Shapiro Administration Kicks Off Small Business Week, Highlights Importance of Investing in Pennsylvania’s Downtowns and Main Streets (2024)

Since Day One, the Shapiro Administration has worked to create opportunities for small businesses across the Commonwealth, and Governor Josh Shapiro has proclaimed April 28-May 4, 2024 as Small Business Week in Pennsylvania.

Supporting small businesses and main streets is an essential component of the Governor’s economic development strategy — and his 2024-25 budget proposal includes $600 million in new and expanded investments to implement the strategy.

New Cumberland, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger joined local leaders for a tour of downtown New Cumberland in Cumberland County to kick off the upcoming Small Business Week in Pennsylvania ― April 28 through May 4, 2024. Secretary Siger and local leaders highlighted the important impact small businesses have on the Commonwealth’s economy and encouraged Pennsylvanians to support their local main streets and downtown businesses during Small Business Week.

Governor Shapiro recognizes that small businesses bolster our economy and support thousands of jobs – and to continue to support small businesses, downtowns, and main streets all across the Commonwealth, the Governor’s 2024-25 budget proposes $25 million for the Main Street Matters program, to support the commercial corridors that are the backbone of communities across our Commonwealth. The new Main Street Matters program will build upon and modernize the existing Keystone Communities program run by DCED.

“The driving force behind Pennsylvania’s economy is the innovation, passion, and hard work of entrepreneurs and small businesses like the ones we visited today in New Cumberland,” said Secretary Rick Siger. “When our communities thrive, so do our small businesses. That’s why Governor Shapiro is calling for smart investments that strengthen our downtowns and communities through the proposed Main Street Matters program.”

Secretary Siger was joined by New Cumberland Mayor Joan Erney and other local leaders for the event as they visited a number of the borough’s businesses, including: the West Shore Theater, Hanna’s Ice Cream, Oxford Hall Celtic Gift Shop and Café, Semoff’s Barber Shop and iDesign Plastics.

“I would like to thank the Shapiro Administration for highlighting the importance of our small businesses,” said Mayor Erney. “We are so fortunate here in New Cumberland to have a vibrant diverse business community- including our West Shore Theater, a revitalization effort that is a gem for not only New Cumberland but for the region.”

“As a small town with many small businesses, New Cumberland is grateful for the support that has come our way over the past several years from DCED,” said Don Kibler, President, New Cumberland Borough Council. “As a community, we have done our best to apply that money, and that trust, in the most productive way to make our community a better place to live, work, and play.”

In addition to today’s Cumberland County visit, DCED is visiting local businesses all across the Commonwealth as part of this year’s Small Business Week: Bethlehem, Northampton County (April 29); Franklin, Venango County (April 30); Media, Delaware County (May 1); Hazleton, Luzerne County (May 2); and Somerset, Somerset County (May 3).

Since taking office, the Shapiro Administration has worked aggressively to create opportunities for small businesses and build a stronger economy across Pennsylvania by investing in job creation, innovation, and economic development. Earlier this year, Governor Shapiro and DCED Secretary Rick Siger launched the Commonwealth’s first Economic Development Strategy in nearly two decades – and a critical component of that strategy is building on the existing successes of the current Keystone Communities Program in supporting downtowns, main streets, and surrounding neighborhoods to invest in their revitalization and future prosperity by creating the Main Street Matters program. In addition to the proposed $25 million for the Main Street Matters program, the Governor’s 2024-25 budget would invest $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.

If funded, these initiatives will complement the existing technical and financial assistance provided by DCED and our partner networks throughout Pennsylvania, including:

Video and photos from today’s tour of small businesses in New Cumberland are available at PAcast website.

For more information about Small Business Week or the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, X, and LinkedIn.

Penny Ickes,

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Shapiro Administration Kicks Off Small Business Week, Highlights Importance of Investing in Pennsylvania’s Downtowns and Main Streets (2024)
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