John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Newtown Township Economic Development Committee

This page documents the agenda of upcoming and summaries of past Newtown Economic Development (EDC) Committee meetings. Working in close cooperation with the Board of Supervisors, the mission of this Committee is to prepare and recommend economic development policies, goals and strategies for the retention and expansion of business opportunities in the Newtown area. The Committee usually meets via Zoom every Thursday at 3 PM.

Next Meeting

The next meeting via Zoom of the EDC is Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 3 PM:

See Events Calendar for Agenda & Meeting Login Details

**TO SUBMIT A PUBLIC COMMENT: CommitteeComments@newtownpa.gov Comments must include your name and address and will be read aloud**

Recent Past Meetings

 

30 July 2020, via Zoom

See the approved minutes of this meeting embedded below or download the PDF here.

 

23 July 2020, via Zoom

See the approved minutes of this meeting embedded below or download the PDF here.

 

16 July 2020, via Zoom

See the approved minutes of this meeting embedded below or download the PDF here.

 

9 July 2020, via Zoom

See the approved minutes of this meeting embedded below or download the PDF here.

 

2 July 2020, via Zoom

 

At the July 2, 2020, Zoom meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC), members Karen Miller, co-president of the Newtown Business Commons Association, and Joseph Blackburn, an Associate with Wisler Pearlstine, proposed ways that the township can revitalize the Newtown Business Commons, which is zoned for light industrial and office use. This is especially important after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and businesses get up and running again but find that more workers can work at home and they no longer need as much office space.

One specific suggestion was to apply under the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA Definition) to lower real estate taxes for businesses in the Commons. Other local municipalities are using this tool to revitalize their business districts (read, for example, "Northampton Extends LERTA Tax Break Program for Businesses") Listen to this 11.5 minute audio snippet for the details:

Mack's Newtown Voice · Newtown EDC Discusses Revitalization of Business Commons

25 June 25 2020, via Zoom

Meeting Summary

The Newtown Township Economic Development Committee met on June 25, 2020 via Zoom. In attendance and voting were Co-chairmen Eric Gold and Matt Peters, Joseph Blackburn, Mary Donaldson, Karen Miller, William Sheffer and Richard Weaver. Also in attendance were Supervisor Liaison David Oxley and John Mack, Township Supervisor.

You can view the entire video of the Zoom meeting on the Newtown Township website here.

Discussion points included:

  • Mr. Blackburn reported that Brixmor had enthusiastic support for use of its open space at Village at Newtown for community sponsored events.
  • Mr. Mack noted that the Township has drafted a resolution to allow businesses to make use of some sidewalks, open areas, and parking spaces to extend their dining/sales areas outdoors.
  • Messrs. Gold and Peters reported that they had called on a number of businesses over the weekend to discuss the new committee and any help these businesses might need.
  • The members discussed ways to help better inform the business community of CDC and Pennsylvania requirements for re-opening. Mr. Blackburn noted that the Township does not create or enforce these requirements.
  • Mr. Mack said that the Township is preparing an on-line business survey which will deal with some of the concerns about re-establishing on-site business. [Find that survey here.] 
  • Ms. Donaldson reported that she had circulated a draft letter to members of the Newtown Business Association and the Newtown Business Commons Association informing them of the formation of this committee and asking if there is any way the committee can help them.
  • Ms. Miller said that she had some concerns about a movie event because it requires attendees to sit still. She suggested that perhaps a live music event, sponsored by a few restaurants, might be better because people can stop and listen or walk around or enjoy the music while dining.
  • Mr. Sheffer said that he would like to see more promotion of the existence of the committee through social media.
  • Mr. Mack said that he would write an article for the Newtown Patch, which usually generates a lot of interest in the community.

18 June 2020, via Zoom

Not all attendees may be visible in this meeting screen shot. You can view the entire video of the Zoom meeting on the Newtown Township website here.

Meeting Summary

The newly reactivated Newtown Township Economic Development Committee held its first meeting on June 18, 2020 via Zoom. In attendance and voting were Joseph Blackburn, Mary Donaldson, Eric Scott Gold, Karen Miller, Matt Peters, William Sheffer and Richard Weaver. Also in attendance was John Mack, Township Supervisor.

The Committee discussed ways to help businesses through the Township’s permitting procedures for such accommodations as restaurant outdoor seating, erecting tents and sidewalk sales tables for retail. Other considerations were relaxation of signage restrictions on a temporary basis to alert the public of business openings and altered business hours of operation.

The members spent considerable time discussing a possible inaugural event to promote business, an outdoor movie night at Village at Newtown’s amphitheater. This event would take place on open space near Iron Hill Brewery. Members will work with representatives of the shopping center and the Township to put together this event with the cooperation of Mr. Gold’s event company. We will also monitor the event’s success and attempt a series of similar events throughout the Township’s commercial districts. We will also monitor other municipalities’ events, being mindful of the ongoing restrictions during the pandemic even as we pass into the Green phase of reopening.

Looking ahead, the Committee will try to contact our community’s many businesses, both in the commercial and professional business areas, to learn their concerns and how the Township can help.

Approved Minutes

See the approved minutes of this meeting embedded below or download the PDF here.

This site is paid for and approved by John Mack: john@johnmacknewtown.info
The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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