Fishtown highlighted as part of Main Street Matters initiative

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A proposal to invest $25 million to create opportunity for Main Streets and small businesses across the state was touted by Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger at a stop in Fishtown as part of a statewide “Main Streets” tour. Siger, state Sen. Nikil Saval, Rep. Mary Isaacson and city Department of Commerce director Alba Martinez highlighted a group of community leaders promoting Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget initiatives designed to bolster an overall $600 million commitment to create opportunity across all of Pennsylvania, particularly on Main Streets.

Siger’s stop in Fishtown, visiting with small business owners, is part of the governor’s effort to learn from the source the needs that the administration can address to solve the most pressing challenges small business owners face.

“Investing in our main streets is more important than ever, as Pennsylvania faces increased competition to attract and retain residents and businesses,” Siger said. “Vibrant main streets lined with small businesses like the ones in Fishtown are essential to a thriving local economy. That’s why Gov. Shapiro is calling for a $25 million investment in the new Main Street Matters program to help give communities the resources they need to make their main streets better places to live, visit and work.”

Siger and local leaders met with the owners of La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Toile Custom Atelier, Jinxed Vintage and Middle Child Clubhouse Restaurant on a tour of the Fishtown Kensington Area Business Corridor.

“Philadelphia is a vital hub in the Northeast corridor, with thriving commercial areas, growing innovation sectors and diverse cultural attractions,” Martinez said. “Our department is dedicated to revitalizing neighborhood commercial corridors, making them safer, cleaner and more accessible to everyone. These corridors are essential for jobs, services and economic opportunity. We appreciate Gov. Josh Shapiro’s support for local Main Street initiatives as we work together to strengthen Philadelphia’s economy for all residents and businesses.”

The Main Street Matters program proposed by the governor is built on the existing model of the current Keystone Communities Program. MSM is a revitalization of the model designed to address a wide variety of needs throughout Main Street communities.

“Philadelphia is our commonwealth’s largest economic engine, and investments in the neighborhoods throughout our city are investments in all of Pennsylvania” Saval said. “I’m excited for Gov. Shapiro’s Main Street Matters program, which supports the work communities everywhere do to ensure their main streets are beautiful and accessible and recognizes that these efforts benefit all of us.”

Fishtown and the Kensington area were selected as key areas where the Main Street Matters programs can be most effective.

“Philadelphia is known for its distinct and authentic neighborhoods, each with their own pulse and community centered around a Main Street,” Isaacson said. “For far too long it has only been that community and incredible business owners and neighbors truly investing into that Main Street that so many people love and frequent. But no longer. I am proud to stand behind Gov. Shapiro in ensuring that the state is investing in and making significant financial contributions to ensure our main streets are thriving. It was only about a decade ago that Fishtown was referred to as a scruffy renaissance and look at where we are today. I cannot wait to see what we are able to do tomorrow with the state behind us.”

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