Wolf Administration Celebrates West Chester’s Great American Main Street Recognition

Mark Hostutler
By
Mark Yoder, left, President of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, and Malcolm Johnstone, Executive Director of the West Chester Business Improvement District, are all smiles after West Chester won the 2017 Great American Main Street Award three tears ago. Johnstone, the longtime executive director of the West Chester Business Improvement District, is leaving after 19 years to join the Cultural Alliance of Chester County.

The Wolf Administration recently lauded the borough of West Chester after it was selected as a winner of the 2017 Great American Main Street Award at the Main Street American Conference in Pittsburgh.

West Chester is the first Pennsylvania community to be recognized with this distinction in nearly 20 years.

“I am very proud that West Chester was recognized by Main Street America for its success at revitalizing its business district and the surrounding area,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Pennsylvania is home to so many vibrant, active communities and West Chester is a model worthy of recognition.

“I want to thank the West Chester officials, small businesses, and residents for their commitment to the continued growth and improvement of their community.”

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West Chester’s revival began approximately 17 years ago when the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) was established. The BID successfully secured a Keystone Communities designation through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities Program, which helps encourage public and private sector partnerships that support economic development and local revitalization efforts specific to the community’s needs.

Through its Keystone Communities designation, West Chester secured nearly $1 million in funding to support neighborhood and streetscape improvement projects, commercial façade restorations, and destination marketing efforts.

The collaboration between DCED, the BID, West Chester Borough, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, and the West Chester Police Department has led to the growth of a vibrant small business community, rebuilt and enhanced areas within the West Chester community, and a nearly 50 percent crime reduction.

“We are thrilled Main Street America honored West Chester with this award,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “The borough’s highly successful transformation and revitalization shows the effectiveness of public-private partnerships, and DCED looks forward to continuing these efforts in West Chester and other communities in the commonwealth.”

Check out this awesome video on West Chester below.

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