Unlocking the Economic Potential: Ephrata Borough Designated as Keystone Communities Main Street

Keystone Communities Main Street DesignationImage via Department of Community and Economic Development

EPHRATA, PA — Ephrata Borough in Lancaster County has been designated as a Keystone Communities Main Street, facilitating the promotion of its historic downtown for the benefit of businesses and residents. Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary Vilello expressed excitement over this growth opportunity, while organizations Mainspring of Ephrata and Pennsylvania Downtown Center pledged support in enhancing the economic vitality of the community.

“The Shapiro Administration is excited to designate Ephrata as a Keystone Communities Main Street,” said Deputy Secretary Vilello. “This designation will foster growth for the whole community — businesses will receive support and residents will experience the benefits of a thriving downtown.”

As a designated Keystone Communities Mainstreet, Ephrata will receive priority status for various applications submitted to DCED and will be eligible for Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone tax credits for private sector development within the designated Main Street program area.

“This accountability ultimately benefits Ephrata,” said Joy Ashley, Executive Director of Mainspring of Ephrata. “Mainspring announced its vision and goals in a public meeting held January 2023. To stay the course, to actively pursue what we have said we would pursue builds trust, and, ultimately, a stronger community.”

Ephrata is also now eligible to receive complimentary technical assistance and programmatic support from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center over the next five years.

“As the state partner with DCED and the state coordinator with the National Main Street Center, we value the vision and support that the Commonwealth continues to provide to our Main Street program,” said Julie Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Downtown Center. “We look forward to assisting Mainspring Ephrata over these next five years to enhance the economic vitality and quality of helping them create the greatest impact in their downtown and community.”

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The primary goals of designated Main Street areas are improving the quality of life in a community by making the traditional downtown area a more attractive place to live and work. They also strive to increase business development and create jobs in the area, improve the level of planning in the community, and ensure that public and private investments are impactful to the local economy.

A Keystone Communities designation is a flexible tool for use in community and economic development for a variety of uses including planning activities, façade grant programs, accessible housing programs, and development grant designation applications are accepted at all times.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website.

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