County’s Small Business Assistance Fund seeks to retain/expand jobs

Mr. Ken Klothen, Director of Economic Development for Montgomery County will be meeting tomorrow with members of the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce and facilitating a seminar on the County’s Small Business Assistance Fund (SBAF). Downtown business owners have also been invited to attend.

The Small Business Assistance Fund is intended to help businesses retain jobs, expand jobs or begin operations, especially in central business districts. The program will provide low-interest financing for a portion of the costs of land, building, capital equipment, and working capital to businesses unable to fully finance these costs through non-public, commercial sources.

For more information, see the County webpage here and contact: 

Ken Klothen, Director of Economic Development

Free financial workshops offered in Pottstown

It’s back to school time for the kids and there has never been a better time for you to learn how to handle money and credit.  Learn ways to reduce your debts. Learn how to improve your credit scores. Take charge of your finances. Learn what they never covered in high school! 
Genesis Housing Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit community development corporation, will hold three FREE workshops on credit & credit repair, money management and home buying process on September 20th, September 27th and October 4th  from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the new PDIDA Offices, 17 North Hanover Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. The workshops are free thanks to the support of Susquehanna Bank but seating is limited. Registration is available on-line at
The workshops are designed to help to:
·         Understand Credit — Information on credit scores, improving your scores, re-establishing credit, dealing with debt.  Workshop participants can obtain a free credit report with scores (Tuesday, September 20, 2011).
·         Money Management – Information on preparing realistic budgets that are more than just monthly bills, prioritizing spending in tough times and understanding how current spending impacts future financial options (Tuesday, September 27, 2011).
·         Home Buying Basics — Information the home buying process — finding a realtor, home inspections, Agreements of Sale, mortgages and first-time homebuyer grant programs (Tuesday, October 4, 2011).
Nikki Holcroft, an award winning and certified housing counselor, will teach the workshops. Ms. Holcroft has more than twenty-five years experience working as a housing counselor, mortgage banker and community lender. Ms. Holcroft has worked with Genesis Housing Corporation since 2001 and teaches monthly classes on credit, money management and the home buying process. Ms. Holcroft also provides individual housing counseling sessions to help clients achieve their financial goals.  Ms. Holcroft has worked with families to restructure their mortgages, avoid foreclosures and reduce their debts.
Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling Genesis Housing Corporation at 610-275-4357 or online at
Genesis Housing Corporation’s housing counseling programs provide free classes and individual counseling helping over 4,800 clients. Monthly classes focus on topics not taught in regular school including understanding credit, credit repair, money management, saving plans, grant programs and understanding the home buying process including selecting a realtor and finding the best mortgage.
Since 1994, Genesis Housing Corporation has served Montgomery County as a 501(c)(3) non-profit community development corporation and is dedicated to the development of affordable housing and educating consumers on housing and financial issues.  Genesis Housing Corporation has been certified as a FannieMae Counseling Agency and is approved by PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing counseling. Genesis Housing Corporation is also an approved agency for many programs including the Montgomery County First-time Home Buyers Program and the Norristown First-time Home Buyers Program.  In addition, Genesis Housing Corporation has developed affordable housing by rehabilitating vacant homes and by building new homes for lower income homebuyers. Genesis Housing Corporation also renovates existing owner-occupied homes for eligible lower income families. Affordable renovated homes are currently available in Pottstown.
For more information on Genesis Housing Corporation programs, please call 610-275-4357 or visit our web site at
The workshops are sponsored by Susquehanna Bank and offered in conjunction with Genesis Housing Corporation. Genesis Housing Corporation is not affiliated with Susquehanna Bank.

Mercury article features SCORE, next host of Positively Pottstown Happy Hour

As part of their “Positives in Pottstown” series this month, The Mercury recently featured the local chapter of SCORE, an all-volunteer business counseling organization. SCORE is an acronym for Service Corps of Retired Executives. This non-profit, located at 244 High Street in the New York Plaza building, is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and will host the next Positively!Pottstown Happy Hour on September 16th. Read the article here. And visit their website – – to learn more about SCORE’s workshops and mentoring options. They are a great resource not only for entrepreneurs starting new businesses, but for existing business owners who want to brush up on certain skills in order to optimize their operations.

If you’d like to attend the next Happy Hour and meet the folks at SCORE, send an email to


Montco expands lifelong learning language classes for fall

I recently received this press release from Montgomery County Community College. If you’ve been wanting to brush up on or learn a new language for business, travel or just because you have an insatiable curiosity, now’s your chance to do it conveniently at the Pottstown campus! 

Aug. 10, 2011, Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa. — Montgomery County Community College is adding new languages to its Lifelong Learning programs and is expanding offerings to the West Campus in Pottstown.

Designed for adult learners without the pressure of examinations and grades, small classes are taught by native or near-native fluency instructors. The relaxed atmosphere is ideal for individuals interested in preparing for trip, brushing up on a language, or mastering a new language.

In addition to learning vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar, all courses incorporate cultural features in geography, history, politics, the arts and foods.  All learning levels are welcome, from beginners in the Discover Language series (e.g., greetings, asking directions, ordering in restaurants) to more advanced learners in the Immersion and Progression classes (e.g., literature, politics).

New languages, including Hungarian, have been added to the course selection to reflect shifts in demographics and increasing local interest.

Fall classes begin in September and October and are offered at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and for the first time at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

For more information, visit or contact Languages Program Coordinator Antonia Tripp at or 215-619-7386.

Summer Food Program offered by Seventh-Day Adventist Church

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Pottstown is sponsoring a Summer Food Service Program as part of their community outreach. They are providing lunch for children ages 18 and younger on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through August 27th. 

The lunches are served at the Chestnut Street Park, at the corner of Chestnut and N. Washington Streets from noon until 1:00 pm, each Tuesday, Thursday, and SaturdayAny young person who lives in Pottstown Borough is eligible; there’s no need to sign up! Just show up at the park! This program is run through the PA Department of Education and is funded by the USDA

“I am very grateful to have a couple of area businesses assist our church in keeping within the budget allowed for the program,” said Carolyn D. Hetrick, MSHN. She is the Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which is located at 1134 N. Charlotte Street in the North End.

Specifically, Mickey Barron, manager for the Pizza Hut in the Upland Square Shopping Center, is generously donating pizzas  for the Thursday lunches. Also, Christopher Longeway and Sam Rhame of the Milkman Lunch Co. and Cake Shoppe on N. Charlotte Street are graciously discounting the cost of their service to help with the Saturday lunches.

For more information regarding this program, check out the USDA website at: 

Crafters wanted for Super Sundays

Do you have a hobby or a craft where you make something that you’d like to sell to the world? Check out this Crafter Call!

Pottstown’s Downtown Improvement District Authority, also known as PDIDA (puh-dee-da), is holding four Super Sundays throughout the fall/early winter to attract shoppers to new and long-standing businesses downtown. They are looking for crafters who want to set up a table and sell their stuff.

Dates are:  Sept. 18, Oct. 23, Nov. 27 and Dec. 18 

12 noon to 4PM

Contact Sheila Dugan for details at 610 310-9339 
$10 entry fee per event or $25 for all.  

 Free your inner artist and make some $$, too!



WILLIE WONKA JR. comes to the Tri-PAC

Do you love chocolate?  Who doesn’t love a summertime treat?  Nobody can resist the temptation of WILLIE WONKA JR. at theTri-County Performing Arts Center, 245 E. High Street, Pottstown.  Get your tickets now – there are only three performances, Saturday August 13th at 7:00 PM and Sunday, August 14th at 3:00 PM or 7:00 PM.  Tickets for these special performances by Summer Camp students are only $8.00!

Bring the whole family to the Tri-PAC Performing Arts Summer Camp’s production of WILLY WONKA, JR.  It’s a delightful, updated musical version of Roald Dahl’s timeless children’s novel, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY! Augustus eats and eats. Veruca yells and yells. Violet chews and chews. And Mike Teavee? Well, he learns everything on the … you know what! Then there’s Charlie Bucket who learns to “Think Positive.” These are the five Golden Ticket winners who get a lifetime supply of glorious chocolate from candy creator Willy Wonka AND a tour of his mysterious and fantastic factory. But do all the kids stay until the end of the tour? Come to the Tri-PAC and find out!

The cast includes Aidan Quigley, Aslan Berbaum, Mike Styer, Lindsay Lohr, Brad Heinzinger, Tim Turner, Anna Lavelle, Sebastian Coates, Cassie Wells, Taylor Ruffo, Rikki Etter, Emi Aungst, Kendall Bowden, JT Clark, Olivia Zitkus, Sarah Bauer, Wyeth Casperite, Rachel Julian, Kyraen Bittner, Madison Kershner, Jordan Hicks, Julia Maenza, Cassandra Marks, Hannah Paczkowski, Amanda Murray, Nathan Bunyon, Tiana Gallagher, Lauren Bergen, Madison Wingert, Lauren Dougherty, and Annie Stockmal.  The Stage Director for this production is  Lisa Uliasz with Music Director, Richard Oberholtzer.

Lyrics and music are by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.  The show was adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy A. McDonald.  It is based on the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl, and presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Tickets are available online at www.tripac.orgTickets will be sold at the door if space is available.  For full information check, or call the theater at 610-970-1199.  You will also find full information on the website about the upcoming 2011 – 2012 season.


Village Productions (the Tri-County Performing Arts Center) is a dynamic non-profit performing arts organization founded in 2001 to make the arts highly accessible to all in the community. Established and led by dedicated team of performing artists, arts educators, business leaders, and area residents, Village Productions seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and educational opportunities geared toward a diverse audience. More information is available at

Ticket deadline tomorrow for Gallery School/Library Fundraiser

 Ticket Deadline for Fundraiser

The deadline to purchase your tickets for the Books and Brushes, Beef and Beer fundraiser is this Saturday, August 6. The proceeds benefit the Gallery School of Pottstown as well as the Pottstown Regional Public Library.  Tickets are only $20 and include great food, music and a fun night out. You can buy your ticket in person at the Gallery School (254 E. High St.), the Library (500 E. High St.), or online at  Please call 610-326-2506 with any questions.

Do you feel lucky? Every guest has a chance to win one of these great door prizes!

(1) Philips 10.4″ LCD Digital Photoframe (valued at $170)

(2) collectible leather-bound books

(3) gift certificates for bike tune-ups from Tri-County Bicycles (valued at $49 each)

(2) $50 gift certificates for Frecon Orchards (from the Pottstown Health & Wellness Foundation)

(1) $50 gift certificate from Weak Knee Home Brew

(1) $20 Wawa gift card

(1) $20 gift certificate to Achin’ Back Garden Shop

(2) $10 gift certificates to the Book Nook (the library’s used book store & coffee shop)

(1) Margarita Gift Basket

(1) Reader’s Gift Basket

(2) tickets for a performance of Pippin from Village Productions

. . . and more! We are still adding even more great door prizes.

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