PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship (PA Wilds Center), in cooperation with the region’s local visitor bureaus, two Heritage Areas, local, state and federal government partners and many private‐sector businesses, in 2016‐2017 embarked on a successful effort to restructure and reboot marketing of the Pennsylvania Wilds as a region, which had been largely dormant for a decade due to funding cuts. This effort is now fully underway. Paid campaigns to bring visitors to the region and to inspire stewardship will begin in 2018 and live on many years beyond that. Partners can see how the region is being positioned as an outdoor recreation destination at pawilds.com.
As part of this effort, PA Wilds Center identified a need to assist the many public‐facing, place‐based businesses and nonprofits in its Wilds Cooperative of PA program ‐‐ which are the listings backbone for pawilds.com and serve the traveling public – to help them better tie into the Pennsylvania Wilds brand through signage. As noted in the Pennsylvania Wilds Design Guide for Community Character Stewardship, this brand visibility helps build regional identity and lets visitors know they have arrived at their destination. It can also help small businesses attract new customers and improve their bottom lines. This Signage Grant Program was launched to address this need. This program is funded through the Department of Community & Economic Development’s Keystone Communities Program in coordination with PA Route 6 Alliance. PA Wilds Center greatly appreciates this support to help advance the Wilds brand and businesses participating in The Wilds Cooperative of PA.
The goals of this program are:
The total funding per Wilds Cooperative member is 50% of the project cost, not to exceed $500 per member.
Wilds Cooperative of PA member businesses and nonprofits that have brick-and-mortar sites serving the traveling public are eligible for Signage Grants under this program. These would include Wilds Cooperative members that are B&Bs, unique lodges, campgrounds, visitor centers, galleries, museums, theatres, restaurants, shops, outfitters, guides, professional-level producers/artisans with public-facing studios, craft distilleries, breweries and wineries, retailers and similar venues.
Businesses and nonprofits like these that are just learning of The Wilds Cooperative of PA program and wish to join and apply for a signage grant can do so, but program application materials and payment must be received by the time your Signage Grant application is being reviewed to be considered.
Applicants must be in good standing with their Wilds Cooperative of PA membership dues ($105/year), as well as current on their State, County, School District, and local municipal taxes to be eligible for Signage Grants.
Applicants must be located in the 12 ½ counties of the Pennsylvania Wilds, which include: Warren, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Clinton, Lycoming, Forest, Cameron, Elk, Clarion, Clearfield, Jefferson, and northern Centre counties.
This program is for exterior signage only. This includes: