Main Street Matters: Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger Visit Mt. Lebanon to Highlight Proposed $25 Million Investment to Create Economic Opportunity for PA Main Streets and Small Businesses

Governor Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 budget will continue to grow our economy, invest in our communities, and create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.
Supporting the Commonwealth’s small businesses and main streets is also a critical component of the Governor’s economic development strategy – and his budget proposes $600 million in new and expanded investments to implement the strategy.

Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger joined legislative and local leaders to highlight the Governor’s proposed investments in Pennsylvania Main Streets, small businesses, and local communities. As part of the 2024-25 budget proposal that focuses on creating economic opportunity for all in communities across Pennsylvania, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger visited small business along Washington Avenue in Mt. Lebanon and talked about how the proposed investments will benefit the Allegheny County community.

Governor Shapiro knows that growing and strengthening our economy is key to creating real opportunity and a better future for Pennsylvanians — and his 2024-25 budget proposes more than $600 million in total new and expanded economic development investments, including $25 million for the newly proposed Main Street Matters program to support small businesses and commercial corridors that are the backbone of Pennsylvania communities.

“A little more than a week ago, I delivered my budget address in the Rotunda of our state capitol – which invests in Pennsylvanians, in our businesses, and in our communities. One of the first things I wanted to do after my budget address was visit main streets all across our Commonwealth. Because as I’ve traveled across the Commonwealth, I’ve realized that every community has a Main Street,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “If we want to attract new businesses to Pennsylvania, support entrepreneurs and employees, and give folks the opportunity to build generational wealth, then we’ve got to make sure our communities have healthy, vibrant Main Streets lined with shops and small businesses, just like the one here in Lebo. Along the other investments I proposed last week, supporting our main streets is a key part of our Commonwealth’s first economic development strategy in nearly two decades. This is commonsense. It’s good for our Commonwealth, it’s good for our communities, and it’s good for people. These investments matter – because Main Street matters.”

Over the last six years, the Commonwealth has invested nearly $800,000 to help Mt. Lebanon improve sidewalks, install new streetlights, repair building facades, and more. During the visit to Mt. Lebanon, Governor Shapiro announced a new $32,810 Keystone Communities Partnership grant to support a new public art project the borough is commissioning.

Governor Shapiro’s proposed Main Street Matters program will be administered through DCED and will build on the existing successes of the current Keystone Communities Program in supporting downtowns, main streets, and surrounding neighborhoods. It will provide for a refresh of the current structure to address a wide variety of needs throughout communities and invest in their revitalization and future prosperity.

“Governor Shapiro’s budget calls for bold investments that will make Pennsylvania more competitive, grow our economy, and strengthen our communities,” said DCED Secretary Rick Siger. “Strong main streets are the foundation of great local economies, and that’s reflected in Pennsylvania’s new Economic Development Strategy. The Governor’s $25 million investment in the Main Street Matters program will give our communities a much-needed resource to make their downtowns better places to live, visit, and work.”

During their visit to downtown Mt. Lebanon, Governor Shapiro, Secretary Siger, Senator Wayne Fontana, Representative Dan Miller, and local leaders met with the owners of coffee house Orbis Caffe, screen printing company Commonwealth Press, and guitar shop Empire Music.

“I always say, governing is a team sport, and that is why I’m thrilled to have a partner in Governor Shapiro. I applaud the Governor and Secretary Siger for laying out a clear economic development vision in this year’s state budget,” said Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato. “Whether we’re talking about Sharpsburg or Carnegie or McKeesport, having a thriving main street is a sign of the health of a community. It gives us a sense of place, it gives us an economic hub, something to walk to a and a sense of community. Having a plan that invests in large and small businesses will set up Allegheny County for success and allow us to leverage state investments to go even further.”

“Our Keystone Communities Programs have a proven track record,” said Senator Wayne Fontana. “Expanding these programs through Main Street Matters will enable even more communities to access the tools they need to create the main streets they desire.” 

“I am so excited to have Governor Shapiro in Mt. Lebanon and touring Allegheny County,” said Representative Dan Miller. “The Shapiro-Davis Administration has a real plan to help grow our economy and main street is at the heart of it.”

“The Governor’s commitment to our Main Streets and the mom-and-pop businesses fuels not only the hope and optimism of folks such as myself, but most importantly the small business owners,” said Eric Milliron, Manager of Economic Development for Mt. Lebanon. “I’ve been involved with Main Street programming and downtown revitalization for over two decades and without a doubt, the Governor’s plan is essential to the economic well-being of all the Commonwealth’s downtowns, and I for one, am excited to get to work. Mt. Lebanon looks forward to actualizing the Governor’s bold plans through implementing Main Street’s time-tested approach, and working with our friends at not only the State, but our local county leadership, and of course, the businesses that make Mt. Lebanon special.”

“We’re really excited to work with the Governor on Main Street Matters – the name says it all. Empire Music was started in 2002 and the reason I chose Mt. Lebanon is because it is a community that I can serve, and the community serves the businesses. What’s really unique about this uptown district is that the businesses are born out of the needs of the community. It’s most important to have things local to you that allow you to best serve the people around you,” said Joe Ravita, owner of Empire Music. “We’re really excited about this. We hope everyone gets behind the initiative because Main Streets do matter. It changes the complexion of your neighborhood. And there’s a lot of other Empire Musics waiting to be born out there and other communities – they just need a little bit of help and they need to be kicked off and pushed in the right direction. Let’s make it happen.”

From day one, Governor Shapiro and his Administration have worked aggressively to make Pennsylvania a leader in innovation and economic development and create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.

The Governor’s Economic Development Strategy, the first in nearly 20 years, maps the Commonwealth’s path forward to strong economic growth and more good-paying jobs. The Governor’s 2024-25 budget calls for significant investments directly tied back to this ten-year strategy and issues a strong call to action for partners across all sectors to join in with their support.

This proposed budget invests $600 million in total new and expanded investments that will enhance DCED’s ability to implement the Commonwealth’s new ten-year strategic plan for economic development and better serve Pennsylvania’s business community. In addition to the $25 million for the Main Street Matters program, other proposed investments include:

  • $500 million in PA SITES funding to bring more commercial and industrial sites online and ensure companies have options for attractive business environments where they can move quickly and thrive in Pennsylvania.
  • $20 million to support large-scale innovation and leverage Pennsylvania’s best-in-class research and development assets. This funding will be used to incentivize additional private venture capital, positioning Pennsylvania as a national leader in innovation while proactively investing in entrepreneurs who have historically lacked access to venture capital funding.
  • $3.5 million to create and launch the Pennsylvania Regional Economic Competitiveness Challenge, which will incentivize regional growth, build vibrant and resilient regions, and support communities by investing in the development of comprehensive strategies to propel entire regions forward.

You can read Pennsylvania’s first economic development strategy in 20 years here. For more information on how the Governor’s proposed budget will create opportunity for all Pennsylvanians, visit