Main Street Matters: Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger Visit Honesdale to Highlight Proposed $25 Million Investment to Create Economic Opportunity for PA Main Streets and Small Businesses

Governor Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 budget puts forth a bold vision to create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.


Supporting the Commonwealth’s small businesses and main streets is also a critical component of the Governor’s economic development strategy – and his budget proposes $600 million in new and expanded investments to implement the strategy.

Honesdale, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger joined local leaders to highlight the Governor’s proposed investments in Pennsylvania Main Streets, small businesses, and local communities. As part of the 2024-25 budget proposal that focuses on creating economic opportunity for all in communities across Pennsylvania, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger visited small businesses on Honesdale’s Main Street business district.

Over the last five years, the Commonwealth has invested $630,000 in Honesdale to improve main street signage, storefronts and infrastructure. During the visit to Honesdale today, Governor Shapiro announced a new $100,000 Keystone Partnership grant to not only continue the work on storefront improvements but also to fund loans for local business owners to afford new equipment, renovation projects, and business marketing. 

“Honesdale has such a rich history as a former coal town and the birthplace of the American railroad. Thanks to the strategic investments we’ve made in partnership with local leadership and small business owners, Honesdale’s main street continues to be a thriving place of opportunity,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “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.”

Governor Shapiro’s proposed Main Street Matters program will be administered through DCED and will build on the existing successes of the current Keystone Communities Program in supporting downtowns, main streets, and surrounding neighborhoods. It will provide for a refresh of the current structure to address a wide variety of needs throughout communities and invest in their revitalization and future prosperity.

“Governor Shapiro’s $25 million investment into the Main Street Matters program will give Pennsylvania communities a much-needed resource to make their main streets better places to live, visit, and work,” said DCED Secretary Rick Siger. “This focus on strong communities and small businesses is especially important today, as Pennsylvania faces more competition than ever as we seek to attract and retain new residents and businesses. It’s time to do more — and the Governor’s call for $25 million for the Main Street Matters program is an investment that our regions deserve.”

During their visit to downtown Honesdale, Governor Shapiro, Secretary Siger, and local leaders met with the owners of custom tailor shop Art’s for Him and Her Too, local boutique Gather, and brewhouse and saloon Runaway Train Brewery.

“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,” said Mayor of Honesdale, Derek Williams. “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.”

“Highly enthused that Governor Shapiro took the time to visit idyllic downtown Honesdale. I love my home town, 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,” said Representative Jonathan Fritz. “Honesdale truly is Norman Rockwell-esque Americana, complete with sincerely good and generous people.”

“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,” said Sandi Levens, Executive Director of the Greater Honesdale Partnership. “We look forward to putting into action the Governor’s bold plans through implementing Main Street Matters.”

“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,” said Vince Benedetto, owner of Runaway Train Brewery. “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.”

Today’s announcement builds upon Governor Shapiro’s commitment to create a stronger economy across Pennsylvania. Since day one, Governor Shapiro and his Administration have been working aggressively to make Pennsylvania a leader in innovation and economic development and create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians. Last month, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger launched the Commonwealth’s first Economic Development Strategy in nearly two decades – building on the Shapiro Administration’s work to make Pennsylvania a leader in innovation and economic development and to create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.

The Governor’s 2024-25 budget calls for significant investments directly tied back to this ten-year strategy and issues a strong call to action for partners across all sectors to join in with their support.

In addition to the $25 million for the Main Street Matters program, other proposed economic development investments in the Governor’s budget include: $500 million in PA SITES funding to bring more commercial and industrial sites to Pennsylvania; $20 million to support large-scale innovation and leverage Pennsylvania’s best-in-class research and development assets; and $3.5 million to create and launch the Pennsylvania Regional Economic Competitiveness Challenge to incentivize regional growth.

You can read Pennsylvania’s first economic development strategy in 20 years here. For more information on how the Governor’s proposed budget will create opportunity for all Pennsylvanians, visit

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