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APKCFEE Continues Downtown City Partnership

By Sara Ross

Last year in Spring 2021 was the beginning of the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship collaboration with the Diamond City Partnership clients, including the coffeehouses Pour and Abide as well as the restaurant Bank + Vine. This partnership continued into the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters.

Beginning in 1993, the APKCFEE has been a part of the Wilkes University community, offering experiential learning to its scholars and interns. The center’s Executive Director Charles Pierce has been a part of the communication for this project when DCP’s Executive Director Larry Newman approached him late in Fall 2020.

“The purpose of this project was to get students from Wilkes to work on marketing the downtown to college students,” said Pierce.

The DCP is Wilkes-Barre’s alliance within the local community for downtown revitalization. This partnership has led to the expansion of businesses and aided in their development and growth.

This semester, the center has been working with DCP clients and local Wilkes-Barre businesses once again, such as the bicycle shop, Around Town Bicycles and the restaurant, Chill Grill.

In the fall, scholars of communication and marketing, along with a digital design intern worked on improving Around Town Bicycles' social media, website and digital newsletter. For Chill Grill, scholars of operations and logistics provided financial assistance.

A family-owned and operated restaurant, Chill Grill, known for its breakfast and lunch menus, has been serving the Wilkes-Barre community since 2005.

Scholar of Center Operations and Logistics, Danny Reidel, enjoyed his time working with Chill Grill last semester and likes helping out small businesses in the area with whatever they may need.

“In the case of Chill Grill, we had made an excel spreadsheet for them listing all their products that go into every single item on the menu,” said Reidel. “They seemed to need assistance in the technology aspect of their business, which we were glad to help with. It is always a great feeling to help small businesses, especially when they are so delicious like Chill Grill!”

Further, with Around Town Bicycles, scholars continued their work this spring by focusing solely on revamping the business’ WordPress site.

Rich Adams, the owner of Around Town Bicycles, opened his store back in 2004, and he prides himself on creating hand-built bikes, which he assembles in-store and provides to customers.

Lead marketing scholar on the project, Hayden Hernandez, shares that he has had a nice experience working with Adams so far this semester.

“Considering the success they've had over the past eighteen years, it's exciting to be able to work with Rich and help add new dimensions to his business,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez states that rebuilding the website will help Adams to attract further attention to his business, especially those who are from younger generations. It will be upgraded to an eCommerce site, allowing Around Town Bicycles to make online sales on their website for the first time ever.

“I commend Rich for being so open to adding new components to his business and working with the scholars at the APKCFEE to bring new perspectives to his business,'' said Hernandez. “I look forward to helping his business grow and reach new levels of success, and to be able to say that we were a part of that success."

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