DSI had special visitors on August 15. Senator Dave Argall and Representative Tim Twardzik joined members of the DSI board on a walking tour through the Shenandoah Borough. Last year, thanks to the ongoing support of both government officials , DSI was awarded $100,000 in special grant money from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economical Development (DCED) to use for facade improvements.
(Pictured above: Representative Tim Twardzik, Joe Anczarski, owner Mark's Supply and DSI Board member, and Karen Kenderdine, DSI Board President and Treasurer discuss the future of Shenandoah and the positive outcomes of the grant award .)
Senator Argall explained that the grant money represents competitive dollars and that he is confident the money will improve the downtown. "I'm excited to see the progress," he said. The tour included stops at Catizone's Barber Shop, Oravitz Home For Funerals, Expressions, Nature's Way Emporium, Mark's Supply, and Mulligans.
The Application Process Started in 2021
An application process including guidelines and deadlines was announced in 2021 and all Shenandoah businesses throughout the business district were invited to apply. The facade projects must be completed and approved by DSI's Design committee before payment is issued. Facade improvements range anywhere from replacing a damaged sign, adding an awning, to redoing an entire storefront. Businesses submitting complete applications and approved for funding include:
- Betty Ann Bugden's Total Image & Hair Replacement Center
- Catizone's Barbershop
- Greater Shenandoah Historical Society
- Mark's Supply Co,
- Merengue Cakes & Deli
- Nature's Way Emporium
- Oravitz Home For Funerals
- St. Stephens's Hall
- Two West Hair Salon
- Williamson Friedberg & Jones
Pictured above: Senator Argall, Brad Oravitz, owner Oravitz Home For Funerals and Representative Twardzik tour recent facade improvements to area.
Pictured are Senator Dave Argall and State Representative Twardzik pictured at Catizone's Barbershop during a recent visit to Shenandoah to see facade grant progress.
Sprucing Up Storefronts Newspaper Coverage
In an August 16 Republican Herald article, "Sprucing Up Storefronts," Representative Twardzik referred to the national trend of downtown revitalization as, "a wheel of retailing." He said that much like Shenandoah's heyday when every Main Street storefront was filled and busy, changed when shopping malls came to communities. "And then the shopping malls came, and then the shopping malls left," he said. "And so now we're coming back to small towns where we have specialty shops and we have changing demographics.
Creating A Visually Appealing Experience
People are looking for experience shopping," said Susan Williams, spokesperson for DSI. "We are committed to creating a business district where visitors can spend some enjoyable quality time, shopping, dining and taking in the sights. We are continually working with other community members, business owners, and area leaders to take time and effort to clean up their store front areas to create an improved curb appeal." She explained that Shenandoah has an interesting mix of retail stores, specialty shops, restaurants, and historical landmarks that make the Borough unique.
"When the outside of a business looks clean and inviting, new customers are curious and more likely to stop in and shop. This includes an attractive business district with, litter free, clean streets, colorful flower boxes, welcoming signage, beautiful landscaping, and other visually appealing effects. "This facade improvement grant money helps us move us one step further in the right direction. Tim Twardzik commented, "It takes awhile for such work to happen, but its nice to see the improvements. And once you get somebody to fix up a little bit, it kind of inspires a neighbor to keep up," he said.
Williams agrees. "It seems that it starts with one project that leads to another, then another."