Allegheny Together - Program Technical Assistance Provider
Allegheny County, PA
Allegheny County Economic Development manages business retention, expansion, and attraction for the 129 municipalities in Allegheny County, excluding Pittsburgh. Its Allegheny Together program focuses on traditional business districts in Allegheny County and endeavors to encourage well-planned, well-designed and geographically-focused investment while respecting communities’ unique history, character, and built environment.
With new economic leadership, the County was looking to take their business district program in a new direction. Municipalities were hit hard when the steel industry left the region in the 1970s and ‘80s, and have not seen as robust a recovery as Pittsburgh. The downtown business districts in the County have great foundations, but many have seen disinvestment. Through this five year project, Fourth Economy Consulting aims to improve these commercial districts for both business owners and residents.
With the help of Allegheny County Economic Development, Pittsburgh-based urban design and architecture firm, evolve environment and architecture, and additional county partners, municipalities within the Program benefit from business district planning, technical assistance, and additional ongoing support. The consultant team convenes groups of stakeholders, conducts comprehensive data analysis about the communities and their business districts, listens for insights into where to focus, and supports priorities toward implementation. In addition to individual community engagement, the consultant team established a yearly summit to share best practices, creating a mechanism for peer support for all municipalities across the County.
The first round of downtown strategic plans launched in late 2019, and in 2020 added two new communities. Metrics such as investment and business starts are being tracked to understand the impact of the program and efforts around streetscape improvements, business district marketing and encouraging new business investments within each community are underway .
Economic Development Strategy