsburgh's economic development enterprise), started his culinary journey not as a business tycoon but as a passionate tinkerer. Dabbling with recipes and gifting his signature sauces to close ones, he embodied the soul of an artist, allowing his love for flavors to guide him. His leap from home-cooked to farmers markets, notably the Bloomfield Saturday Market, was the sort of brave move we associate with startups in swanky Silicon Valley garages.

Yet, for every Steve Jobs, there's an Etienne-Harrigan, representing a wave of minority entrepreneurs reshaping the face of American cities.

Why This Matters to Homebuyers


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The entrepreneurial spirit, especially when it's homegrown, doesn't merely produce delightful sauces or robust businesses; it fundamentally alters the socio-economic fabric of a city

1. Cultural Renaissance: Etienne-Harrigan's success story signifies a cultural renaissance in Pittsburgh. The city's support of minority-owned businesses translates to a richer tapestry of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues – a pull for people craving authenticity and diversity in their neighborhoods.

2. Economic Boost: With the URA's backing, businesses like Smokey City's 412 BBQ LLC thrive and help build strong economic ties. Etienne-Harrigan's collaboration with Giant Eagle for GetGo promotions across four states, powered by a URA loan, is a testament to the ripple effect of local investments. More thriving businesses mean a better job market and a bustling economy – key considerations for homebuyers scouting for new homes.

3. Community Building: Etienne-Harrigan's commitment to maintaining the natural integrity of his products, excluding preservatives, mirrors the growing consumer trend towards health and sustainability. This attitude promotes community health and resonates deeply with homebuyers. A community bound by shared values, in turn, fosters stronger, safer, and more vibrant neighborhoods, making Pittsburgh an increasingly attractive place to set roots.

4. Innovation and Growth: Etienne-Harrigan’s excitement about the future, whether hosting pop-up events or exploring diverse culinary horizons, is a metaphor for Pittsburgh. A city fostering such innovation is bound to evolve, offering residents a dynamic environment that aligns with the millennial ethos of growth and change.

The Future Tastes Like Uncle Jammy's

Just as Jamal Etienne-Harrigan transitioned from a hobbyist to a professional, Pittsburgh is undergoing its metamorphosis. As small minority-owned businesses rise, supported by the likes of URA, they pave the way for a city bursting with potential and flavor.

For prospective homebuyers, Pittsburgh isn't just offering houses; it's offering homes rich with narrative, culture, and promise. And as they settle in, perhaps with a bottle of Uncle Jammy's sauce on their dining table, they'll relish that their city, like Jamal's sauces, is a blend of history, culture, passion, and an exciting hint of the unexpected.

Unlocking Pittsburgh's Future: Small Minority-Owned Businesses Leading the Charge

Pittsburgh's growth is no accident. As the city supports ventures like The Smokey City's 412 BBQ LLC, it sets a precedent for inclusivity and innovation. Let's dive deeper into why the rise of businesses like Jamal's transforms the cityscape in ways that make it a hotspot for new homebuyers.


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The Social Perspective

1. Sustainability and Responsibility: The journey of Uncle Jammy's sauces, in many ways, reflects the global shift towards sustainable consumption. Etienne-Harrigan's dedication to omitting high fructose corn syrup and preservatives signals a commitment to health and the environment. Homebuyers, many of whom prioritize eco-friendly and health-conscious choices, find this alignment with their values crucial when choosing where to live.

2. An Inclusive City is a Flourishing City: Pittsburgh's initiative to support minority entrepreneurs shows its commitment to equality and inclusivity. A city that believes in offering everyone an equal playing field is bound to be rich in diversity, tolerance, and creativity. Such cities are economically prosperous and socially harmonious, making them ideal places for homebuyers to raise or start families.

The Economic Angle

1. Support Systems for Entrepreneurs: Pittsburgh's initiatives, like the URA's Micro-Enterprise Loan, underscore its aim to foster entrepreneurial growth. This support isn't merely about funding but building an ecosystem where startups can flourish. For young professionals and budding entrepreneurs, this means a city that provides job opportunities and supports their entrepreneurial dreams.

2. Attraction for Big Brands and Collaborations: Etienne-Harrigan’s collaboration with Giant Eagle isn't an isolated event. As more local businesses make their mark, big brands will be keen to partner, leading to more such collaborations. This further fuels the city's economy, ensuring that property investments yield substantial returns in the long run.

Pittsburgh's Potential

As businesses like Etienne-Harrigan's soar to new heights, they open doors for others to follow. Every success story in Pittsburgh now serves as an inspiration, proof that dreams, when combined with hard work and the proper support, can turn into tangible realities.

What does this mean for prospective homebuyers? Well, beyond the immediate perks of vibrant culture and economic growth, it signifies that Pittsburgh is future-ready. The city is not just evolving; it's poised to lead, ensuring that investments today will reap dividends tomorrow.

And, in a world where local stories often get drowned out by global giants, Pittsburgh stands out as a testament to the power of local narratives. Every bottle of Uncle Jammy's sauce isn't just a culinary delight but a reminder of the city's commitment to its people, culture, and future.

Buying in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's embrace of minority-owned businesses like The Smokey City's 412 BBQ LLC isn't just a win for the entrepreneurs or the city's economy but for every individual seeking to call Pittsburgh home. Prospective homebuyers have every reason to be excited. From the vibrant local culture and innovative business opportunities to the supportive community and promising economic outlook, Pittsburgh is presenting a future that's not just bright but also deeply flavorful. A local real estate agent can help you see where you fit into this great city. Contact NAF Homes to get paired with a real estate agent in your community and start the journey today.

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