Back to projects Downtown Camp Hill Thrives Thanks to Small Businesses Camp Hill Borough 2145 Walnut Street CampHillBorough.com The charming borough of Camp Hill, settled in 1735, is located just three miles from the downtown state capital of Harrisburg. Historic homes and tree-lined streets surround the compact downtown that provides visitors and residents with an array of shopping and dining opportunities, a selection of spas and salons, a modern library, open spaces in lovely parks, and diverse seasonal events. Its unique blend of amenities offers a friendly small-town feel with all the conveniences of a larger community. The eclectic mix of businesses in Camp Hill’s vibrant downtown is supported by the Downtown Camp Hill Association (DHCA). Formed in 2018, the vision of the DHCA is to “build a prosperous and diverse business district that supports a walkable and shoppable neighborhood concept [and] inspires community connections and entrepreneurial potential.” Neighbors & Smith, a 40,000-square-foot retail and office building, has become a focal point for the Camp Hill community and is a recent example of Camp Hill’s commitment to the DHCA’s vision. Housing a broad mix of locally owned boutiques and salons, the revitalization and redevelopment of this location at 1801 Market Street by Smith Land & Improvement Corporation reflect the idea that small businesses are the backbone of the community. The new structure provides a “gathering space for conversation, coffee, connections, work, shopping, and culture,” according to Rick Jordan III, President and CEO of Smith Land, who lives with his family in Camp Hill. DHCA hosts four seasonal open-house events to encourage downtown visitation throughout the year. Customers can enjoy various specials, promotions, demonstrations, and refreshments and explore local businesses. In addition, a weekly seasonal farmers market provides the community with fresh food, supports local farmers, and further encourages foot traffic to the Borough’s downtown. Economy Camp Hill is home to several large employers, including the corporate headquarters of The AMES Companies (formerly Ames True Temper), established in 1774 by shovel maker John Ames, and currently one of the largest suppliers of non-powered yard equipment in North America. (Source: https://www.dnb.com/) However, small businesses are the backbone of the state and local economy. For example, Isaac’s Restaurants is a central Pennsylvania chain founded in 1983. They have 13 locations in 5 counties, including two restaurants in Cumberland County. They recently relocated their corporate offices to Camp Hill. Downtown Camp Hill has also earned a reputation as a stronghold for women-owned businesses. Small women-owned businesses in the United States have grown exponentially in the last 50 years from just 402,000 in 1972 to over 12 million today, accounting for 40% of all U.S. businesses (source: https://www.fundera.com/resources/women-owned-business-statistics) In 2021, the Small Business Administration reported that 39.4% of Pennsylvania’s businesses were women-owned. Notably, downtown Camp Hill far exceeds that number. Approximately 55% of this thriving community’s small businesses are women-owned, and they are essential to innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Further Plans Camp Hill Borough, the Downtown Camp Hill Association, community organizations, and civic-minded citizens remain committed to making the commercial downtown district a center of the community for residents, business owners, and visitors. An example is the upcoming $1.7 million streetscape project, with an expected completion date toward the end of 2023. Planned improvements along Market Street, from 20th Street to 25th Street, would include new light poles with hanging baskets and banners, updated sidewalks and curbs, new grass verge areas, stamped continental crosswalks, a rectangular rapid flashing beacon, and painted bump-outs. Click here to learn more about this project and other Camp Hill information.