For many people, any discussion about Scranton’s Green Ridge section immediately invokes images of pristine homes and tree-lined streets—not a city business hub.
The newly re-established Green Ridge Neighborhood Association seeks to change that perception.
“If we all work together, we can do something amazing,” said Maggie Calpin, owner of Nibbles and Bits and president of the Green Ridge Business Association. “Small business is coming back and it is better than ever. We are all small businesses in the same community so why not work together?”
The Green Ridge Business Association was originally established in the 1970s, but members eventually drifted over the years. Believing that there is strength in numbers, Calpin and other business owners in and around Green Ridge Corners decided to bring the group back in mid-2016.
“It has been amazing because all generations, established and younger businesses, are showing up to our meetings and they are all excited,” Calpin said. “The businesses have been hungry for this and they wanted a change. Passion is very contagious—if you talk about something that excites you, usually other people get excited, too. I think that’s what happened here, the excitement was contagious.”
The excitement from the Green Ridge-based businesses has been palpable through events like the inaugural Green Ridge Fall Festival in October, which welcomed more than 1,000 people to the neighborhood. Other 2016 community events included a Small Business Saturday celebration and a Christmas tree lighting. Additional proposed events for 2017 include an Easter egg hunt and a community barbecue.
“As a new business, I knew it was important to partner with established and seasoned businesses in my area,” said Jennifer Cuellar of Changes Luxury Consignment, who is also the secretary of the Green Ridge Business Association. “The more I met with our community and learned more about Green Ridge, the more I realized that this revival is bigger than us. We have an opportunity to create memories and be a part of history, to make a difference to the people who support us.”
The Green Ridge Business Association is also partnering with nearby Robert Morris Elementary School as a way to encourage business interaction with students. Calpin encourages anyone who hasn’t yet visited the neighborhood’s businesses to come and experience the eclectic mix of stores not found elsewhere.
‘There’s something for everyone here in Green Ridge, we have it all,” she said. “You could spend a day here and really enjoy it. We’re all happy to be a part of this community. We’re proud that we brought Green Ridge back to life.”