State leaders tour Wyomissing to highlight Gov. Shapiro’s proposed $25M investment in main streets across PA

Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Executive Deputy Secretary Mike Hanna, Jr. joined Senator Judy Schwank, Representative Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, Wyomissing Mayor Fred Levering, and other local leaders for a tour of small businesses in Wyomissing Thursday morning to highlight Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed investments in our main streets, downtown business districts, small businesses, and local communities.

Governor Shapiro and his Administration are committed to strengthening Pennsylvania’s communities and main streets, including through the $25 million Main Street Matters program in the Governor’s 2024-25 budget proposal.

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“We need to have vibrant downtowns to attract residents, visitors, and businesses, and ensure our local economies thrive,” said Executive Deputy Secretary Mike Hanna. “That’s why Governor Shapiro is calling for a $25 million investment in the new Main Street Matters program to give communities the resources they need to improve their quality of life and make their main streets and business districts better places to live, visit, and work.”

“We have many wonderful opportunities to make meaningful and bold investments in Main Streets across Berks County,” said Senator Judy Schwank. “The Shapiro Administration aims to tap into the full potential of our Commonwealth with an economic vision hyper-focused on small businesses, which are the heartbeat of our communities. Main Street Matters is a tool we can put to good use in Wyomissing and beyond, and I’ll be joining Governor Shapiro in fighting to make sure it’s part of the upcoming budget.”

“These investments in the Main Street Matters program are crucial for communities like Wyomissing. They are not just revitalizing buildings; they are restoring hope, opportunity, and pride to the heart of the city and I will always be a strong advocate for investing in the community,” said Representative Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz. “These investments bring life back to our communities, creating vibrant spaces for local businesses to thrive, families to gather, and memories to be made. It’s more than just bricks and mortar ― it’s a testament to our commitment to the prosperity and well-being of every resident in Wyomissing.”

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During his visit to Wyomissing, Executive Deputy Secretary Hanna, state, and local leaders toured the The Block at Wyomissing Square and The Knitting Mills complex and met with the owners and employees of the Vintner’s Table, Club Pilates, Kinya Ramen, Sly Fox Brewing Company, and Kimberton Whole Foods Market.

“People tend to think of the Borough as a great residential area, but it’s the commercial areas that pay the bills,” said Wyomissing Mayor Fred Levering. “Programs like Main Street Matters greatly help in realizing those efforts.”

“The Main Street Matters program perfectly aligns with the Borough of Wyomissing’s focus on prioritizing economic development and encouraging small business owners,” said Wyomissing Borough Manager Michele Bare. “Successful local businesses boost property values, create strong tax revenues and provide Wyomissing residents with plentiful options for dining, shopping and personal care.”

Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger recently announced nearly $7 million in Keystone Communities grants to support 49 community improvement projects in 25 counties across the Commonwealth – after receiving 117 applications for the program requesting more than $24 million in funding. This demonstrates the need for more state investments in the growth and stability of neighborhoods, main streets and downtown districts so that Pennsylvania’s communities and their residents can thrive.

The Governor’s proposed Main Street Matters program will be administered through DCED and will build on the successes of the current Keystone Communities Program in supporting downtowns, main streets, and surrounding neighborhoods. It will provide for a refresh of the current structure to address a wide variety of needs throughout communities and invest in their revitalization and future prosperity.

The Governor’s 2024-25 budget calls for significant investments directly tied back to Pennsylvania’s first Economic Development Strategy in nearly two decades. In addition to the $25 million to create the Main Street Matters program, other proposed economic development investments in the Governor’s budget include: $500 million in PA SITES funding to bring more commercial and industrial sites to Pennsylvania; $20 million to support large-scale innovation and leverage Pennsylvania’s best-in-class research and development assets; and $3.5 million to create and launch the Pennsylvania Regional Economic Competitiveness Challenge to incentivize regional growth.

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