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May 2, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration today announced that West Chester Borough was selected as a winner of the 2017 Great American Main Street Award at the Main Street American Conference in Pittsburgh. West Chester, in Chester County, is the first Pennsylvania community to be recognized with this distinction in nearly 20 years.
“I am very proud that West Chester was recognized by Main Street America for its success at revitalizing its business district and the surrounding area. Pennsylvania is home to so many vibrant, active communities and West Chester is a model worthy of recognition,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I want to thank the West Chester officials, small businesses, and residents for their commitment to the continued growth and improvement of their community.”
West Chester’s revival began approximately 17 years ago when the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) was established. The BID successfully secured a Keystone Communities designation through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities Program, which helps encourage public and private sector partnerships that support economic development and local revitalization efforts specific to the community’s needs.
Through its Keystone Communities designation, West Chester secured nearly $1 million in funding to support neighborhood and streetscape improvement projects, commercial façade restorations, and destination marketing efforts. The collaboration between DCED, the BID, West Chester Borough, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, and the West Chester Police Department has led to the growth of a vibrant small business community, rebuilt and enhanced areas within the West Chester community, and a nearly 50 percent crime reduction.
“We are thrilled Main Street America honored West Chester with this award,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “The borough’s highly successful transformation and revitalization shows the effectiveness of public-private partnerships, and DCED looks forward to continuing these efforts in West Chester and other communities in the commonwealth.”
Born of the National Main Street Center, Main Street America unites stakeholders from small and mid-sized towns and urban commercial districts working to bring economic development and community revitalization practices to their local communities. In September, West Chester was selected as one of 10 finalists around the country for the 2017 Great American Main Street Awards and the city was presented the award at the conference yesterday.
For more information on the West Chester community and the BID, visit DowntownWestChester.com. For more information on the Keystone Communities Program and other DCED programs, visit DCED website.