Main Streets members look to revitalize small businesses
Main Streets, Catasauqua’s business owners association, held its quarterly breakfast meeting Oct. 25 at Pie’s On Pizzeria. John Landi opened a new business, an Italian bistro and market, at his old location. For early risers, the bistro opens its doors 6 a.m. with a bevy of breakfast offerings. Caprese egg sandwich on a bagel was one of several different dishes on the breakfast menu board.
The meeting was sponsored by Beck Packaging Corporation.
Main Streets President Kimberly Brubaker introduced Tina Roseberry, director of planning for the City of Easton. Roseberry is credited with coordinating initiatives Easton has taken as it continues to improve its surroundings. Brett Butler, of Brosky Insurance, made the invitation.
“I sit on Catasauqua’s planning committee, and part of our process was to take some planning courses with [Lehigh Valley Planning Commission]. Tina was the instructor on a few. After hearing her background, I thought it would be good for everyone to hear her,” he said.
Roseberry worked with a long list of smaller communities before she snagged the job with Easton.
“Small communities are unique, and you need to look for how you can make the best use with the space you have,” she said.
Roseberry praised the Iron Works project, comparing it to Easton’s Silk Mill project. Roseberry branded the Easton revitalization program as Engage Easton!
“What I try and do is to get as much input as possible for some of our neighborhoods,” she said. “The Third Ward project has started the gentrification of the neighborhood. The program for revitalization started with resident and government cooperation. We are keeping the diversity of the neighborhood and improving the housing stock.”
Kicking off the neighborhood programs started with data trends.
“We found that in some neighborhoods, people were moving every five months,” she said.
Roseberry is keen on using social media as a way to brand revitalization.
“The success is advertised best with social media,” she said. “It’s people telling their story.”
A point that Roseberry made was that.
“Everyone keeps looking for the project that will revitalize an area and they can close it out. The projects don’t end. Revitalization takes years and is an ongoing process,” she said.
A big challenge is how to harness all the ideas that are presented.
An ongoing discussion within Main Streets is how to keep participation up with businesses in the borough. Brubaker is looking for more ideas that Main Streets can sponsor. The big push for November was Small Business Saturday Nov. 25.
“This is the day where we get national support to shop with local businesses. We want to emphasize that across the borough,” Brubaker said.