Communities Benefit From Main Street County Program
Over the past four years, Paramount Pursuits, of Ambridge, has provided technical assistance to six communities in Beaver County through the county’s Main Street program.
Paramount Pursuits has worked in downtown Aliquippa, Ambridge, Beaver Falls, Midland, New Brighton and Rochester, according to Jacob Charles, economic and downtown development coordinator for the community development program. of Beaver County.
He said the Main Street program is intended to help improve the appearance to increase economic opportunities and the number of businesses in the county’s six low-to-moderate income communities.
At a recent meeting of county commissioners, the board agreed to extend the contract for the fifth time until August 31. The contract will then be reassessed with a view to a possible extension.
More: Beaver County Commissioners to Focus on Broadband and Economic Development in 2022
The contract with Paramount Pursuits is paid for with money coming into the county through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Charles said Paramount provides technical assistance to local revitalization organizations in each of the aforementioned communities.
“Each month, these organizations come together to discuss many things, such as vacant homes, properties available for sale, new businesses that have opened or are considering opening, upcoming events that are boosting local economies, and much more, ”he said.
Charles added, “Paramount attends these meetings and works with these people to achieve goals designed to improve the community as a whole. “
Paramount Pursuits President Trish Digliodo said every community in the county she helps is different, with different ideas and different volunteers.
“Each of these communities can call on volunteers,” she said.
Therefore, Digliodo said the six communities are at different stages of their revitalization process.
Charles said the community development program funds other projects in these communities, which complement the Main Street program, but the main function of the Main Street program is to help local revitalization groups improve their communities.
More: Beaver County Commissioners Approve Paving Project in Midland
Work for Aliquippa
For the town of Aliquippa, Paramount worked with the Franklin Avenue Development Committee (FADC)
“When we started working with this group, there were three members. Now they have around 15 members and continue to grow,” Digliodo said.
Since the beginning of their partnership, Paramount and the FADC have strived to attract different potential customers to Franklin Avenue, through events such as 11 food truck events, participated in the Great American Clean Up Day and contributed at the annual Christmas Light Up Night.
They also supported Penn State Cooperative Extension and Church Army USA to bring healthy eating initiatives to Franklin Avenue, volunteered to continue work on the Franklin Avenue Park and Uncommon Grounds Courtyard project, and organized a “Mechant Meet & Greet ”to collaborate with other business owners and recruit new committee members.
To find out more: Facebook page of the Franklin Avenue development committee
Work for Ambridge
Paramount worked in Ambridge with the Ambridge Downtown Development Council (ADDC).
“(We) worked on developing a mission statement and logo for the group and recruited new members,” Digliodo said.
They worked together to plan a “Celebrate Merchant Street” event, which was a clean-up attended by 100 volunteers and a dozen businesses and community stakeholders.
“The purpose of the event was to clean up the storefronts of Merchant Street after the completion of the Merchant Street landscape while building community pride and collaboration,” said Digliodo.
Digliodo said different commercial ventures have moved downtown, and as a result of Ambridge’s streetscape project, Paramount hosted a commercial property open house, putting up signs across the city indicating which properties are available for purchase and what will soon be available for sale.
“The Open House was a three-day event that brought many investors and residents to Merchant Street,” Digliodo said. Also included in the event was a business resource table which included representatives from the banking, financial and real estate industries to assist attendees with any questions. “
Paramount also worked with ADDC to complete a study of the Route 65 corridor, created a quarterly newsletter on ADDC and borough events, implemented an ambassador program to promote Merchant Street and its available storefronts, has completed a survey of run down Merchant Street properties and is currently working with the Beaver County Group Leadership on marketing a simple, low cost facade improvement program.
Work for Beaver Falls
Paramount worked with the Beaver Falls Business District Authority (BFBDA), helped resolve issues with their bylaw guidelines, set up a schedule of events and roles for the board of directors, linked to the BFBDA website on the city’s official website.
They’ve created a business directory brochure, helped plan several events like the Fall Festival, are planning a commercial open house for 7th Avenue, are collecting content for a newsletter, coordinated Merchant Meet & Greets and have contributed to the Beaver Falls Community Heart & Soul Initiative.
“Community Heart & Soul is a resident-led process that engages the entire population of a city to identify what they love most about their community, what future they want for it and how to get there,” Digliodo said. .
Learn more: Beaver Falls Business District Authority Facebook page and website
Work for Midland
Paramount worked with the Midland Business Development Committee (MBDC).
They helped implement an annual Great American Clean Up Day, collected email addresses from businesses on Midland Avenue so they could contact them for events, Main Street information and events, promotional events cross with the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, organized Merchant Meet & Greets, and are currently working with the Beaver County Planning and Redevelopment Office to secure funding for the demolition of dilapidated properties on Midland Avenue.
Work for New Brighton
Paramount worked with the New Brighton Business District Authority (NBBDA).
They collaborated on the creation of an annual “merchants breakfast”, created a Big Rock Eagle calendar with proceeds going to Big Rock Park, helped the borough participate in the brochure and the card. the Ohio River Trail Council, created a business directory for 3rd Avenue, organized Merchant Meet & Greets, and helped implement events on 3rd Avenue.
These events included the New Brighton Car Cruise, the Autumn Festival, Small Business Saturday, concerts in the park, wine walks, corn stalks tied to trees along 3rd Avenue, a gift from Easter basket, a taste of the city, a great American cleanup and a fishing tournament.
They are currently working with the Leadership Beaver County Group on two projects.
“One is creating a mural all over the wall of Big Rock Park and the other is creating a fundraising program to distribute through small grants to New Brighton homeowners to enhance the visual appeal of their residential areas.” , said Digliodo.
Find out more: New Brighton Business District Authority Facebook page
Work for Rochester
Paramount worked with the Rochester Borough Business District (RBDC).
They helped create an RBDC welcome letter, distributed an RBDC newsletter, contributed to the Rochester Community Heart & Soul Initiative, organized Merchant Meet & Greets, created a business directory for Brighton Avenue, and helped implement both a Great American Clean Up Day and Emergency Services Appreciation Day.
They also led, completed and presented zoning recommendations to Borough Council regarding a potential central business district on Brighton Avenue.
“These conversations were necessary to determine a Rochester business district and to better understand what type of businesses might be recruited on Brighton Avenue,” Digliodo said.
More: Rochester Borough Business District Facebook page
Nicholas Vercilla is a reporter for the Beaver County Times. He can be contacted at [email protected]