For Immediate Release – Pittsburgh, PA
For the better part of two years, Explore Sewickley, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the Village of Sewickley thrive, has been working toward obtaining designation as a Pennsylvania Main Street Program. After months of hard work, the group received their designation in April 2016.
The recognition from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development is a big step forward for the continued revitalization work of Explore Sewickley. Obtaining designation allows the organization access to resources such as assistance with grant writing, implementing a façade grant program, trainings for the organization, committees, and board members, and more. The networking opportunities with other Main Street communities across the country provide insight and field experience.
“We are grateful to have been selected as a designated Main Street program,” said Jennifer Markus, Explore Sewickley Board President. “We have attended many of the National Main Street Center of America conferences and, up to this point, have loosely follow the Four-Point Approach in our work. Sewickley Borough Council and the business district have been very supportive of our efforts, and we are thankful for everyone’s dedication as we all work toward the same goal of helping Sewickley become a destination in the Pittsburgh region.”
Revitalization programs can generate revenues for local governments and enhance the vibrancy of the business districts they serve. By focusing on business expansion, entrepreneurial growth, and improving the district’s property values through reinvestment, the work helps generate additional real estate taxes, business privilege taxes and building permit fees that are valuable to local government revenues. Since Explore Sewickley’s inception in 2010, there have been 85 new businesses that have opened their doors in the Sewickley business district.
“Successful revitalization programs such as Explore Sewickley are not successful entirely on their own,” said Main Street Manager Alex Lancianese. “Many, many people are involved in the building up of a community, and we would like to thank Sewickley Borough Council, the business district, and community stakeholders who have seen such potential in Sewickley going forward.”
Explore Sewickley has worked to improve the foot traffic and visitors in the business district by producing several events such as Yuletide in Sewickley, Sewickley Unleashed, the Sewickley Soup Crawl, the Chocolate Walk, and several others. In 2015 alone, over $49,000 in private donations and corporate sponsorships was raised for various charities and the holiday celebrations in the business district. The “Explore Sewickley” marketing campaign continues to be an important resource for businesses and customers alike, reaching more than 10,000 individuals monthly via email, our website, and social networks.
Organizations hoping to obtain designation from the PDC must prove that they are doing everything required of them in meeting the specified standards. In doing so, it gives communities credibility and holds the organizations accountable for the projects they present. It is certainly a special recognition and one that takes a lot of effort to maintain, because not every community that applies gets designated.
“Sewickley is in pretty select company,” said Lancianese. Other Pittsburgh-area communities that have obtained designation are Mt. Lebanon, Greensburg, and Wilkinsburg. “It’s an exciting time – the National Main Street conference will be held in Pittsburgh in the spring of 2017 and we are pleased to have the opportunity to showcase Sewickley to revitalization groups from across the country.”
“Designation to us is a mark of distinction,” said Markus. “It recognizes that Sewickley is part of a national movement with a proven track record for celebrating community character, preserving local history, and generating impressive economic returns.”
For more information about the work of Explore Sewickley, please visit www.ExploreSewickley.com.
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For more information about this topic, please contact Jennifer Markus or Alex Lancianese at Explore Sewickley by calling 412.741.7530 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.