Catasauqua Press

Sunday, September 22, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILJessica O’Donnell, vice president of affiliated Chambers of Great Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, visits with Mary Teixeira, owner of Violet’s Closet, 517 Front St., Catasauqua, and her daughter Zahara Grace. On-site visits let business owners get acquainted with the services offered by Catasauqua Main Streets and the Chamber. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILJessica O’Donnell, vice president of affiliated Chambers of Great Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, visits with Mary Teixeira, owner of Violet’s Closet, 517 Front St., Catasauqua, and her daughter Zahara Grace. On-site visits let business owners get acquainted with the services offered by Catasauqua Main Streets and the Chamber.

Supporting Catasauqua businesses

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Main Streets, Lehigh Valley Chamber form alliance, highlight benefits

Kim Brubaker, president of Catasauqua Main Streets, the borough’s business association, and Jessica O’Donnell, with Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, have announced the two groups have formed an alliance designed to attract new businesses to the borough and support those businesses committed to staying there.

O’Donnell is the executive vice president of affiliated Chambers. She has extensive experience with small municipalities. She ran the highly successful Emmaus Main Streets program before coming on board at the Chamber.

Catasauqua Main Streets has been active in many areas. It initiated a program called Revitalization through the Arts, which resulted in dressing up fire hydrants and painting new murals using blank building facades as a canvas.

During Old Home Week, the borough initiated several unique programs. There is an arch memorial at Catasauqua Park and Playground that marked the original occasion.

Catasauqua Main Streets also organized the Summer Blasts that celebrated the Iron Works project.

“We want to help out local businesses. That’s what the Chamber does,” O’Donnell said.

While businesses often have a hard time discerning what is available, O’Donnell’s hands-on style has her out visiting various local businesses.

“Main Streets is a collection of business owners, and they all have jobs or businesses to run. I can work with the local businesses better,” she said.

O’Donnell set up a temporary office in the community room of the Catasauqua Borough Municipal Complex, 90 Bridge St. She is there 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays and is often out visiting business owners during that time.

As O’Donnell indicated, there was some reluctance by the borough to join such a large organization.

“It’s true that with all the Chamber’s activities, a small organization can [feel] lost,” she said. “My job is to represent the small municipalities, so they can benefit from all the Chamber has to offer.”

One outgrowth of the alliance is the Chamber offered the borough a small grant. The $1,500 matching grant will fund pole banners that will change seasonally. The program reinforces Main Streets’ Revitalization through the Arts program. Pole banners often beautify the downtown area, highlighting Catasauqua’s rich, unique heritage.