I am sending a HUGE thank-you out to Pottstown resident Andrew Kefer for sending along this article: “Welcome to Downtown Danville, the Vibrant Small Town You Never Expected.”
There are so many lessons here that could be immediately applied to Pottstown’s revitalization.
1) Create a “better business climate.”
2) Tap Montco college students for discrete planning and community development projects and give those students real-world experience.
3) Resurrect the facade improvement program. (Is PDIDA’s Facade Rehabilitation Loan program active?)
4) Promote arts district downtown. (Danville is doing a multi-year mural program: “To one degree or another, all murals should touch on Danville’s heritage and history,” said Danville Main Street manager, Jim Wilson. Although I think a mural program would be fantastic, in the post that follows this one, I’m going to suggest using the additional $45K from the re-painting of the Mrs. Smith building toward other economic development efforts. For me it’s a matter of timing and getting the most bang for the buck. )
5) Create a business incubator downtown. Get designated as a Keystone Innovation Zone to get grants to attract tech start-ups and entrepreneurs. (Is this state designation/funding still available?)
Thanks again to Andrew for this informative, idea-packed article!