Lt. Gov. Austin Davis Touts Shapiro-Davis Budget’s Investments in Economic Development
Davis Joins Local Leaders and Small-Business Owners to Highlight How State Investments Have Boosted Erie’s Revitalization
April 06, 2023
ERIE – As Lt. Gov. Austin Davis walked through downtown Erie and visited the West 8th Street corridor today, local leaders and small-business owners highlighted how state investments have contributed to Erie’s revitalization and applauded Gov. Josh Shapiro’s plans to boost those investments even further.
“I grew up in McKeesport, a community that has often felt left behind and forgotten by our leaders at the state and federal levels,” said Davis. “Governor Shapiro and I will never leave any community behind. We know that Main Streets matter. When you revitalize a community’s downtown and business districts, that is a shot in the arm for the entire region. We want to see Pennsylvania cities and towns bustling with people and commerce once again, and the progress we’re seeing in Erie is a testament to how effective state investments can be.”
The Shapiro-Davis budget plan expands the state’s Keystone Communities Program by investing $8.6 million in communities that are already on a path to revitalization and continuing to facilitate greater participation from smaller, rural and lower-income communities.
“Erie County is one of the largest economic drivers of Pennsylvania. It’s home to Presque Isle State Park, which boasts more than four million visitors each year. The proposed investments in this year’s budget show just how much the Shapiro-Davis administration prioritizes our region,” said state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro. “I want to thank the Lieutenant Governor for touring Erie and Millcreek today to see how these historic investments will help our county and Commonwealth thrive for years to come.”
The Shapiro-Davis budget also puts sustainable state funding into the Historically Disadvantaged Business Program for the first time ever. During the pandemic, the state Department of Community and Economic Development helped to provide nearly $100 million in relief payments to historically disadvantaged businesses. That was followed up with another $20 million in federal funding. The Shapiro-Davis budget proposes investing $20 million in state funds to ensure minority-owned businesses have access to capital to sustain or expand their operations.