Parts of Downtown Lebanon may be getting a facelift in the near future.

As part of a five-year stint in the Keystone Main Street program, businesses and properties inside the Downtown Lebanon Business Improvement District will get priority access to funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

Through the KMS designation, businesses and properties in the area are also eligible for Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone tax credits that are designed to stimulate private sector redevelopment and job creation.

These non-transferable tax credits will be equal to 25% of total amount invested in a rehabilitation or improvement project, with a cap at $500,000 total tax credits.

Facade improvements are one highly visible way these development incentives may be realized, and City leaders are holding events to help the public understand how the Keystone Main Street designation could benefit them.

The first of these meetings will be held at 6pm on July 15 to promote the facade improvement program. The meeting will be held inside the Lebanon coffeeshop Wrinkle & Boon (12 N. 9th Street).

Property and business owners will receive information on the grants and loans available to Downtown Lebanon through the Main Street program. RSVP’s are encouraged and can be made by calling the BID at 717-376-6690.

Funding and management of the Main Street program is handled by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

Main Street itself is a “comprehensive, community-based approach to revitalizing downtowns and central business districts” that has been implemented across the United States since the 1980s.

Pennsylvania Downtown Center is the official State Coordinating program for Main Street, and will provide free technical assistance to Lebanon’s local program operators.

According to the Pennsylvania Downtown Center website, the Main Street approach is “a community-driven, comprehensive strategy used to revitalize downtown and neighborhood business districts throughout the United States.”

The approach focuses on four categories—design, promotion, organization, and economic vitality—to revitalize communities.

The KMS designation was effective October 3, 2018, with a public announcement made in December. The status will last through October 31, 2023.


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