Officials in Phillipsburg, N.J., are hopeful as they wait to apply for the first step in a three-tier process to achieve Main Street status, which could ultimately ease the town’s access to state funding to revitalize its downtown.
The Phillipsburg Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with the town of Phillipsburg in February to submit a letter to the state requesting an application for the Main Street program. The chamber hopes to receive the application by the end of the month.
The Phillipsburg chamber has agreed to handle all steps involved in the application process, including boosting the town's events and activities to attract more people and businesses to the downtown.
"The overall goal is to bring more foot traffic and make the town feel clean, safe and welcoming," said Meg Dowd, director of Phillipsburg and Easton initiatives for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. "We will do anything that will inspire economic growth in the downtown."
The Main Street program is a way for the state to see if a town is truly interested and invested in its community. By achieving Main Street status, Phillipsburg would have a better chance to obtain state grants to rebuild its downtown.
"This is the first step in becoming a full-fledged Main Street program," Dowd said.
Dowd said the chamber has full support of the community and downtown businesses. The chamber plans to continue to provide its typical events and activities, including business networking events, festivals and movies in the park, but on a larger scale by adding entertainment, including music and perhaps even a luau in the park. The chamber hopes to create a buzz in the downtown.
"We want to help make existing downtown businesses thrive," Dowd said. "And bring in more businesses."
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