Bristol Borough among finalists for revitalization grants

- They packed the Moose Lodge Thursday night and danced to the Bristol Stomp.
But mostly the residents of Bristol Borough and their friends came to hear for themselves, the good news announced:  The borough is one of five finalists for a half million dollars' worth of marketing, project money and grants to revitalize the business district part of a program called the Small Business Revolution.
Locals are pumped.

 "Very tight-knit community," said Ida Doran, who grew up in the borough and now lives in Bristol township. "They all come together and pull together and fight for what they believe in. It's nice."

In the late 60s, United States Steel employed 10,000 workers 8 miles from here. At that time the main business district was booming.
Then came the bust.

"Then the Mills closed down, the malls came up suburbia sprawled," said civic organizer Bill Pezza, "and we went into what I like to call a pretty deep sleep."

In recent years there's been a bit of the reawakening.

New townhouses are going in, and so is a new dock project. Several new stores have opened on Mill Street--the main drag. 

Brian Adams and his mother set up a model train and hobby shop-- Trainpops Attic-- here, several years ago. They've seen things get better in the business district but believe the best days are still ahead.

"I'm pretty optimistic about it," Cynthia Adams told FOX29s Bruce Gordon.  "I really am. I think we are on the right track. And if this promotion comes through I think it'll be good."

Now it comes down to an online vote, through February 16.
Bill Pezza, who's spearheading the contest effort, says he's optimistic about victory-- and the money that goes with it-- but either way...

"We have won because people have really come together. They were believing in themselves and they're believing in this town. It's going to be all good."

If you'd like to help the folks from Bristol, go to smallbusinessrevolution.org and vote!

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