West Chester GAMSA Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2017
Contact: Malcolm Johnstone, Executive Director
WEST CHESTER BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRIST
RECEIVES 2017 NATIONAL MAIN STREET ACCREDITATION
West Chester, PA (June 30, 2017) -- The West Chester Business Improvement District has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach®.
“It is a great honor to recognize this year’s 828 nationally Accredited Main Street America programs for their outstanding work to transform downtown and neighborhood commercial districts,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Main Streets are the heart of our communities, and the work they do to create quality public spaces, catalyze local entrepreneurship, and support downtown housing is more important than ever. Across the county, Main Street America programs truly strengthen the economic, social, and cultural fabric of their entire communities.”
The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.
Between 2010 and 2016, West Chester ranked first among 969 Pennsylvania Boroughs in population growth, with a 7.9 percent growth rate. Additionally, there was an increase of $16,038,620 in assessed value within the BID, providing an estimated $111,629 in new taxes annually to the Borough. "The transformation that West Chester has gone through reflects our country's development from a simple agricultural community to an industrial community over the past two centuries," stated Executive Director, Malcolm Johnstone. "We're proud to maintain our historic heritage while continuously growing as a vibrant community that connects people from all walks of life."
The West Chester Business Improvement District was established in 2000 by the West Chester Borough Council, with the approval of downtown property and business owners, to provide community and economic development with a focus on downtown revitalization. The expertise and hands-on involvement of over 50 community volunteers that contribute a total of 1,200 hours per year has added to the success of the BID and continues to establish West Chester as a world-class shopping, dining, business, and event destination for visitors and residents.
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $71.35 billion in new public and private investment, generated 583,869 net new jobs and 131,974 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 267,800 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.