(Reading) -- The state is lending its support to Reading's revitalization efforts by designating it as a Keystone Community.
The Reading Downtown Improvement District applied for the program on behalf of the city.
Executive director Chuck Broad says it will allow the city to draw down state assistance for restoration and development efforts in Reading's business district.
"Our vision is to, number one, fill up any unoccupied storefronts -- to bring businesses into the unoccupied storefronts -- and to increase residential population above those first floor storefronts," Broad explains. "We think a key to our revitalization is to have more people living in the downtown."
Broad says Keystone Community is a five year program. Some of the first steps include the beautification of Reading's public spaces to encourage more pedestrian activity. A logo for the downtown business district is also in the works, which will be used in marketing efforts help to attract new businesses to the city.
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