Bedford Receives Keystone Communities Main Street Designation
Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver today announced that Bedford borough has officially been designated as a Keystone Communities Main Street. This designation will aid the borough in promoting the historic downtown to help businesses continue to grow and prosper.
“The Wolf Administration is excited to designate Bedford as a Keystone Main Street,” said Acting Secretary Weaver. “Through this designation, the whole community will grow –businesses will receive support and residents will experience the benefits of a thriving downtown.”
As a designated Keystone Communities Main Street, Bedford will receive priority status for various applications submitted to DCED and will be eligible for Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone tax credits for private sector development within the designated Main Street program area.
“We are very excited to once again be a designated Keystone Communities Main Street,” said Lindsay Salas, Main Street Manager at Downtown Bedford, Inc. “Downtown Bedford has come a long way in the last 20 years with streetscape projects, building improvements, business growth and community involvement. We continuously plan activities and events to attract visitors and community members alike to put feet on the streets. We are motivated by the goal of retaining a sense of community where people are proud to call home. Our efforts are to ensure that the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods remain vital places to live and work.”
Bedford is also now eligible to receive complimentary technical assistance and programmatic support from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center over the next five years.
“Downtown Bedford, Inc. has done a tremendous job through the years in providing support and new initiatives to grow a strong local economy that serves the community, but also a larger region,” said Julie Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC). “Particularly through the pandemic, they have been able to show the value of Main Street and facilitate a continued path to economic resiliency, increasing customer spending levels by 14-percent post-pandemic, according to a recent Jon Stover & Associates study assessing the pandemic’s effects on PA’s Main Streets. PDC looks forward to continuing to assist Downtown Bedford, Inc. in maintaining their impact in the downtown.”
The primary goals of designated Main Street areas are improving the quality of life in a community by making the traditional downtown area a more attractive place to live and work. They also strive to increase business development and create jobs in the area, improve the level of planning in the community, and ensure that public and private investments are impactful to the local economy.
A Keystone Communities designation is a flexible tool for use in community and economic development for a variety of uses including planning activities, façade grant programs, accessible housing programs, and development grants, and designation applications are accepted at all times.
For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.