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Downtown forum aimed at sharing information with businesses

March 13, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A forum scheduled later this month in Waynesboro is being promoted as an opportunity for businesspeople to learn more about five ongoing topics that affect the downtown.

"A lot of us have the information but not all the businesses in the town center (do)," said MaryBeth Hockenberry, executive director of the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce.

The agenda for the forum scheduled for Thursday, March 23, includes discussion on the status of hiring a downtown manager, a business incentive grant program, the borough's revisions to its sign ordinance, upcoming promotions and the creation of a downtown business guide.

The forum is open to the 143 businesses in the town center zone, which extends from Second Street to North Street. It includes most of the area between Clayton Avenue and Fairview Avenue.

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Attendees do not need to be members of the Chamber of Commerce.

TranquiliTEA, 117 W. Main St., will host the event from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., with free coffee, tea, doughnuts and muffins.

Hockenberry hopes the forum, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Waynesboro Inc. will "get the business owners united around the issues."

Those businesspeople joined with residents last year to push for a downtown manager, increased promotions and a business guide during a series of community workshops.

The business incentive grant program was announced by state Sen. Terry Punt, R-Franklin, in December 2005. He designed it to provide free or reduced rent for new businesses and to offset the cost of expanding existing ones.

The guidelines for the program are near completion and must receive Punt's approval, Hockenberry said.

Waynesboro's Borough Council and planning commission are reviewing several revisions to the existing sign ordinance, including the possible prohibition of electronic signs.

"The chamber right now is doing a task force on the sign ordinance," Hockenberry said.

She asked that businesspeople RSVP for the forum by March 21. To RSVP, call 717-762-7123 or e-mail wchamber1@earthlink.net.

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