Bellefonte businesses take advantage of facade grants
BELLEFONTE — Downtown Bellefonte Inc. is an organization dedicated to the economic growth and resiliency of the downtown business district. While many associate Downtown Bellefonte Inc. with its Signature Events like Bellefonte Under the Lights and the Under the Lights Winter Market, the organization focuses its efforts in many areas meant to enhance the entire Bellefonte community. While 2020 was a challenging year, Downtown Bellefonte Inc. is excited for the year ahead. Here are just some of the things happening so far:
BEST FACADE FORWARD
Residents and visitors to Bellefonte will find that the Diamond Deli, a staple business in downtown Bellefonte for 30 years, has had a recent facelift. The Diamond Deli applied to Downtown Bellefonte Inc.’s Best Facade Forward grant program in 2020, through which it was awarded $1,000 towards any HARB-approved updates that would enhance the outer appearance of the business. Downtown Bellefonte Inc. received seven applications for the 2020 grant program overall. At the end of 2020, new support from the community in the form of fundraisers and donations allowed the board of directors to award a second $1,000 grant to Victorian House Antiques. “We felt Victorian House Antiques would also greatly benefit from having an improved facade, so we decided to award a second grant for the year,” said Ryan Lowe, a Downtown Bellefonte Inc. board member who served on the facade grant committee. “We are extremely excited to see both new facades and are truly hopeful their businesses continue to be successful and the community as a whole is preserved and strengthened.” Applications for the 2021 Best Facade Forward program are open, with applications due on March 31. Full details are available on downtownbellefonteinc.com.
Downtown Bellefonte Inc. has been proud to participate in the ongoing #SupportLocalSafely campaign by Main Street America — an organization through which Bellefonte is an accredited Main Street community.
Used by communities across the United States, the hashtag campaign encourages downtown organizations to promote the safe visitation of our shops, restaurants, bars and other businesses. The campaign highlights how important it is to continue to shop local during the pandemic, and to support local businesses — with an emphasis on doing so safely and respectfully.
New Creative Hub at Bellefonte SpringBoard, Bellefonte’s downtown coworking space powered by Downtown Bellefonte Inc., recently installed a Creative Hub. This desk space, in a private room inside of SpringBoard, allows entrepreneurs, remote workers, freelancers and community members to get access to creative tools for photo and video editing, podcasting and more. Digital tools are an important part of marketing success for new businesses especially, and it’s often new businesses that can’t yet afford subscription fees or tech purchases. A day-pass rental of the Creative Hub gets users access to the computer, equipped with the latest software and tools, plus a podcasting microphone. The Creative Hub was made possible by financial and equipment donations by Bellefonte businesses Beard Law Co. and Hello Social Co. Upcoming from Downtown Bellefonte Inc. While Downtown Bellefonte Inc. is unable to provide concrete information about Signature Events like Bellefonte Under the Lights at this time, the organization has set dates for Friday in the ‘Fonte celebrations: May 28, June 25, July 30 and September 24. This year’s Friday in the ‘Fonte events will encourage residents and visitors to come downtown to shop, dine and explore — and will feature special activities like live music.
HOW TO SUPPORT
There are many ways to support DBI, and overall the entire downtown community — but the two most important ways you can help are through volunteering and financial support. Whether you’re interested in serving on a committee, helping plan or set up events or want to volunteer some time giving business advice at SpringBoard — there are volunteer opportunities available, always. Community members are also encouraged to become a Neighborhood Supporter member of DBI by making a $25 donation on downtownbellefonteinc.com.
Downtown Bellefonte Inc.
127 S. Allegheny Street #2, Bellefonte, PA 16823