East Penn Press

Sunday, May 27, 2018

EMMAUS MAIN STREET PARTNERS Partnership with GLVCC being negotiated

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by DEBBIE GALBRAITH dgalbraithtnonline.com in Local News

The Emmaus Main Street Partners and The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce are negotiating an agreement to partner as part of the Main Street Initiative of the chamber.

"It is a honor for us," President and CEO of The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Tony Iannelli said. "The EMSP has a phenominal track record."

Iannelli said they have been talking with EMSP for approximately 10 years and more seriously over the last two years, hoping to join forces together.

GLVCC has 15 partnerships and eight communities in which they operate main street initiatives: Allentown, Alburtis, Bath, Bangor, Coopersburg, Catasauqua, Hellertown and Pen Argyl.

Iannelli said if an agreement is reached, they will try to make the transition seamless.

"We want the EMSP to be the best they can be," Iannelli said. "We [GLVCC] will bring financial stability and staffing assistance. We will be there when they need us.

"Many of our programs operate as the proud partner of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce," Iannelli said.

Iannelli said the tag line of the chamber used to be "the power of partnerships." Now, the tag line is "on every main street."

"Through our Main Street Initiative, we have given away $192,000 in the past two years," Project Director, Main Street Lehigh Valley Foundation, Michael Schlossberg said.

"Our main street communities perform better, help existing businesses, bring in new businesses and bring in more jobs," Schlossberg said.

The chamber's Borough Business Revitalization Program is a regional Main Street program established in 2005 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 Borough Business Revitalization Program mobilizes volunteers and municipalities, assisting them in strengthening their local economies and community structure. Each borough's physical, economic, cultural and historical assets are promoted both affecting and affected by the downtown business district.

The BBRP serves to educate and train volunteers in the state-approved urban revitalization areas of design, organization, economic restructuring and promotion. This four point approach guides participating communities in their efforts to provide economically healthy, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, and aesthetically-pleasing downtowns for their residents through promotion and by providing specialized assistance and access to resources on a regional level.

The Chamber Foundation is the charitable arm of The Chamber. Structured as a 501(C)(3) organization, they accept donations from the private sector to directly fund business development programs in the region's urban core and central business districts. These funds supplement existing public sector resources, investing in projects that enhance and beautify the downtown landscape for the purpose of attracting business, residents and consumers to city centers.

The Chamber Foundation's mission is to improve every main street in the Lehigh Valley through targeted investments in facade improvements, streetscape designs, sidewalk beautification and other enhancements to the physical appearance of our downtowns and urban centers.

"On behalf of the Emmaus Main Street Partners Board of Directors, we are very excited to be working with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce on this agreement," EMSP President Rick Zayaitz said. "This gives us a lot of opportunities to reach the over 5,000 members of the chamber that we didn't have before in terms of sponsorship and networking. The staff at the chamber will be able to provide administrative assistance to our Executive Director Teri Madison as we continue to support the economic vitality of our community."

Currently, attorneys representing EMSP and GLVCC are reviewing the agreement. If an agreement is reached, a chamber board vote would be taken during the third week in September.