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25K Cash Prize in National Contest Recognizing America’s Main Streets

By Visit West Reading

Mar 17, 2020

West Reading, PA Vying for $25K Cash Prize in National Contest Recognizing America’s Main Streets

 Vote now to advance West Reading, PA to the next round

Independent We Stand, a national small business movement, kicked-off its fifth annual America’s Main Streets contest to help consumers, small business owners and Main Street organizations reward a deserving Main Street with $25,000 in cash and sponsor-related prizes. West Reading, PA in Berks County is among this year’s nominees.

“Our Independent We Stand America’s Main Streets contest gives small business owners the opportunity to share their Main Street stories nationwide”, says Independent We Stand co-founder Bill Brunelle. “But we know it takes a community to make that possible, so we’re inviting consumers to help recognize their favorite indie businesses.”

West Reading’s founding fathers set out to build a friendly and viable community and in 1907 it became an official independent borough in the state. In 1892’s, Thun & Janssen established Wyomissing Industries, later to become the Berkshire Knitting Mills and later still the Vanity Fair Outlets.

100 years later, the business district showed signs of age. In 1999 the Main Street Program was initiated to set the stage for future economic development. After investing over $6.2 million in attractive streetscape and needed infrastructure improvements to the Central Business District, the Borough of West Reading began to see positive results.

Through a partnership of local business leaders, government officials and borough residents what was a declining Central Business District is now a vibrant regional shopping destination and filled with specialty shops and a wide variety of dining experiences. Special events such as Art on the Avenue, Fall Festival and the Craft Pretzel and Beer Festival continue to grow and energize our community.

Twenty years later, the Main Street program spearheaded by the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation continues to be a driving factor in this economic development of West Reading. While we don’t have vacant buildings, we are not where we need to be to compete in the new retail landscape. Shopping Centers are popping up modeled after Main Streets and we need to “up our game” to be able to compete. We are currently developing a new 5 year plan that will help guide us to future success.

The $25,000 prize will be used toward continued rehabilitation of West Reading as outlined in our Five-Year Plan with placemaking, traffic calming and public art that we hope will continue to improve our already great Main Street.

If you’re staying home and avoiding shopping, you can support your local retailers by voting for our favorite Main Street here in West Reading, PA.

The first round of voting in the contest began as soon as West Reading, PA was nominated and runs through April 19. All nominations and voting take place on MainStreetContest.com. The direct link to the West Reading, PA page is https://www.mainstreetcontest.com/profile/91

Important dates:

  • Feb. 24 to April 19: “America’s Main Streets” nominations and quarterfinalist voting
  • April 27 to May 24: “America’s Main Streets” semifinalist voting
  • June 2: “America’s Main Streets” winner announced
  • July 4: “Main Streets Make Us Better” event; “America’s Main Streets” winner announces plans for $25,000 grand prize

Additional contest prizes include:

  • STIHL Equipment Certificate for $1,000 worth of STIHL equipment good at any STIHL Dealer in the U.S.
  • Do it Best Corp. $500 shopping spree
  • Free One Day Downtown Assessment from Flip This Town
  • Nationwide Marketing Group $500 shopping spree
  • PPG Paints $500 shopping spree
  • Public relations and social media recognition
  • A special plaque for the winner to proudly display

For more information on West Reading, PA, visit: VisitWestReading.org or contact Emily Branch at 610.413.9565 or [email protected].

Presenting Contest Sponsor:

STIHL Inc., America’s number-one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment*, is the founding sponsor of Independent We Stand and the presenting sponsor of America’s Main Streets contest. The company follows a unique distribution strategy in the handheld outdoor power equipment industry, choosing never to sell products at big box stores, but instead remaining loyal to its 9,000+ authorized local STIHL Dealers nationwide.

Supporting Contest Sponsors:

About West Reading, PA

West Reading, PA is a vibrant regional shopping destination and cosmopolitan hub known for specialty shops and a wide variety of dining experiences.

The West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation is a community development organization created by elected and non-elected leaders of the community to develop and manage the mechanisms for a prosperous and competitive business environment. The Foundation will act broadly within the parameters set by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Program to:

1) promote a sense of community and unified purpose,

2) assure the historic continuity of the community’s architectural heritage,

3) improve the image and perception of the community to residents and visitors and

4) strengthen economic rejuvenation of property and commerce.

 

About Independent We Stand

Independent We Stand is a nationwide movement of independent small business owners whose mission is to inspire other small business owners to better understand and celebrate their locally owned status while educating consumers about the importance and strong economic benefits of supporting them. The Independent We Stand movement is sponsored by STIHL Inc. STIHL products are sold through more than 9,000 authorized local STIHL Dealers from coast to coast – not big box stores. Associate sponsors include Nationwide Marketing Group, PPG and Do it Best Corp

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