Even Downtown York’s creative business owners need to stay on the cutting edge.

That’s why Downtown Inc has partnered with PNC for a series of workshops that help merchants keep up to date on best practices for customer service, social media and more. After expanding in 2018, the Business Series will enjoy another full schedule in 2019, thanks to the support of PNC.

Unless otherwise noted, all Business Series events are held at 8:30 a.m. the third Wednesday of every month at the York College Center for Community Engagement, 59 E. Market St. Doors open at 8 a.m. to allow for placement of materials and casual networking. Downtown Inc will provide coffee and light pastry items.

Business Series events are FREE and open to the public, though RSVPs are required to accommodate the preparation of materials and food. While geared toward downtown businesses, anyone is welcome to attend.

2019 Schedule and Topics


Parking is available at the Market Street Garage, 41 E. Market St. The Center for Community Engagement is just a short walk from the garage. Click here for more downtown parking information.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Downtown Inc thanks the business community for its support of this workshop series. We’d like to also give a shoutout to our presenting sponsor, PNC; our beverage sponsor, K&K Coffee Service, Inc.; and our venue sponsor, York College Center for Community Engagement.

Nana’s Oven

Nana’s Oven

Upcoming Events

September 18: Team Building in the Workplace

Please join us at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 18, at the York College Center for Community Engagement for our next workshop. We’ll dig into ways to build your internal team - so you can better serve your customers!

PAST Events

August 21: Identifying & Reaching Your Target Audience

Abby McGinnis of GRIT Marketing Group took a deep into how businesses can not only define their target markets, but reach them where they are. In case you missed it, here’s the handout from the event.

July 17: Tapping into Travel Writers to Promote Your Business

Downtown York's new Historically Edgy destination brand will be used to draw visitors to our city. To support those efforts, Downtown Inc routinely works with travel writers and bloggers to promote our local attractions. During this workshop, we talked with travel writers who are visiting the city to learn how our businesses can best connect with them to drive new customers through their doors. Click here to view the recap video.

June 19: Public Safety and Your Business

Officer Derek Hartman and Chief Troy Bankert from the York City Police Department discussed the work being done to keep your business and our city safe.


May 15: Improving Business Cash Flow

Please join us at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 15, at the York College Center for Community Engagement for our next workshop: Improving Your Business Cash Flow and Assistance with Business Credit. PNC’s Lorena Rakowsky will present.

April 17: Digital Storytelling

Jason Altland, Director of Digital Services’ and Chris Drinkut, a Digital Project Manager — guest presenters from Gavin Advertising - a full-service, advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Downtown York — talked digital storytelling and the importance of defining your brand’s hero. Check out a quick recap video below if you missed it!


March 20: Retirement Planning for Small Businesses

When running the daily operations of a small business, sometimes it’s tough to think ahead to retirement. But it’s a must, and this workshop put the topic front and center. Michelle Kreeger, from State Farm, shared her tips and tricks for helping small business owners plan for retirement. Kreeger's goal is to help families and local businesses in York County reach their personal goals through education, planning and protection. View our recap video below>


March 13: Business Taxes 101

Yup, it's that time of year again, when businesses and employees alike are navigating a bureaucratic buffet of W-2s, Form 1040s and whatever other alphanumeric-inspired paperwork comes their way. We'll brought a couple seasoned tax pros to the workshop to help business owners pick up valuable tips perfect for tax season. Missed it? View our recap video below.


January 16: Connecting with Downtown Inc and YCEA’s Business Resources

Downtown Inc and the York County Economic Alliance launched a strategic affiliation in 2018, effectively combining the resources of two of York County’s top economic development organizations. During this workshop, attendees learned how to tap into each organization’s respective business services, including marketing, networking opportunities, business financing and more.

2018 Business Series Events

October 17, 2018: Small Business for Insurance

Insurance might not sound like an exciting topic, but the proper coverage can make a huge difference for the long-term success of your business. Hint: Did you know you could get business interruption service to cover losses after an unanticipated event? Those types of tips and more were available during Downtown Inc’s FREE workshop about insurance for small business as part of the 2018 Business Series presented by PNC.

September 19, 2018: Customer Service

In today's business world, customer service matters more than ever. Downtown merchants honed this important skill thanks to an interactive presentation from Frederick Becker, Associated Professor of Hospitality Management at York College.

August 15, 2018: Financing Your Next Business Idea Workshop

We all dream of starting our own businesses, or expanding the one we already have. But that takes money, and let’s be honest: Not everyone has an excess of capital to invest in their next big idea. Business financing may be your best option. This workshop brought together a panel of experts from PNC, the Community First Fund and the Small Business Development Center to discuss options to grow your business or start your first. 

If you missed the workshop, you can view the full recording here.

July 18, 2018: Downtown Business and Nonprofit Networking Mixer

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our networking mixer at Taste Test!

June 20, 2018: Social Media Storytellling Workshop

Social media has exploded. Every minute, there are 317,000 new Facebook status updates, 448,000 tweets and 66,000 Instagram posts sent into the world. So how can your business stand out on increasingly crowded news feeds and timelines? You can start with simple storytelling to connect with your customers, build your brand and ultimately make more sales. Andrew Staub, Downtown Inc’s Marketing & Communications Manager, discussed the strategies you can use to create compelling content and engage with customers on social media, all while having fun telling your story. 

May 16, 2018: Employment Law 101 Workshop

Whether your organization has 1 employee or 1,000, there are multiple federal and state laws that impact how you manage your employees. CGA employment attorney Christine Nentwig presentation covered laws governing sexual harassment, discrimination, wage and hour issues and employee disabilities and medical conditions and more. Plus, Nentwig will discussed practical steps businesses of all sizes should take to avoid liability.

March 21, 2018: Downtown Business and Nonprofit Networking Mixer

This event was canceled due to inclement weather. Stay tuned for future networking opportunities!

February 21, 2018: Social Media Assets Workshop

Philip Given, Chief of Staff to York Mayor Michael Helfrich and President of the York City Pretzel Company, join Downtown Inc to discuss social media assets and how to ensure your businesses Yelp, Google and Facebook pages present the information customers and visitors need. 

January 17, 2018: Personal Safety Tips Workshop

Businesses and non-profits located in the Downtown York Business Improvement District joined Downtown Inc at the first Business Series event of 2018 at York College's Center for Community Engagement. York City Police Officers Derek Hartman and Rich Kehler shared tips for your personal safety, best practices for contacting police and how to protect your business. A safety tip sheet was presented, and a Q&A session followed.