WATCH: What Pennsylvania Businesses and Business Leaders Are Saying About Governor Shapiro’s New Economic Development Strategy, Main Street Matters Program

Harrisburg, PA – Since Governor Josh Shapiro launched the first statewide economic strategy in decades, Pennsylvania businesses and community leaders have voiced their support for the Shapiro Administration’s plan to invest in economic development, innovation, and job creation. Governor Shapiro knows that a growing economy that works for all is key to creating real opportunity and a better future for Pennsylvanians — and to implement this new strategy 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 Pennsylvania communities. 

Governor Shapiro has travelled to main streets all across the Commonwealth, stopping in Mt. Lebanon, Philadelphia, Honesdale, and Lemoyne. The Governor spoke with small business owners to discuss how the Main Street Matters program will benefit business owners and improve main street signage, storefronts, and infrastructure in downtowns across Pennsylvania.  

Watch and read what Pennsylvanians are saying about the Shapiro Administration’s new economic development strategy and Governor Shapiro’s Main Street Matters program.

Owner of Empire Music, Joe Ravita – click here to watch.

“The Main Street Matter initiative will help my business and other small businesses grow because it will force more traffic to local small business, allowing us to be more profitable and reinvest in our business to better serve our communities. I’m hopeful for Pennsylvania’s future because I see investments being made in the things that we really need and want.”   

Owner of Gather, Olivia Santo – click here to watch.

“We feel that the new investments in Main Street Matters will be absolutely vital to our success here as a downtown. The downtown area is the true lifeblood of a town. When you have a successful and vibrant main street, it really makes it a place that people want to come and visit and move their families to, open up businesses. It just has such a trickle-down effect that we’re really excited to see. With technology and the available resources that we have here in Pennsylvania, I really think that it’s such a great time for young people to open up businesses and just create a great place to live in their small towns.” 

CEO of Ghost Robotics, Gavin Kenneally – click here to watch. 

“We’ve really benefited from having this ecosystem of not only all the wonderful people to be able to hire out of the universities, but also an ecosystem of venture funding and the ability to fuel the growth of these companies. To have a very responsive government — that’s incredibly helpful. We ourselves have actually taken advantage of the much faster three-day response time to be able to get a copy of our business license. Measures like that are really innovative and very exciting for me to be able to grow a company in a state that’s thinking that way.” 

CEO of Sterling Drive Ventures, Michael Aratan – click here to watch.

“So much of what happens with leadership is setting the tone. Obviously economic development is critical – and what I love about the Governor’s plan is that it’s very focused and looks at it from both sides of the fence. And by that, I mean it looks at it from the business community side and also looks at it from the labor community side.”  

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