Wolf administration celebrates PA’s tourism industry with visit to local Bedford businesses, urges Pennsylvanians to support their favorite local shops


Governor Wolf proclaimed May 1-7, 2022 “National Travel & Tourism and Small Business Week” in Pennsylvania

Bedford, Pennsylvania – Today, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Assistant Secretary for Marketing, Tourism and Film, Carrie Fischer Lepore, and Assistant Secretary for the Office of Technology and Innovation, Steve D’Ettorre, highlighted the importance of tourism and small business in the Commonwealth and encouraged Pennsylvanians to support their favorite local stores during Domestic travel and tourism and Pennsylvania Small Business Week. The celebrations take place May 1-7, 2022, as proclaimed by Governor Tom Wolf.

“It’s no secret that Pennsylvania has so much to offer visitors of all interests. From our cities and battlefields steeped in history, to our great outdoor spaces, world-class cultural treasures, vibrant museums, exciting cityscapes and rural landscapes, we truly offer travelers an abundance of experiences,” said said Assistant Secretary Fischer Lepore. “But it’s the people behind the companies that support our industry that really contribute to the diversity and culture of our neighborhoods, cities and towns, regions and states. They are the ones who not only make Pennsylvania a great place to visit, but also a wonderful place to call home.

Since 2015, the Wolf administration has demonstrated a commitment to tourism and marketing by creating new road tours and themed trails, producing award-winning advertisements, leveraging industry investment through an advertising program cooperative and improving international tourism marketing. In 2018, in partnership with the General Assembly, Law 109 was passed, which more than doubled funding for tourism promotion. The law ended a lodging tax loophole with online travel agencies and online travel agencies and directed that these additional funds be used for statewide tourism marketing efforts. .

“This week we celebrate over one million small businesses that employ around 2.5 million workers across the Commonwealth,” Deputy Secretary D’Ettorre said. “I hope Pennsylvanians take advantage of Small Business Week to support their favorite local businesses by visiting, buying online, providing positive reviews and recommendations online, and tagging them on social media. We should be doing all we can to support small businesses this week, and every week – they are the backbone of our economy.

Fischer Lepore and D’Ettorre were joined by Bedford County Development Association CEO Bette Slayton and others on a walking tour this morning in downtown Bedford. The tour celebrated the diversity and impact of small businesses on Pennsylvania’s economy and communities.

“Small businesses are a vital part of our Bedford County economy,” Slayton said. “They create jobs, provide important products and services, and make our communities vibrant places to live and work. We appreciate the wide range of DCED programs that provide support to our business community.

The following local businesses were highlighted during this morning’s visit to Bedford:

  • Pigeon Hill Studios – an art studio
  • Juli’s Wearable Art – a women’s clothing and accessories store
  • Bedford Candies – a candy store
  • Next Door – a restaurant and gift shop

“I’ve owned my business in downtown Bedford for six years,” said Juli Gonsman, owner of Juli’s Wearable Art. “I love the opportunities it brings, every day, to learn new things, engage with customers and grow my business. I couldn’t be more proud of our small business in beautiful downtown Bedford and I want to thank our loyal customers whether in store or online, we look forward to what the future holds!

As part of Small Business Week, the DCED is visiting local businesses on walking tours in several towns and cities across the Commonwealth, including: Reading and Philadelphia (May 2); Scranton (May 4); Erie (May 5); and Zelienople (6 May). The tours celebrate the contributions of small businesses to the culture and fabric of the communities in which they reside.

Diversity and Small Business Impact in PA
  • 39.4% of small business owners are women
  • 16.6% are racial minorities
  • 4.2% are Hispanic/Latino
  • 6.3% are veterans
  • 13,690, or 88.2%, of Pennsylvania businesses that exported goods in 2019 were small businesses – and small businesses exported goods worth $12.5 billion
  • For every $100 spent on a small business, $48 is pumped back into the local economy where the business is located
State resources for small businesses

DCED and our network of partners across the Commonwealth offer many resources to help small businesses grow.

Be sure to talk about your favorite local small business on your social media accounts and tag them with #PASmallBiz or #ShopLocal. For more information on Small Business Week, visit the DCED website and be sure to stay up to date with all the news from our agency at Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

Free copies of happy travelerthe state travel guide,are available at visitPA.com. Travelers can also register to receive happy thoughtsa digital newsletter, in their inbox each month.

The Pennsylvania Office of Tourism, housed within the Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to Pennsylvania. From iconic attractions to hidden gems, tourism in Pennsylvania helps support the state’s economy and creates jobs for local businesses, while improving the quality of life for residents. Need more PA happy travels? Become a fan on Facebookfollow us on Twitterlook at the pictures on instagramshare pins on pinterestwatch us on Youtube or listen to us on Spotify.

Penny Ickes, DCED, [email protected]

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