By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — DANVILLE – On March 12, the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, along with the Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships, will host Raise the Region 2013. This one-day fundraising event will help many nonprofit organizations in our area including the Danville Business Alliance raise money for both operations and special projects.
This event will help many nonprofits, including the DBA, to raise much-needed money for both operations and projects. To match online contributions, Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships has donated $125,000 as seed money. Larson Design Group and Auto Trakk will sponsor additional prizes and incentives for the participating nonprofits. The more raised, the more matched for the DBA and others, according to Alliance Executive Director Jim Wilson.
Working together with its partners in 2012, the DBA has helped the community experience continued economic growth in the downtown area marked by a sustained minimal vacancy rate, more new businesses, net employment growth, and cumulatively more than $15 million in public/private improvements and investment since 2008, completion of the downtown streetscape improvement project design phase, funded by the DBA and its public and private partners, awarding of a $380,000 federal transportation grant to the DBA to build the downtown streetscape project, with construction to begin in July 2013 and engagement by the alliance of a development consulting firm to create a vertical development plan to transform nearly 30 underutilized upper floors into functional residential and commercial space while simultaneously preserving the area’s historic integrity.
The alliance has expanded its façade grant program, assisted 18 renovation projects since 2009, re-invested $185,000 seeded by approximately $57,000 in façade grants and collaborated by the DBA with SEDA-COG and the Montour Area Recreation Commission to develop a comprehensive plan for recreational development of the Danville riverfront and adjacent open space areas.
Wilson said the alliance has been successful in growing downtown events organized by the DBA such as Spring Fling, the Fall Arts and Crafts Fair and the Scavenger Hunt attracting more than 25,000 visitors to downtown Danville, creating immediate economic impact and future shoppers, residents and investors and partnerships by the DBA with local merchants, volunteers, Montour County Commissioners, Danville borough, Montour Area Recreation Commission, CATV, the River Town Race Series and the Cooperative Extension Service to enhance Danville as a destination for history, heritage and outdoor recreation by seamlessly making the Annual Marathon and Half Marathon, the Ferry Street Growers Market and Pumpkin Palooza successful downtown traditions and sponsorship by the DBA of continuing education, professional planning and consulting services for the greater Danville community by the Bucknell Small Business Development Center.