Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance (NEPA) held a media event with NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania
The West Scranton Main Street Revitalization and Small Business Boost initiative addressed the needs of small businesses located along the Main Avenue and Luzerne Street commercial corridors in West Scranton. This targeted area which includes Census tracts 1020, 1021, and 1023 is the focus of a 10-year neighborhood revitalization plan developed by NeighborWorks and released in the fall of 2020. The neighborhood has been designated as an Elm Street community by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding supported a Neighborhood Coordinator with economic and community development experience and provided support to existing businesses in West Scranton, with a focus on launching a business association, managing a façade grant program, and providing marketing support. Additionally, funds will be used to hire consultants from the University of Scranton’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to provide trainings on a variety of topics (i.e. financing, human resources, marketing, social media, and e-commerce), to purchase online marketing software, and to create outreach materials such as flyers and mailers.
This project will provide a variety of key services to business owners including the following: Networking and peer support through the business association, free one-on-one consultations with SBDC consultants, college student interns through the SBDC’s Small Business Internship Initiative and other strategies recommended in the West Scranton Neighborhood Plan (community events, parking improvements, directional signage, loyalty, and discount programs, etc.)
The Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) is a partnership between the federal government, 13 member states, plus Local Development Districts (LDDs). The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) partners with ARC and NEPA Alliance to identify and support projects that will foster economic growth in the 52 Appalachian counties of Pennsylvania to reach socioeconomic parity with the nation.
Pictured from left: Cassie Kizis, NEPA Alliance; Lisa Hall Zielinski, University of Scranton SBDC; Kurt Bauman, NEPA Alliance; Miranda Pace, NeighborWorks NEPA; PA State Senator Marty Flynn; Todd Pousley, NeighborWorks NEPA; Ralph Pappas, Lackawanna County Department of Planning & Economic Development; Selina Andiappan, City of Scranton; and Shane Powers, NeighborWorks NEPA.
Second row: Doug Miller, PA State Senator Rosemary Brown’s Office; PA State Representative Kyle Donahue and John Blake, U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright’s Office.