ICYMI: In First Two Weeks After Budget Address, Governor Shapiro Visits Small Businesses & Main Streets All Across Pennsylvania to Highlight His Plans to Create Economic Opportunity

The Governor’s plan to invests $25 million in main streets and small businesses received bipartisan praise all across the Commonwealth.


“This is the time for us to be bold in Pennsylvania. This is the time for us to invest in Pennsylvania. This is the time to make our main streets come alive in Pennsylvania and strengthen our communities.” – Governor Josh Shapiro

Harrisburg, PA – Over the past two weeks, Governor Josh Shapiro visited small businesses across Pennsylvania on his “Main Street Matters” tour, where he discussed the pieces of his proposed 2024-25 budget and economic development strategy that will create economic opportunity for all and help Pennsylvanians build generational wealth. 

In his first tour of the Commonwealth since his budget address, Governor Shapiro visited with small business owners in Mt. LebanonPhiladelphiaHonesdale, and Lemoyne and talked about his plans to invest in them and their community’s main streets. Governor Shapiro’s plan received bipartisan praise from local economic development leaders, mayors, and state representatives and senators.  

Governor Shapiro knows that there is more work to be done to grow our economy and create a better future for Pennsylvanians — and his 2024-25 budget proposes more than $600 million in total new and expanded economic development investments, including $25 million for the newly proposed Main Street Matters program to support small businesses and commercial corridors that are the backbone of our Pennsylvania communities. 

Read what people are saying about the Governor’s plan to invest in our main streets and small businesses below.

Senator Rosemary Brown: “I am very thankful that the Governor has included Honesdale in his stop here on Main Street Matters. Just listening to the few comments prior, it’s common sense. It really makes a lot of sense for us with business and economics, and we know Honesdale is a gem. […] I look forward to working with the Governor as we go through this budget process and the Main Street Matters program.”  

Representative Bob Freeman: “As a longtime advocate for the Keystone Communities Main Street and Elm Street programs I am very pleased to see Governor Shapiro announce his Main Street Matters initiative with a proposed allocation of $25 million. Main Street Matters will complement the existing Main Street and Elm Street programs and provide critical additional financial resources toward the revitalization of our Main Street businesses and commercial corridors in our small towns and small cities. As the Governor rolls out his Economic Development Strategy for Pennsylvania it is reassuring that the Governor is committed to having that strategy also address the need for economic opportunity in our smaller communities as well, so as to ensure their stability and success.” 

Representative Patty Kim: “Our Main Street corridors can be viewed as the ‘Welcome’ sign to our towns and communities – it’s a reflection of our pride and priorities when it comes to our hometown and local businesses. But many municipalities struggle to upkeep its Main Streets and that’s why I’m excited for the Governor’s proposed investment. The Main Street Matters program will boost local economies while boosting the pride of where we work and live.” 

Lemoyne Borough Council President Gale Gallo“We’re really grateful to Governor Shapiro for coming here today. We’re grateful for this new program – the $25 million that he has earmarked in the budget for the Main Street Matters program – which is money that communities can tap into for to help.” 

Greg Katshir, co-owner of West Shore Farmers Market: “Our vendors offer personal service and attention that I think can only be found in a small business setting. We’re very fortunate that we have all the community support that we do. But running a small family business can be difficult. That’s why we’re so thankful and appreciative of Governor Shapiro in his efforts to help promote small business and Main Street America.” 

Representative Jordan Harris, Majority Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee: “Investing $25 million in the Main Street Matters program is not just a financial allocation; it’s a commitment to nurturing the heartbeats of our communities. Small businesses and commercial corridors are the pulse of Philadelphia, and these funds signify a crucial step in revitalizing and empowering these vital economic engines. As we modernize and expand the Keystone Communities program, we strengthen the very foundation upon which our economic future thrives, echoing the Governor’s vision for sustainable and inclusive growth.”   

Representative Rick Krajewski: “As we fight for historic investments in our schools, housing and mass transit in this year’s budget, I’m grateful to see Governor Shapiro also position Pennsylvania as an economic leader. In West and Southwest Philly, we cherish our many small businesses and know they bring vibrancy, community, and opportunity. Reinvesting in the Main Street Matters program will revitalize commercial corridors and their surrounding neighborhoods, here and across the Commonwealth.”  

Representative Amen Brown: “Small businesses not only present a chance for economic growth and sustainability, but they bring community members together by providing goods and services that fill the specific needs of those communities. They are not just economic engines; they are the lifeblood that sustains the spirit of Philadelphia, fostering connection, diversity and a shared sense of accomplishment for entire communities.”  

Della Clark, President and CEO of The Enterprise Center: “52nd Street is West Philadelphia’s Main Street, so it is fitting that we are here today to celebrate this historic investment in main streets across our state. Communities thrive when small, locally owned businesses thrive, and the investments we make to support successful entrepreneurs directly impacts the communities they serve. From small retail storefront all the way to Fortune 500 company, we want to create the conditions that will allow underrepresented business owners to build generational wealth for themselves. On behalf of The Enterprise Center, we are honored to join Governor Shapiro to reframe the conversation around supporting minority-owned businesses throughout the commonwealth, and we are excited to see Gov Shapiro’s 10-year economic strategy continuing to unfold.”  

Mengistu Koilor, Owner of Two Locals Brewing Company: “We would like to thank Governor Shapiro and all of our community leaders present here today for choosing Two Locals Brewing Company as the host for this press conference. We very much appreciate your support. As we all know, starting a business is never easy – but it can be an especially daunting task in the city of Philadelphia. Access to capital can be a significant hurdle, and often times we just don’t have access to the information for the resources that may be available to us. You don’t see many faces that look like us in this industry. But more importantly, this business is one that was created with a sense of community and pride – something we want to see more of in the City of Philadelphia. It’s important that businesses in these communities have access to resources and a network that can help them succeed. Let’s hold each other accountable and keep the momentum going.” 

Derek Williams, Mayor of Honesdale: “Main Street matters because it’s a place for everybody. People live and love here. People work and manage businesses here. People play and dream here. As the seat of county government, commerce, and culture, more folks have a connection to main street and surrounding neighborhoods than will ever technically reside within borough limits. Because of that, we need to support our main street whenever and however we can, it affects a heck of a lot of people. I’m really glad to see main street on the Governor’s list of priorities. I look forward to working with our friends in Harrisburg to make more progress here in Honesdale.” 

Representative Jonathan Fritz“Highly enthused that Governor Shapiro took the time to visit idyllic downtown Honesdale. I love my hometown, and the fact that others see the same wonderful qualities that we all work so hard to foster is evidence that our small town is on the right track. Honesdale truly is Norman Rockwell-esque Americana, complete with sincerely good and generous people.” 

Sandi Levens, Executive Director of the Greater Honesdale Partnership: “Governor Shapiro’s Main Street Matters initiative is essential for downtown communities to preserve their identity, enhance livability, and build resilience to challenges many small downtowns like Honesdale often face. We look forward to putting into action the Governor’s bold plans through implementing Main Street Matters.” 

Vince Benedetto, owner of Runaway Train Brewery: “Honesdale may be small, but it is a mighty town. The passion this town has and the vision the Greater Honesdale Partnership has put forth for its future growth is inspiring. We are so pleased that Governor Shapiro has come to visit our Downtown to bring attention to the importance of entrepreneurialism and the economic development of our area – and we’re so thankful he has prioritized initiatives and funding opportunities to help communities and main streets like ours achieve their fullest potential.” 

Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato: “I always say, governing is a team sport, and that is why I’m thrilled to have a partner in Governor Shapiro. I applaud the Governor and Secretary Siger for laying out a clear economic development vision in this year’s state budget. Whether we’re talking about Sharpsburg or Carnegie or McKeesport, having a thriving main street is a sign of the health of a community. It gives us a sense of place, it gives us an economic hub, something to walk to a and a sense of community. Having a plan that invests in large and small businesses will set up Allegheny County for success and allow us to leverage state investments to go even further.”  

Senator Wayne Fontana: “Our Keystone Communities Programs have a proven track record. Expanding these programs through Main Street Matters will enable even more communities to access the tools they need to create the main streets they desire.”    

Eric Milliron, Manager of Economic Development for Mt. Lebanon: “The Governor’s commitment to our Main Streets and the mom-and-pop businesses fuels not only the hope and optimism of folks such as myself, but most importantly the small business owners. I’ve been involved with Main Street programming and downtown revitalization for over two decades and without a doubt, the Governor’s plan is essential to the economic well-being of all the Commonwealth’s downtowns, and I for one, am excited to get to work. Mt. Lebanon looks forward to actualizing the Governor’s bold plans through implementing Main Street’s time-tested approach and working with our friends at not only the State, but our local county leadership, and of course, the businesses that make Mt. Lebanon special.”  

Joe Ravita, owner of Empire Music: “We’re really excited to work with the Governor on Main Street Matters – the name says it all. Empire Music was started in 2002 and the reason I chose Mt. Lebanon is because it is a community that I can serve, and the community serves the businesses. What’s really unique about this uptown district is that the businesses are born out of the needs of the community. It’s most important to have things local to you that allow you to best serve the people around you. We’re really excited about this. We hope everyone gets behind the initiative because Main Streets do matter. It changes the complexion of your neighborhood. And there’s a lot of other Empire Music waiting to be born out there and other communities – they just need a little bit of help, and they need to be kicked off and pushed in the right direction. Let’s make it happen.”  

Read the coverage of Governor Josh Shapiro’s Main Street Matters tour across the Commonwealth below. 

Inquirer: Gov. Shapiro visits West Philly Black-owned businesses to promote a $25 million budget proposal

Gov. Josh Shapiro visited Black-owned businesses in West Philly on Thursday to promote a proposed $25 million budget initiative to support small businesses across the state. 

The potential program, called Main Street Matters, would support downtown areas across the state by offering grants to improve commercial corridors and the small businesses on them. The visit to Philadelphia was part of a statewide tour to promote his ambitious $48.34 billion proposal for the 2024-25 state budget. 

The pool of $25 million would go toward infrastructure on main streets, such as outdoor seating or lighting, or directly to business owners to get equipment or a new facade, for example. 

Philly Tribune: Gov. Shapiro touts investing in tour of Black owned businesses in West Philly

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s “Main Streets Matter” tour took him to West Philadelphia and included favorite Black-owned businesses such as Hakim’s Bookstore and Two Locals Brewing Company. 

Shapiro has proposed a $25 million investment in similar business corridors across the state. The funds would go toward lighting and improvements in walkability, to help keep small businesses going. 

“I had an opportunity to visit Hakim’s Bookstore, now owned by his daughter, Miss Yvonne,” Shapiro said. “No matter what book you pick up off the shelf, you can learn about Black history and leave feeling powerful, uplifted and inspired. It was a site to celebrate history and to celebrate an even better future. It is important that we invest in businesses like this.” 

On Thursday, Shapiro was flanked by Della Clark, president of the Enterprise Center, and state politicians such as State Representatives Rick Krajewski, Amen Brown, Morgan Cephas, and Senators Vince Hughes and Sharif Street. 

“This is a bold, aggressive budget—a budget that cuts taxes and doesn’t raise them,” Shapiro said. “If we make every investment we want to make, we would still have an $11 million surplus.” 

CBS Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Gov. Shapiro visits West Philadelphia to pitch investment in small businesses

More money could be coming to small businesses across Pennsylvania. At least, that’s the plan from Governor Josh Shapiro. 

The Democrat was in Philadelphia Thursday to tout his “Main Street Matters” program, a proposed $25 million investment to boost the small business community. 

“Every community is linked with a Main Street,” Shapiro said at Two Locals Brewing Company in University City. “And you can often tell the health and vitality of the community based on the strength of that Main Street.” 

Shapiro toured the 52nd Street business corridor in West Philly and spoke at the brewery to push his proposal. Two Locals recently opened near 36th and Market, and co-founder Mengistu Koilor said he was happy to host the Governor. 

“It’s huge,” said Koilor. “It shows that he cares, and I’d like to see other businesses get the same sort of support as well.” 

WNEP: Governor says ‘Main Street Matters’ in visit to Wayne County

Gov. Josh Shapiro was in Wayne County on Friday to push his budget proposals and highlight small businesses in Honesdale’s Main Street business district. 

During the visit to Honesdale, Gov. Shapiro announced a new $100,000 Keystone Partnership grant to continue work on storefront improvements and fund loans for local business owners for new equipment, renovation projects, and business marketing. 

Over the last five years, the state has invested $630,000 in Honesdale to improve main street signage, storefronts, and infrastructure. 

‘Honesdale’s main street continues to be a thriving place of opportunity,” said the governor. “I want to expand our impact on main streets all across Pennsylvania and give more local leaders the chance to realize the full potential of their economies – that’s why I’m calling for major investments to create the Main Street Matters program to invest in the success and prosperity of Pennsylvania small businesses, downtowns, and main streets.” 

WBRE: Governor Shapiro visits Honesdale

After proposing his $25,000,000 budget to invest in main streets across the commonwealth, Governor Shapiro began visiting small businesses and main streets state-wide. 

Friday, Governor Josh Shapiro strolled down Main Street in Honesdale, visiting and talking to the local business owners along the way. 

“There’s something special happening in Honesdale,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. 

Within the last five years, the Pennsylvania government invested $630,000 in Honesdale, and on Friday Governor Shapiro announced as a part of his Main Streets Matter initiative, the town will receive additional funds 

“I want you to know we’re back today to announce together with Secretary Siger, an additional $100,000 investment from the commonwealth to allow you to continue to do the great work,” said Governor Shapiro. 

This money will go toward Honesdale’s infrastructure & storefronts on Main Street providing loans for business owners to invest in renovation projects and marketing. Since the main streets are the community’s backbone of the town. 

WESA: Shapiro talks up Main Street investments, gets some shopping done in Mt. Lebanon

Call it a demonstration of retail politics: Gov. Josh Shapiro visited Mt. Lebanon Wednesday, making a case for his budget plan and its proposed investment in neighborhood business districts — and he got in a little shopping on the way. 

“This is the time for us to invest in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro told a group of reporters at a lunchtime press conference in the showroom of Empire Music, a guitar shop in the area that sells top-tier brands such as Taylor and Martin. “This is the time to make our main streets come alive … and strengthen our communities.” 

Shapiro’s budget proposes a $25 million “Main Street Matters” program, which would invest in main-street improvements across the state. The proposal, which more than triples current state spending on such initiatives, is part of a 10-year strategic development plan his administration rolled out early this year: According to that proposal, the idea is to invest in areas “where communities gather” and business activity can “form the economic nexus of their regions.” 

Those districts play a key role in a community’s well-being, agreed Eric Milliron, Mt. Lebanon’s management of economic development. Often, he said, “Commercial districts lack the resources to address storefront vacancies … and executive best practices and revitalization.” Shapiro’s proposal offers “hope and optimism [for] small business owners, the very folks that Gov. Shapiro is meeting,” Milliron said. 

However Pennsylvanians may differ in other ways, Shapiro said Wednesday, they are “very similar in defining the strength of a community. And that definition oftentimes runs through a main street just like this one here in Mt. Lebanon.” 

Observer-Reporter: Governor visits Mt. Lebanon music store to talk up Main Street plan

Gov. Josh Shapiro dropped by Empire Music in downtown Mt. Lebanon at lunchtime Wednesday, but it wasn’t to buy one of the many guitars hanging on the store’s walls. 

Instead, the governor was there to talk up his proposed 2024-25 state budget and, more specifically, an additional $25 million for a new Main Street program that would boost small businesses and commercial corridors in Pennsylvania. Shapiro explained to a knot of media, elected officials and community leaders that getting behind Main Streets is a prime component of an economic development strategy the governor’s office recently announced. 

“It’s time to do more,” Shapiro said. He said the infusion of money into the program, called Main Street Matters, would be “an investment our region not only needs, but our Main Streets deserve.” 

He added, “This is the time for us to be bold in Pennsylvania. This is the time for our Main Streets to come alive in Pennsylvania.” 

KDKA: Shapiro visits Mt. Lebanon to highlight proposed budget’s investments in small businesses

Gov. Josh Shapiro visited Mt. Lebanon on Wednesday to garner support for his proposed budget’s investments in small community businesses. 

Shapiro and Community and Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger stopped by small businesses along Washington Road to talk about how his budget could help the community. Shapiro and other local leaders met with the owners of Orbis Caffe, Commonwealth Press and Empire Music.  

“Good small business districts have good operators with staff that have family sustaining jobs,” said Empire Music owner Joe Ravita.   

The governor’s budget proposes more than $600 million in total new and expanded economic development investments, including $25 million for a proposed Main Street Matters program that would support small businesses and commercial corridors that Shapiro’s administration calls “the backbone” of communities.  

“This is the time to be bold in Pennsylvania. This is a time to invest in Pennsylvania, this is the time to make our main streets come alive in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said.   

WTAE: Gov. Shapiro in Mount Lebanon to showcase proposed ‘Pa. Main Street Matters’ initiative in budget

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro was in Mount Lebanon on Wednesday, spotlighting his proposed “Pa. Main Street Matters” initiative to help neighborhood business districts. 

Shapiro visited several small businesses along Washington Road, saying Mount Lebanon’s improvements to the streetscape there using a state grant from a previous program show the potential for his Pa. Main Street Matters effort. 

The governor said he wanted to “hold Mount Lebanon up as an example to other communities across Pennsylvania of how to get it done.” 

“This is the time for us to be bold in Pennsylvania. This is the time for us to invest in Pennsylvania. This is the time to make our main streets come alive in Pennsylvania and strengthen our communities.” Shapiro said. 

He’s proposing the new $25 million initiative to make state funds available to communities, pairing the grants with local investments to improve neighborhood commercial corridors. 

ABC27: Governor Shapiro stops in Cumberland County to highlight proposed investment program for small businesses

Governor Josh Shapiro, along with Representative Patty Kim (D- Cumberland, Dauphin) and Borough President Gale Gallo, stopped in Lemoyne on Tuesday to continue his Main Street Matters Tour. 

Shapiro’s proposed Main Street Matters program will be through the Department of Community and Economic Development and will build upon the Keystone Communities Program. That program supports downtowns and main streets, as well as surrounding neighborhoods. 

Within the past week, Shapiro visited small businesses and their owners across the state to hear stories and to learn what they need from their state government to be successful. 


“Our Main Street corridors can be viewed as the ‘Welcome’ sign to our towns and communities – it’s a reflection of our pride and priorities when it comes to our hometown and local businesses,” said Representative Kim. “But many municipalities struggle to upkeep its Main Streets and that’s why I’m excited for the Governor’s proposed investment. The Main Street Matters program will boost local economies while boosting the pride of where we work and live.” 

“We’re grateful to Governor Shapiro for coming here today. We’re grateful for this new program – the $25 million that he has earmarked in the budget for the Main Street Matters program – which is money that communities can tap into to help,” said Borough Council President Gallo. 

Central Penn Business Journal: Shapiro visits Lemoyne as part of Main Street Matters tour

Gov. Josh Shapiro continued his Main Street Matters tour in Lemoyne, Cumberland County, Tuesday to discuss his economic strategy.  

Shapiro was joined by Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, Cumberland, and Lemoyne Borough President Gale Gallo as he met with the owners of local bakery Massimo’s Italian Bakery, dance studio Arthur Murray Lemoyne, and West Shore Farmers Market to hear what local businesses need from the state to be successful.  

“If we want to attract new businesses to Pennsylvania, support entrepreneurs, and create good paying jobs, then we’ve got to make sure our communities have healthy, vibrant Main Streets lined with shops and small businesses,” Shapiro said.   

“The number of opportunities we can create for Pennsylvanians is directly tied to the strength of our local businesses and main streets,” Shapiro said. “My budget calls for $25 million for our new Main Street Matters initiative to support small businesses, downtowns, and main streets all across Pennsylvania. These investments are going to make a real difference across the commonwealth.”  

Shapiro’s proposed Main Street Matters program will be administered through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and will build on the current Keystone Communities Program in supporting downtowns, main streets, and surrounding neighborhoods.    


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