More Small Businesses Making Downtown Scranton Home

SCRANTON -- The addition of some new stores in downtown Scranton may indicate that the economic climate in the city is really starting to turn around.

Before the lunch rush, Victoria's on Penn Avenue was filled with floral arrangements sent from loyal customers congratulating the Argenta family.

They moved from west Scranton to their new location on Penn Avenue just last week. A lot has changed in just seven days.

"Big difference, very big difference. We were looking at going through 40 pounds of chicken in a week or 10 days. And we went through 40 pounds of chicken in three days," said owner Victoria Argenta.

While the Argentas moved downtown, other downtown business owners are expanding. Scranton Mattress will open soon on Spruce Street.  Its owner already has a shop on the same block.

"Something that we're doing is a lot of the mattresses we have here are made entirely in Pennsylvania, so it's really kind of a hometown gig," said Scranton Mattress employee Joe McGurl.

There are at least a half-dozen other small businesses in development on downtown streets.

"You see small locally-owned businesses opening up in the downtown, relocating from other areas," said Scranton City Council Vice President Pat Rogan.

Scranton City Council and the mayor see the trend as the start of a turnaround. They credit an expansion of small business loans and paving in the downtown.

"We're always promoting 'eds and meds' here, but it's not just the hospitals and universities. We have great restaurants. We have great businesses. And I'm seeing a lot of the younger people have a tremendous interest in moving their businesses to downtown and that's really what we want to see," added Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright.

Enter the Kerimoglu brothers, who opened up across the street from city hall two weeks ago with help from the Small Business Development Center in Scranton.

Cafe Sevda sells food from their native Turkey.

"People love it. They've promised to come back, and we did have a lot of people come back. They really do like it," Kerim Kerimoglu said.

6 comments

  • Chris

    New businesses open yet that means nothing regarding a turnaround for most of us living here. Our pay stays the same, our taxes keep rising, homes keep being abandoned or condemned, crime keeps rising, and more often than not every person in front of me at the checkout in stores are using Access cards. Pretending a few stores opening in downtown scranton means economic improvement is like sitting in a burning building and saying everything is normal as it burns down around you.

  • John Monchelli

    Taxes are out of reach for most people.The way the structure is now, sorry to say but Scranton will come back when George Washington comes back.College students & high school students are all moving out of the area, very sad to see this happening.

  • Mark Torch

    Election is coming up!!! Quick! We have to make Scranton look good so people forget how horrible it is before election day!

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