SHENANDOAH -- Things are looking up for one Schuylkill County community. In 2015, Shenandoah was named in a survey as one of the 10 worst places to live in all of Pennsylvania, and people are saying it's time for a facelift. New businesses are coming to the area, and old businesses are fixing up.
John Catizone owns Catizone's Barber Shop along Main Street in Shenandoah with his son. They have been there for 30 years, and although they are doing just fine because they are the only barber shop around, they say they would like to see their hometown do better.
"There's very little industry here to keep people here," Catizone said.
People say it is time to give the Schuylkill County borough a makeover. It's part of a revitalization project with Downtown Shenandoah, Inc., a non-profit working to improve the borough. The most recent addition to Main Street is Boost Mobile. Ismael Lara owns a location in Hazleton and saw an opportunity for a new one in Shenandoah. He says there is no other technology store in the area.
"Now they don't have to drive over there and get the service. Now they can get it here in Shenandoah," Lara said.
The store has been open for about a month. They don't just sell phones, they can also fix them.
"That's this day in age, technology. Having something like that here in Shenandoah is a benefit, especially for families who can't really travel all the way up to Hazleton," said Shenandoah Heights native Joe Crea.
There is also a new sports bar coming soon to downtown, called NYC Sports Lounge and Grill. Business owners that are already in the area are helping out with the revitalization by fixing up their store fronts and getting new signs.
"I think it'd be nice to dress the town up a little bit. We have a lot of empty stores," Catizone said.
People who have lived in Shenandoah forever reminisced on what their Schuylkill County borough used to be like.
"This was a thriving little town with all kinds of stores. You didn't have to leave, you could do all your shopping here," said Mary Hoskie.
They look forward to seeing what it has the potential to be.
"Once they come to events here from out of town, it would certainly draw them back to these businesses," Crea said.
If you want to get involved, Downtown Shenandoah, Inc. meets on the third Tuesday of every month.