EASTON, Pa. - It looks like Easton's downtown is doing something right.
The city is being recognized by the state for two initiatives, including a program that has generated nearly $20,000 in revenue.
The Downtown Easton Gift Card program can be used at 66 different locations in downtown Easton.
People say the great thing about the program is that the money stays in Easton.
There are a lot of things to see in downtown Easton.
"The Crayola Factory, the art show, the diner over there, it's good," said Christina Guerron, who is visiting from Columbia. "I like it."
The Pennsylvania Downtown Center is recognizing the city with two awards.
One for the Pomeroy building being the number one anchor building in the state.
"For all the years I have been involved in the city, people would say what about that Pomeroy building because it never got done," said Easton Mayor Sal Panto. "Thirty-seven years and today it's a very proud moment for the city."
The second award is for the Easton Main Street Initiative having the top retail promotion, with The Downtown Easton Gift Card.
"We started out with 58 businesses in the program, now we are up to 66 and that include the parking meters that accept credit cards in the downtown and also the Easton Farmers market," said Kim Kmetz, Main Street manager for the Easton Main Street Initiative.
Since the program's inception, close to $20,000 has been generated and spent right in downtown.
"It's an excellent idea because we are keeping the money in the town," said Manuel Fresneda, owner of Terra Café on Northampton street.
Two years ago, the Easton Main Street Initiative was on the brink of shutting down because of funding cuts by the state.
"We made a conscious decision that Easton cannot give up the main Street program, the ambassador program, or the farmer's market," added Panto. "We have to invest in it."
Increased parking fees, along with community support, helped to save the day.
"We count our volunteers as part of the staff," added Kmetz. "They are just unpaid staff. So it gives value to what they do on a statewide level we're being recognized as a community."
Downtown keeps growing, there will be a fitness center opening soon in the lower level of the Pomeroy building.
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