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Merger Between Souderton Business Improvement District and Souderton-Telford Main Streets

Souderton Connects, An Innovative BID Organization

SOUDERTON, PA, June 3, 2021 -

Centrally located within 30 miles of Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster,

and central New Jersey, Souderton is a quaint and charming town, home to over 150 businesses, including art galleries, theaters, retail stores, eclectic bars and eateries, and community parks. Souderton is an ideal day-trip destination for visitors of all ages seeking a mix of outdoor and indoor entertainment options. Many residential homes and business properties feature original unique architectural styles and designs, making it a must-see for architectural and history buffs. Over the years, two organizations have played an essential role in promoting Souderton as the perfect place to live, work, and play. The groups also worked to create an engaging mix of family-friendly, food-centric, and holiday-themed events. This year, the two organizations merged, creating a singular Business Improvement District (BID) focused on promoting the town as a destination and place to live

and bringing in independent and mainstream businesses: Souderton Connects.

The history

The Souderton Business Improvement District, established in 2016, was established as a marketing organization that actively improved and promoted Souderton Main and Broad streets as a must-visit destination. Their popular 3rd Friday events have helped bring the community together to enjoy live music, art, food, shopping, and family-friendly activities. The group also supported new and long-standing businesses, encouraged tourism, promoted Souderton as a charming place to live, and advocated for more public art throughout the area.

This past year, The Souderton Business Improvement District installed repurposed newspaper boxes called Souderton Headlines to enhance beautification through public art and provide maps of local businesses to visitors and residents. They also created a Souderton Public Art Walking Tour to help visitors discover murals and public art hidden throughout the town, including the latest mural on Chestnut Street Mural (Sol/Luna) created by artist Harry Boardman.

Another local non-profit organization, Souderton-Telford Main Streets (STMS), worked over the last two decades to promote residential and business efforts tied to Telford and Souderton boroughs. STMS advocated for the revitalization and sustainability of Souderton and Telford. Throughout the years, the organization became well known for creating and managing major Souderton and Telford events, including local tree lighting ceremonies, parades, cooking contests, an Oktoberfest celebration, Art Jam, and the popular weekly Indian Valley Farmers’ Market.

While both groups had distinctive approaches to promoting Souderton, it became clear that together they could accomplish more than they could as separate organizations.

The vision

In early 2020, members from Souderton-Telford Main Streets and the Souderton Business Improvement District began the work to find ways to combine their efforts and expertise into one partnership. A year-long examination of what a partnership could look like included public meetings and input from the local community. Souderton business property owners had the final say on the merger, and in December 2020 voted to approve the measure. In early 2021, the newly formed Souderton Connects replaced STMS and the Souderton Business Improvement District. Souderton Connects will encompass all of Souderton Borough, broadening the scope that the Souderton Business Improvement District had

focused on.

The mission of Souderton Connects is to help brand, market, and beautify Souderton while actively promoting the common interests of its businesses. The implementation of these goals will be accomplished through strategic attention to business and retail development, facilitation of cultural institution anchors, streetscape beautification, community special events, and other initiatives that improve the economic vitality of Souderton.

The future

With the merger, the board of directors has expanded from nine to 13 members, including members from each of the former organizations, broadening the diversity and scope of ideas that Souderton Connects can implement. Additionally, three new committees have been formed to address the needs of Souderton: beautification, economic development, and marketing. Furthermore, a new, comprehensive website was launched earlier this year, Souderton, which is now the go-to virtual destination for all things Souderton.

Souderton Connects Board President Margaret Zglinicki sees a bright future for Souderton by focusing on these needs.

"By combining our two groups, we are now laser-focused on furthering Souderton as a destination that encourages new businesses to open up here while supporting our existing businesses, promotes tourism, and highlights Souderton as an incredible place to live,” said Zglinicki. “We are very much looking forward to moving into the future as we build on the past.”

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