The Borough of Hellertown

…...“Cherishing Our Past.... Embracing the Future”

Borough Business Revitalization

The BBRP will meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 8:30 am at Erika’s Café .  


The Borough Business Revitalization Program aims to mobilize volunteers and municipal officials, assisting them in strengthening their local economies.  Each borough’s physical, economic, cultural, and historical assets are promoted. The BBRP serves to educate and train volunteers in the revitalization areas of design, organization, economic restructuring, and promotion


The Borough Business Revitalization is a regional Main Street program that represents a partnership between the greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Foundation, the Department of Community and Economic Development, Lehigh and Northampton Counties, and the participating communities (the boroughs of Alburtis, Bangor, Bath Catasaququa, Coopersburg, Hellertown, and Pen Argly.  The greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce employs 2 community revitalization coordinators who spend a minimum of one day a week and one evening a month offering their services to each participating borough.


The program began in 2005 as part of the “New Communities” program within PA’S Department of Community and Economic Development.  In 2010, the BBRP was recognized as the top performing regional Main Street Program in Pennsylvania and they also received National Accreditation from the National Trust Main Street Center ( a designation granted to only 2,000 programs across the nation)


How does the program work?  


The Borough Business Revitalization is a bottom-up program.  Volunteers, elected officials, and business & property owners all work together to determine the goals of the program and enact projects that fit the need of the participating community.  The coordinator provides technical support, access to resources, and helps to coordinate the volunteer efforts.  Additionally, the program operates according to the nationally accepted Main Street revitalization model:


“Design”  

Getting downtown into top physical shape and capitalizing on its best assets


“Economic Restructuring”


Helping to maintain already existing business & jobs and recruiting new enterprises


“Promotion”  


Selling the image and promise of Main Street to all prospects


“Organization”


Ensuring that all concerned stakeholders are working towards the same goals


The Facade Program


This program is one of the most popular endeavors of the Borough Business Revitalization Program.  It is a state-funded program that provides a 1-to-1 match, up to $5,000, for exterior improvements to the facades of properties within the downtown. In the past two completed rounds of funding, 12 properties along Main Street in Hellertown received a total of $30,054 - which resulted in an additional $33,402 in private investment. In this current round of funding, seven properties in the borough are receiving $11,450 in grant funding – which will result in an estimated $32,082 in private investment.


“Grants”


In addition to the five years of Main Street program funding and Facade Program funding, grant funding acquired / supported by the Borough Business Revitalization (specifically for Hellertown) include the following:


GLVCC Foundation Special Opportunities Grant


Saucon Valley Promotional Palm Card $225.00


Lutron Foundation


Program Funding   $2,500.00


GLVCC Foundation Special Opportunities Grant


Parking Study    $2,000.00


PA DCED Community Revitalization Grant (Rep. Bob Freeman)


Streetscape Amenities - Welcome Banners  $5,000.00


Streetscape Amenities - Benches, Trash Receptacles and Bike Racks $12,000


Hellertown Business Revitalization Program Accomplishments


- Completed a visioning session & five year strategic plan


- Visited Doylestown to tour the community and meet with staff to      investigate ideas for revitalization efforts


- Reviewed the multi-municipal (Hellertown-Lower Saucon) plan to verify it   was consistent with Main St. efforts


- Met in Harrisburg with PennDOT officials to discuss Streetscape design and   pedestrian safety improvements to Hellertown’s Main Street


- Contracted with a consultant to conduct a parking study


- Acquired funding to order a dozen more banners for the downtown poles as   well as fifty new sets of banner brackets to replace the old, unusable   hardware


- Received several trash cans from a Keep America Beautiful Think Green   Grant awarded to Lehigh County.


- Received several park benches, courtesy of Giant Markets, provided by   Keep PA Beautiful awarded to Lehigh County.


- Purchased handmade planters and flowers from a local florist for the corners   of Main Street


- Created the Saucon Valley Restaurant Guide, the Saucon Valley Palm Card   that was distributed at the 2009 LPGA Tour), and have since created a   consolidated version of both promotional materials – the


              “Saucon Valley Restaurant & Attractions Brochure”


- Assisted in the development of the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market – now its   own self-sustaining entity


- Developed a “Hellertown Welcome Brochure” for new residents


- Completed a Working with the Borough Guide to assist prospective and   existing business owners


- Completed a zip code survey and corresponding market analysis


Hellertown Business Revitalization Program Goals


- Develop closer relationships/partnerships with the multiple other civic   groups in the Borough


- Hold at least one fundraiser annually that results in a minimum of $1,000   profit


- Pursue an opportunity with ghost stories of Saucon Valley, i.e. a ghost story   book or ghost tour


- Provide signage and promotional materials to navigate users of the proposed   Rail Trail to direct visitors to the historic downtown


- Pursue funding for & offer input to the Borough in implementing the Saucon   Valley multi-municipal plan


- Create a sub-committee to evaluate the results of the parking study &   suggest alternatives to Council


- Play an active role in the implementation of appropriate Streetscape Plan   projects and amenities


- Design more visitor-friendly promotional materials, i.e.   walking tour   brochure & downtown map


- Incorporate more usable business & program information and tourist   documents onto the Borough’s web site


- Focus on improving relations and partnering with neighboring Bethlehem


- Partner more with the now self-sufficient Farmers Market by offering   complementing activities/events


- Establish a Borough-wide gift certificate program


- Find a consistent way to welcome new businesses into the Borough, i.e. a    welcome packet, committee, certificate, etc.


- Create a discount program for employees of Hellertown Business, i.e. a   Discount Card