2017 Great American Main Street Award
On May 4th, the West Chester Business Improvement District was awarded one of three 2017 Great American Main Street Awards from National Main Street Center Inc., a national nonprofit dedicated to commercial district preservation.
West Chester’s main street rebirth took vision, patience and persistence – add in lots of hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, diverse partners and an exceptional BID and today we celebrate a revitalized, vibrant downtown. I am proud to have been mayor and now state representative, so I can help champion all the good work of our BID, our diverse partners and all the joys of our beautiful downtown!
The West Chester BID was recognized because of its efforts over the last 17 years to preserve historic and cultural heritage while modernizing the area into a fine-dining destination. Those efforts include leading the effort that successfully brought West Chester’s business vacancy rate from 22 percent to 4 percent, while adding nearly 250 businesses and 1,000 jobs for the area.
West Chester has become a dining and cultural destination thanks to the vision, entrepreneurial energy, and years of hard work by our exceptional BID. I extend particular congratulations and thanks to Malcolm Johnstone and the BID Board. They harness and direct our energy toward success after success!
West Chester is the first Pennsylvania community to earn this designation in nearly 20 years, with our revival beginning approximately 17 years ago when the BID was established. This recognition is further proof that West Chester is an inclusive community that celebrates our diversity and offers a welcoming, vibrant place for all to live, visit, work, study and play!
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.