Lower Gwynedd busi­nesses form I Like the Pike Busi­nessas­so­ci­a­tion

The Ambler Gazette - - POLICEREPORTS - By Eric Devlin

Busi­nesses along Bethlehem Pike may just start look­ing out for each other a lit­tle more, as a new busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion has formed and named its pres­i­dent and cab­i­net.

Sprung from the mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tive by Lower Gwynedd Town­ship known as I Like the Pike, which aims to continue ef­forts to trans­form the Bethlehem Pike cor­ri­dor run­ning through Spring House at the heart of the town­ship, the I Like the Pike Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion is at­tempt­ing to pro­vide “strength in num­bers” to lo­cal busi­nesses, said newly elected busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent David Coles, site man­ager at First Ni­a­gara Bank.

Along with Coles, other cab­i­net mem­bers named at the first meet­ing held July 25 were Sue Adair of Feast and Fancy, Sherri War­dle of Susque­hanna Bank and Penny Wosewick of Spring House Vil­lage Phar­macy, who were elected vice presi- dent, trea­surer and sec­re­tary, re­spec­tively. The busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion has held two meet­ings so far and is look­ing to ex­pand the num­ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing busi­nesses.

Coles said he was “pleased” with the turnout of about 15 to 20 peo­ple who at­tended the sec­ond meet­ing Aug. 15. He said there are cur­rently about 100 busi­nesses along Bethlehem Pike and while the turnout was “not great,” he expected a larger in­ter­est once the new or­ga­ni­za­tion has made some suc­cess.

Among the top­ics cov­ered at the meet­ing were tak­ing over the I Like the Pike mar­ket­ing cam­paign from the town­ship, Coles said, and ad­di­tion­ally, plans are in the works to cre­ate maps lo­cat­ing ev­ery busi­ness along Bethlehem Pike. The maps would then be dis­trib­uted to each busi­ness in or­der to help cus­tomers find any par­tic­u­lar store they may be look­ing for.

The busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion also dis­cussed a gov­ern­ment grant in or­der to se­lect an I Like the Pike Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion man­ager.

Coles said they are still in the process of fig­ur­ing out how to pay for a man­ager. He said he re­cently had a con­ver­sa­tion with state Sen. Ste­wart Green­leaf, R-12, re­gard­ing a grant from the state for a main street man­ager, but said there was no longer fund­ing to sup­port that pro­gram. Coles said he is still talk­ing to the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Community and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment in or­der to see what op­tions are avail­able.

The busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion also plans to host a sec­ond busi­ness expo af­ter the suc­cess of the first expo, which was held at the Janssen Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Spring House Cam­pus June 13, Coles said.

Kath­leen Hun­sicker, Lower Gwynedd board of su­per­vi­sors vice chair­woman, said in ad­di­tion to the mar­ket­ing as­pect of I Like the Pike, the goal was ul­ti­mately to form a busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion, which she said has been a suc­cess.

She said the or­ga­ni­za­tion is self-gov­ern­ing and has the full sup­port of the town­ship.

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