Chamber of Commerce Blog

Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Blog

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October 20, 2016 10:09 AM

Ribbon Cutting: R A Yohe Restoration & Construction, LLC

R A Yohe Restoration & Construction, LLC has officially opened at 825 W. King St. in Shippensburg. They serve a wide variety of customers including residential and commercial properties. They are committed to excellent quality work and customer service. Visit to learn more.

October 17, 2016 8:20 AM

Ribbon Cutting: RELAX Lounge

Congrats RELAX Lounge! They officially celebrated their new expansion with a ribbon cutting followed by a fundraiser for Costa Academy.

RELAX is located at 1580 Orchard Drive in Chambersburg. The restaurant includes daily specials and local musicians, for a relaxing atmosphere to kickback. Learn more here.

Costa Academy is a career development center designed to deliver work-ready employees which meet the needs of the restaurant and food service industries in the Franklin County region. Find out more on their website at

October 12, 2016 2:56 PM

Ribbon Cutting: Ocker Financial Services

Congratulations! The team at Ocker Financial Services cut the ribbon at their new location on 858 Lincoln Way East in Chambersburg! Many friends and family attended to wish them well. Representatives from the community also wished the team well - thank you for coming!

Ocker Financial is committed to helping people create solutions for their retirement assets. They strive to deliver the perfect plan for your situation through regular meetings, ongoing updates and individualized attention. Learn more by calling 717-263-3316 or visit

October 5, 2016 11:30 AM

Ribbon Cutting: Oasis Float Company

Oasis Float Company has officially opened for business at 154 Franklin Farm Lane in Chambersburg! They offer wonderful and relaxing floatation therapy services.

Their new facility offers three floatation therapy rooms. Each private room is equipped with the latest technology float pods designed for you to make the most of your float experience. Learn more by calling 717-446-0259 or visit them online at

September 30, 2016 1:51 PM

The History Behind Chambersburg's Memorial Square

by Laiton Suders, Intern, Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce

13892320_1118321154899385_6431808730398527617_nChambersburg natives know our town as somewhat of an “unsung hero” of the Civil War. The story of the Burning of Chambersburg isn’t found in most American History textbooks, but it played a large part in the Union's defense against the Confederacy. In Memorial Square, a statue of a Union soldier sits beside the fountain facing south to ward off the Confederate soldiers that once ambushed Chambersburg and held it for ransom.

The Memorial Fountain, along with its statue, has truly become a representation of Chambersburg. It is a symbol of our small town that is near and dear to our hearts. In our minds, it’s the center of the town and acts as a cast iron symbol of a crossroad that we know well: Route 11 and Route 30. This historic intersection, however, is not significant to locals alone. Our square is also known as “The Crossroads of the Country.”

1130Route 11, or Molly Pitcher Highway, runs all the way from New York to Louisiana. Route 30, also known as Lincoln Highway, stretches across the entire country from east to west and was one of the first highways constructed to span the United States. These two historic routes intersect in just one place: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Is Chambersburg known internationally as an important landmark? Not really. Do American children learn in elementary school about the Burning of Chambersburg or the Crossroads of the Country? Usually not. Nevertheless, we should be proud of our town. Those who recognize our significance admire us, even though we are largely “unsung heroes.”

Yes, everyone knows that the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the most significant battles of the American Civil War. Everyone also knows that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. What isn’t known is that Edison copied the work of Joseph Swan, a British inventor who had beat Edison to the punch 10 years earlier. Don’t worry, we’re not fighting Gettysburg for the copyright to “Most Historic Town in Pennsylvania,” but we’ve got good reason to be recognized. So, take pride in your town. Recognize the significance of the Crossroads of the Country and the Memorial Square Fountain, and tell others about it so that they can appreciate it too.

12794617_1016055261792642_7000326375888567430_nTo learn more about our local history - both Chambersburg and Franklin County - stop by the Chambersburg Heritage Center & Gift Shop. Here you'll learn about history from the Civil War to Transportation and more. You can also pick up a Memorial Fountain mug, a Lincoln Highway Driving Guide or a “Crossroads of the Country” T-shirt from the Gift Shop, which sells many unique, local gifts. Then, you can tell everyone why you live in one of the most important towns in Pennsylvania.

September 22, 2016 8:51 AM

Vintage Hounds Grooming Salon Ribbon Cutting

Congrats Vintage Hounds Grooming Salon! They celebrated one year in Chambersburg with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 975 Progress Rd. They offer a full service pet spa to pamper your pooch or kitty.

September 21, 2016 3:58 PM

Changes are Happening Downtown

13923608_1125861804145320_478278065488271990_oLast year, Downtown Chambersburg Inc. (DCI) completed a visioning and master planning process anchored in the Main Street economic development model, a comprehensive, community-based approach to downtown revitalization. Since then, quite a bit of investment has occurred and more is in the works. We thought we would devote this week’s newsletter to bringing you up to date on downtown revitalization efforts and implementation of the master plan.

$30+ Million in Planned Investment

Investment comes in many forms: planning, programming, new businesses, public art projects, capital ventures and more. It’s often difficult to see this investment if it’s not right in front of you. One tool we use to “show” some of the investment occurring in downtown Chambersburg is in this Downtown Investment Map. This map tracks small and larger scale investment that has occurred since 2008 and/or is being planned. The investment map includes all projects that have been publicly disclosed to date.
Over $30 million dollars of investment, shown on this map with the red points, is planned over the next few years. Recently, Franklin County Government announced its intentions to evaluate a renovation and/or expansion of the courthouse complex. Shown on this map in purple squares, is investment from the County.
This map also reflects some public infrastructure projects that have been completed and or are being planned by the Borough, in the green circles. Several of these projects, including the Rhodes Drive Green Street Project and other parking lot improvements were in the downtown master plan.

Vacancy Rate is Down

Last spring, downtown had a storefront vacancy rate around 6%. Now, in just over a year, the vacancy rate has been cut in half to around 3%. Several new businesses have opened or relocated downtown this year.
The Foundry, an artist cooperative at 100 S. Main St., opened up during the holidays and J. Bryant Photography & Designs moved to 76 S. Main St. in the spring, while Jenz Family Connection Thrift Store moved up the street to 56 S. Main St. The Garage Studios, an artist collaborative studio and retail space, is currently renovating 102/104 S. Main St. with plans to open with regular hours in the near future. Best Laid Seams, a custom sewing/alterations, costume, couture, embroidery and upholstery shop, opened up two weeks ago at 115 N. Main St. The Gift Enclosure will soon move back to their permanent location at 78 S. Main St. in a newly renovated space.
Great restaurants have opened as well. Veroni Café moved from Jim’s Farmers Market to 12 W. King St. last month and Fusión re-opened in a new space at 175 S. Main Street a few weeks ago. Ping’s Restaurant at 120 S. Main St. will also re-open sometime in the coming months. Jan Zell Wines opened last fall at 251 Grant St. and Gearhouse Brewing Co. plans to open at 253 Grant St. later this fall.
DCI created a Window Walk on Main program this summer to spotlight available downtown storefront properties in downtown with featured displays rotating every few months. Since launching in July, three of the six vacant properties have been rented. In addition, Mercantile Home, an Easton-based creative lifestyle shop will open a pop-up shop at 1 N. Main from October 3-9.

Boosting Marketing, Promotions and Art

DCI launched a new, mobile-responsive website at the beginning of 2016 that promotes downtown businesses, events and investment along with a new downtown guide and parking map.
A successful social media presence continues to build a strong following and engage the community. Through an interaction with the Downtown Chambersburg Facebook page, DCI partnered with a local Pokemon enthusiast, Jessica Rave, to coordinate several PokeParty events, which will continue this fall. These events bring people downtown to boost traffic at local businesses in the evenings.
DCI also wrapped up an extensive series of focus groups to help inform a future branding initiative. What we learned is the community loves and supports downtown but we need to work to increase the mix of retail, restaurant and entertainment options. We also learned that we need to better promote the offerings we do have. To help with these efforts, a new banner campaign will roll out by the end of this year as well as a series of videos to promote various downtown businesses, places and events.
Public art is expanding downtown, as well. DCI partnered with local art teacher Holly Strayer on the Chambersburg Community Mural Project, which raised over $24,000 to install two large-scale mosaic murals this summer. This project exemplified the power of people, community building and creative placemaking. A street piano program will be piloted downtown this fall with a partnership with NETwork Ministries. In addition, a public arts committee has formed and more projects are on the horizon.

Making Planning and Zoning a Priority

Planning and zoning has a role in economic development that is misunderstood and often dismissed because, frankly, it’s boring. Since the completion of the Downtown Master Plan, DCI raised over $30,000 for a Bike and Pedestrian Improvements Plan, which is currently underway. A public workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bard Hall at 235 S. Third St.

DCI also initiated an important conversation about zoning and how it can help facilitate economic development. DCI presented a case for zoning to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Borough Council last spring, and the Commission will revisit downtown zoning during its comprehensive plan update in 2017.
Another outcome of the Master Plan is working with stakeholders to investigate community gardens. A working group is currently working on that and a community interest survey will be rolled out community-wide this fall.
Successful downtown revitalization efforts require vision, planning and action. We are well on our way to seeing change in our downtown. Special thanks to our Downtown Partners for their vision and support of DCI.

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Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce
100 Lincoln Way East, Suite A  |  Chambersburg, PA 17201 
(717) 264-7101  |  Fax: (717) 267-0399