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Slatington, Washington Twp., Walnutport receive grants

Published August 16. 2011 05:01PM

Slatington, Walnutport, and Washington Township are among the benefactors of grants secured by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

For Slatington, that means $1,000 for a 'Welcome to Slatington' sign and planter, as well as $1,500 for a fountain for Memorial Park; Walnutport will get $500 to work on a landscape project; and Washington Township $500 for flower baskets.

The grants will help round out projects that might not otherwise have been able to be completed, said Ellie Passman, vice president of Regional Chambers for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

"It helps leverage other grant money to come in to finish projects, as well as providing the ability to finish projects that just needed a little bit more funding to complete," Passman said.

The Lehigh Valley Chamber Foundation has awarded 21 Community Improvement grants to assist 17 municipalities with their community revitalization efforts. The investment includes contributions from the Chamber's Small Business Council 'Snow Ball' gala, and from the first of a three-year commitment of $50,000 a year from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Since many loans and grants require a 'match' in order for a community to secure dollars for their projects, the grants will help to fill that need. This round alone expects to leverage almost $2 million of investment in the downtowns.

The funds were granted by the Chamber Foundation's Main Street Lehigh Valley Initiative to projects that will improve every main street in the Lehigh Valley through targeted investments in facade improvements, streetscape designs, sidewalk beautification, and other enhancements to the physical appearance of our downtowns and urban centers.

This marks the fourth time that the Foundation has offered this funding assistance through its Main Street Lehigh Valley initiative, as in the past three rounds, nearly $100,000 of Chamber Foundation funds has contributed to almost $1 million in investments.

This round of grants more than doubles the investment leveraged by the first three rounds.

The mission of the Chamber is to deliver value to members through superior programs and services; advocate to advance business interests; unify the Lehigh Valley business community to leverage regional resources and strengthen its collective voice; and to create opportunities for businesses to grow.

With nearly 5,000 members businesses who employ over 140,000 individuals, the Chamber is the largest in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and one of the most active advocates for member businesses in the nation.

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