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12 York Co. businesses along rail trail get grants

From left, Roth Preap, grants program associate with the York County Community Foundation; Myra Gillice from YoCo Bloom winner Gillice Italian Ice & Hand-Dipped Ice Cream, located in New Freedom; Silas Chamberlin, vice president of economic and community development with the York County Economic Alliance. PHOTO / PROVIDED


Twelve businesses have won grants of up to $5,000 each through a program that supports five communities adjacent to the York County Heritage Rail Trail: City of York, Seven Valleys, Glen Rock, Railroad and New Freedom.

The York County Trail Towns Bloom Grant Program, an initiative of the York County Economic Alliance (YECA), received 19 applications. The 12 finalists, of which all were partially funded, represented all five Trail Towns.

The awards were announced May 11. The winning recipients:

• Capt. Bob’s Crabs in Railroad, for portable toilets, a bike rack, and landscaping
• Four Springs Winery in Seven Valleys for signage and seating
• Glen Rock Train Stop Pop-Up for marketing expenses to promote their new hours and entertainment expenses for their summer and fall festivals
• Grace Manor Bed & Breakfast in downtown York for accommodations and transportation for Black travel bloggers
• Keystone Kidspace in downtown York for bike pump station and signage
• Simply Local of Glen Rock for bike rack, benches, signage, expanded inventory of PA-produced goods
• Jackson House Bed & Breakfast in Railroad for trailside mobile drink cart and funding toward landscaping and replacement of awnings
• Summit Grove Camp & Conference Center in New Freedom for renovation of four motel rooms
• New Freedom Roasting Company and Deli for signage and bike rack
• Fresh Pressed Juice Bar in Downtown York for bike rack and sidewalk seating
• Gillice Italian Ice & Hand-Dipped Ice Cream in New Freedom for outdoor signage
• Kindred Wellness Café in Glen Rock for signage and shaded outdoor seating

The Bloom Grant Program was created in 2018 by a class of summer interns. Grant rounds have been hosted for women-owned businesses, business in downtown York, graduates of the YCEA’s small business development program, start-up businesses and YCEA members.

In all, more than $240,000 in grants have been awarded to 79 small businesses and nonprofits, of which over 53% were owned by persons of color and over 62% were women-owned or led.

The York County Economic Alliance also has a new initiative aimed at promoting customer service along the trail to serve trail users. The first recipient is Gillice Italian Ice & Hand-Dipped Ice Cream in New Freedom. Businesses interested in reviewing program guidelines and benefits and applying can find details at
In addition, the trail now has its own official video.

The video, the creation of Brian Lazzaro, who has a vast knowledge of the trail. He and his wife, Rachelle, left Los Angeles to settle in Railroad, Pennsylvania, where they renovated a 19th century home named The Creek House, which is listed on Airbnb. Watch it here:

CPBJ Staff
Contact the Editorial Department at [email protected]

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