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Local Business News

Applications Now Being Accepted for Launch Pottsville 2.0 Business Competition

The first Launch Pottsville helped start 3 businesses in the city in a year.

Launch Pottsville 2.0 is officially off the ground and applications for this unique business competition are now being accepted.

This second iteration of Launch Pottsville will have an arts and entertainment focus, according to Pottsville Area Development Corp. Executive Director Savas Logothetides. All entrepreneurs, creatives, and planners are invited to apply (for free) for a chance at a $50,000 prize pool.

Launch Pottsville 2.0 follows the first version of this contest, which culminated in 2022 with two winners announced that have already established businesses in downtown Pottsville, Rage Parade and The Chopping Block.

The owners of The Chopping Block (from left, John Marsh and Alex Chivinski) and Rage Parade (Clarissa Christ) celebrate their victories at the inaugural Launch Pottsville business competition back in 2022. (Coal Region Canary photo)

Arrow Studio & Events, which competed in the first Launch Pottsville contest, has also opened since winners were announced.

This is a 6-month business plan contest and participants are judged on criteria like having a positive impact on foot traffic and interest in the arts and entertainment scene in Pottsville, specifically in the city’s Strategic Redevelopment Area, a perceived need for a type of business, and the proven or perceived ability of the entrepreneur to create and sustain their business for a minimum of 5 years.

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“We believe the results of this contest are vital to the community’s revitalization because sustained revitalization takes more than just small loans and other financial incentives. One way to a resilient and sustainable local economy is by using the arts and entertainment as a foundation for revitalization,” PADCO explains as the reason for focusing on arts and entertainment business ideas.

The Chopping Block axe-throwing bar opened on S. Centre St. in Pottsville back in July.

Clarissa Christ, who owns Rage Parade skate shop, says in a statement from PADCO how Launch Pottsville helped her with her startup efforts, “[It] shed light on the importance of supporting small businesses. It inspired the community to start dreaming and working towards a better future for Pottsville! I was able to learn first hand from other small business owners, and Launch Pottsville provided educational opportunities to help me along the way!”

The application period to get in on Launch Pottsville 2.0 runs from Dec. 15, 2023, until March 1, 2024. There is no entry fee. Rules for the contest can be found at Questions about the contest can be sent to Logothetides at

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  1. Concerned Resident

    December 25, 2023 at 5:04 am

    How about a program to help the residents of Pottsville to pay their horrible taxes??? My skateboard and axe throwing skills aren’t helping me at all…

  2. Jodi

    January 26, 2024 at 1:25 pm

    Someone has to pay for those fancy camera parking meters.

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