Main Street Matters: Governor Shapiro Visits West Philadelphia Small Businesses to Highlight How Proposed Budget Investments Will Create Opportunity & Help Pennsylvanians Build Generational Wealth

The Governor’s proposed budget invests $25 million in main streets and small businesses and provides $600 million in total funding to grow our economy and create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.


The proposed 2024-25 budget investments build on the Governor’s Executive Order to open up new opportunities for small and small diverse businesses and the $20 million secured in 2023-24 for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Program.

Philadelphia, PA – Today, while visiting small businesses in West Philadelphia, Governor Josh Shapiro joined Senator Vince Hughes, Representative Jordan Harris, Representative Rick Krajewski, Representative Amen Brown, and Enterprise Center President Della Clark to continue his ‘Main Street Matters’ tour and discuss 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.

“My Administration is focused on creating real economic opportunity – and there’s no better way to do that than to help more Pennsylvanians start and grow small businesses of their own. That’s how we create generational wealth and lift up entire communities,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “I believe the strength of our communities – and the number of opportunities we can create for Pennsylvanians – is directly tied to the strength of our local business communities and main streets. My budget calls for $25 million for our new Main Street Matters initiative, building off the Keystone Communities program to support small businesses, downtowns, and main streets all across Pennsylvania. These investments are going to make a real difference here in West Philly and across the Commonwealth.”

Governor Shapiro has visited with small business owners across the Commonwealth since taking office and has heard their stories and learned what they need from their state government to be successful. The Governor and his Administration worked to address the most pressing challenges small business owners face during his first year in office by:

  • Securing $20 million in state funding in the 2023-24 budget for Historically Disadvantaged Businesses across the Commonwealth for the first time ever. This money will be driven out to small diverse businesses in order to help them grow, create jobs, and build generational wealth in communities too often left behind.

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.

“When we invest in small businesses and local economies, we’re providing real opportunities for communities to grow, develop and thrive,” said Senator Vince Hughes. “We need to step up for hard working people, especially our Black and Brown neighbors, who have aspirations and ideas to build businesses, but just need that opportunity and support to get started. These new investments proposed by Governor Shapiro and existing programs like the Historically Disadvantaged Business Grant program can provide that opportunity.”

“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,” said Representative Jordan Harris, Majority Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “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.”

“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,” said Representative Rick Krajewski. “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.”

“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,” Representative Amen Brown said. “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.”

“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,” said Della Clark, President and CEO of The Enterprise Center. “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.”

“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,” said Mengistu Koilor, Owner of Two Locals Brewing Company. “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.”

In addition to the $25 million for the Main Street Matters program, other proposed investments in economic development 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.

For more information on how the Governor’s proposed budget will continue to open up new doors of opportunity for Pennsylvania small businesses, visit

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