Philipsburg, Centre County, Pa- A nonprofit is working to revitalize the city of Philipsburg by increasing business growth.
The Philipsburg Revitalization Corporation (PRC) says they’re well on their way towards their goals. They feel the time is now to continue supporting local economic development in an effort to once again create a bustling downtown atmosphere.
The PRC told WTAJ that businesses are beginning to come back to Philipsburg… a trend they say was helped by a little tidying up in 2018.
“Philipsburg had taken a downhill slope. There were a lot of empty stores. Some of the people who had owned property here filled the stores and didn’t want to rent them because it’s a cheaper place to live and store all their stuff,” said Faith Maguire, Events Coordinator for PRC.
To Maguire, and others on the PRC, something had to change. The final straw for Magurie was when fifth-graders she drives to school commented about a field trip they took to downtown Philipsburg.
“They couldn’t understand why they were coming down to tour Philipsburg… and I was telling them what a great place it was, and they said we can hardly wait to get out of this town,” Maguire said.
Towards the end of last year, Maguire, followed by others, looked to bring some life back to empy buildings.
“We decorated all the empty stores, and the storefronts that were already here,” Maguire said.
The PRC cleaned windows, put in a fresh set of curtains, and soon the decorating trend spread.
“It was like a ripple effect…. all of the other storefronts started decorating,” Maguire said.
That included the new storefronts with owners attracted to the downtown area.
“There have been five businesses that have opened up in the last six months alone… we have two more that will be opening within a month,” said Eric Kelmenson, President of PRC.