Since Mayor of Slippery Rock Borough JonDavid Longo took office in 2017, seven new businesses, including one non-profit, have joined the Slippery Rock community.
Recently, Thomacy’s restaurant, a massage parlor and Big Shot Bob’s opened along Main Street with Dunkin Donuts looking to put a location on Main Street.
Longo said that he has no information to share about Dunkin Donuts at the time, but believes the thousands of permanent residents and the university in the Slippery Rock brings an advantage for any entrepreneur.
“The market is open and it’s ripe,” Longo said. “For folks to come here and make an investment in the town, it’s a smart move.”
Among the new businesses stands Our Angles Attic which serves as a business as well as a non-profit organization with the goal of raising money and awareness for individuals with disabilities.
Longo believes that these businesses are priceless to the community by creating jobs and offering employment opportunities for students and residents.
“We owe a lot to our business owners,” Longo said. “They help to drive the economy. They are the driving force behind keeping Slippery Rock relevant.”
Slippery Rock’s location at the crossroads of Western Pennsylvania off exit 79 is a reason why the borough has seen a jump in commercial growth, Longo believes.
“Before I came into office there might have been a misconception about our town and our willingness to be open to business and welcome outsiders with open arms,” Longo said.
Longo works with the Borough Council and believes that their proactive approach in welcoming new businesses is one of the reasons that Slippery Rock is on the tips of people’s tongues.
Family ties run deep in Slippery Rock for Longo. His grandmother graduated in the 60’s with a degree in education. After Longo got out of the marine corps, he decided to pursue a higher education with Slippery Rock.
Longo said that he fell in love with the town and believes that the university has been and still is a destination that will help drive people into the town.
“Folks are going to take a look at these businesses and say this is the place where I can come to educate myself, to raise a family, to work or play,” Longo said. “I think we have it all. We have nowhere to go but up as far as out potential to open our business district.”
Slippery Rock students and residents can look forward to food trucks taking their place along Main Street in the next couple months, providing another late-night food option.
Longo wants to relay his and the borough council’s appreciation to business owners that have been in the community for years as well as those that have recently called Slippery Rock their home over the last few years.
“It’s very important that they [these businesses] understand that they are very appreciated,” Longo said. “Our town is grateful to them for taking a shot with us and investing in our community.”
Although Longo cannot provide any more information about the possibility of Dunkin Donuts, he does have an announcement about another considerable business that wants to come into Slippery Rock that he hopes to be making in the near future.