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Chamber of Commerce Focuses On Downtown Storefronts

Heather Hohenwarter sits in the Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce office at 3 North Market Street. Photo by Bret Pallotto

The Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce is putting a focus on downtown storefronts, Executive Director Heather Hohenwarter said.

“A thriving downtown is indicative of a healthy community,” Hohenwarter told the Elizabethtown Borough Council at its meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16.

One thing the business group wants to do is talk to landlords about vacant storefronts. One thing they can do is rent out just the front window display area so a business that does not need a storefront can promote itself until a tenant comes along to rent the retail space.

Hohenwarter said the Chamber of Commerce wants to take some ideas from shopping mall managers when promoting downtown business. New downtown businesses often put up a crude cardboard sign in the window to let the public know that the business is about to open. Hohenwarter said a professionally made said saying “Coming Soon” that can be reused will make new businesses attract more attention from passersby.

Attempts to create a flurry of downtown activity on the second Friday night of each month have had sporadic success, Hohenwarter said. Since many downtowns are doing similar events on Friday nights, Hohenwarter said branding it as “E-Town Nights” might emphasize Elizabethtown better and get more people to come in from out of town.

The business group has moved from the train station into a storefront office downtown.

“It’s just a fun place to be, right in the center of things,” Hohenwarter said.

The group has relaunched its website and introduced an Instagram pages.

Hohenwarter emphasized that the group wants to better serve the community and is open to new ideat.

“We’re absolutely open to any and all suggestions,” she said.

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