Wolf Administration Celebrates PA’s Tourism Industry During Visit to Local Businesses in Bedford, Urges Pennsylvanians to Support Their Favorite Local Shops

Gov. Wolf has proclaimed May 1-7, 2022, as “National Travel and Tourism and Small Business Week” in Pennsylvania

May 3, 2022

Bedford, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary of Marketing, Tourism, & Film Carrie Fischer Lepore and Deputy Secretary of the Office of Technology and Innovation Steve D’Ettorre highlighted the importance of tourism and small businesses in the commonwealth and encouraged Pennsylvanians to support their favorite local shops during National Travel and Tourism and Small Business Week in Pennsylvania. The celebrations are taking place May 1-7, 2022, as proclaimed by Governor Tom Wolf.

“It’s no secret Pennsylvania has so much to offer visitors whatever their interest. From our history-filled towns and battlefields to our greater-than-great outdoors, world-class cultural treasures, vibrant museums, exciting urban vistas, and rural landscapes, we truly offer an abundance of traveler experiences,” said Deputy Secretary Fischer Lepore. “But it is the people behind the businesses that support our industry that truly contribute to the diversity and culture of our neighborhoods, cities and towns, regions, and state. They are the ones that not only make Pennsylvania a great place to visit, but also a wonderful place to call home.”

Since 2015, the Wolf Administration has shown a commitment to tourism and marketing by creating new thematic road trips and trails, producing award-winning commercials, leveraging industry investment through a cooperative advertising program, and elevating international tourism marketing. In 2018, in partnership with the General Assembly, Act 109 was adopted, which more than doubled the funding for tourism promotion. The act closed a lodging tax loophole with online travel agencies and online travel companies and directed these additional funds to be used for statewide tourism marketing efforts.

“This week we celebrate the more than 1 million small businesses that employ about 2.5 million workers in the commonwealth,” said Deputy Secretary D’Ettorre. “I hope Pennsylvanians will take Small Business Week as an opportunity to support their favorite local businesses by visiting, shopping online, providing positive online reviews and recommendations, and tagging them on social media. We should do all that 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 Bette Slayton, CEO of the Bedford County Development Association, 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 critical part of our Bedford County economy,” said Slayton. “They create jobs, provide important products and services and make our communities a vibrant place to live and work. We appreciate the broad range of DCED programs that provide support to our business community.”

The following local businesses were highlighted during this morning’s tour in 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 have owned my business in downtown Bedford for six years,” said Juli Gonsman, owner of Juli’s Wearable Art. “I love the opportunities it brings, each and every day, to learn about new things, engage with customers, and evolve my business. I couldn't be prouder of our small business in beautiful downtown Bedford and want to thank our loyal customers, whether they are in-store or online. We look forward to what the future brings!”

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

Diversity and Impact of Small Businesses in PA

  • 39.4 percent of small business owners are women
  • 16.6 percent are racial minorities
  • 4.2 percent are Hispanics/Latinos
  • 6.3 percent are veterans
  • 13,690, or 88.2 percent, of Pennsylvania firms that exported goods in 2019 were small businesses – and small firms exported goods worth $12.5 billion 
  • For every $100 spent at a small business, $48 goes back into the local economy in which the business is located 

State Resources for Small Businesses

DCED and our partner network across the commonwealth offer many resources to help small businesses grow.

For more information about Small Business Week, visit DCED’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and be sure to talk about your favorite local small business on your social media accounts and tag them with #PASmallBiz or #ShopLocal

Free copies of the Happy Traveler, the state travel guide, are available at visitPA.com. Travelers also can sign up to receive Happy Thoughts, a digital newsletter, in their inbox each month. 

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, 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 – all while improving residents’ quality of life. Need more PA happy travels? Become a fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check out photos on Instagram, share pins on Pinterest, watch us on YouTube or listen to us on Spotify.

Media Contact:

Penny Ickes, [email protected]

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