Representatives from the PA Route 6 Alliance and Endless Mountains Heritage Region joined business owners and community leaders in both Bradford and Wyoming Counties on July 13 to celebrate the successful culmination of the PA Route 6 Façade Program in the Endless Mountains, a two-year partnership between the organizations that resulted in $209,701.66 in façade improvements thus far to 32 businesses and organizations in both counties.
The program was made possible by a $103,000 Keystone Communities Grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and support funding from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and is part of a larger Alliance initiative aimed at stimulating economic development by enhancing the attractiveness of the small towns throughout the 11-county PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor.
After public informational meetings in February of 2020, Bradford and Wyoming County businesses and organizations were invited to submit applications for individual matching grant awards of up to $5,000 to fund physical improvements of building façades.
Led by Façade program coordinator Vanessa Billings-Seiler and Alliance executive director Candace Hillyard, the Alliance gathered with award recipients, tourism partners, county commissioners, and county planners at one participating business in each county on Tuesday for symbolic check presentations celebrating each county’s total program funding to date.
First, at PJM Business Center in Towanda, Billings-Seiler presented a check to Bradford County Business Owners in the amount of $56,853.39. Later, at Monzie’s Floral Design in Tunkhannock, Billings-Seiler presented a check to Wyoming County Business Owners in the amount of $28,045.83. This funding, combined with matching funds provided by grant recipients in the total amount of $124,802.44, has resulted in an incredible overall impact of $209,701.66 worth of improvements and economic development throughout the region thus far. With three projects still in progress, total impact is expected to reach $250,000.
“It is amazing to see the improvements unfold in these communities. While each grant award may seem small, each improvement project increases pride in the community, often inspiring additional improvements throughout the community outside of the program,” said executive director, Candace Hillyard. “And, these improvements are utilizing local contractors, suppliers, and resources, resulting in an economic benefit to the community that far outweighs each individual grant award.”
“This was such a wonderful program. It gave the businesses the ability to help themselves and their communities. The program’s Review Committee worked hard on the selection process. It was truly a community-based program that touched a lot of people now and will in the future,” Billings-Seiler added.
The Alliance plans to execute the Façade Program in the Great Lakes Region of Erie and Crawford Counties next, pending program funding. For more information about the program or to see the complete list of award winners, visit the PA Route 6 Alliance website at www.paroute6.com/facade or contact the Alliance at email@example.com or 814-435-7706.
The PA Route 6 Alliance, a 501(c3) corporation, was established in 2003 to manage the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor and to implement branding and marketing plans, community development programs and other planning efforts along the corridor. The Alliance includes representatives from all 11 counties, 9 convention and visitor bureaus, 4 heritage areas, local development districts, local business owners, Chambers of Commerce, and other interested parties along the corridor. The PA Route 6 Heritage Communities program is a program of PA Route 6 Alliance and PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor funded by the PA Heritage Area Program under the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.