UpTo Mainstreet, a Popup Education Program for Small Businesses, RETURNS TO Charleroi, PA July 20 – 31 as part of SMAART: Sustainable Marketplace for Arts, Artisans, Recreational and Trending Businesses

UpTo-Charleroi-FB-Event-BannerCharleroi, PA – UpTo Mainstreet, a pop-up education program that goes into neighborhoods to deliver creative services to small businesses, will kick-off its 2015 pop-up season in Charleroi, PA from July 20 – 31. The pop-up will be located at 209 Fifth Street in the heart of downtown Charleroi. UpTo’s creative professionals will be taking appointments Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. On Wednesday July 22 and 29 the office will stay open until 7 p.m. offering additional services for small business owners. Online appointments are encouraged at whatareyouupto.org.

A free marketing strategy session will be offered to all participants. The session focuses on an informed discussion about the business owners marketing and communications needs.

“Having this affordable and easily accessible resource available in our  River Towns will help develop and sustain viable businesses,” Donn Henderson, Charleroi Borough Manager, said.

UpTo provides services to small business owners, but more so it is an educational initiative that teaches main street businesses the importance of original and high-quality design, new media and writing services. UpTo employs local creative professionals and helps them make connections with new small business clients during an UpTo event. The program reaches small businesses directly by using temporary, storefront space on main streets throughout out the region.

The pop-up is supported by Discovered in Pennsylvania, Developed in Pennsylvania program, offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development with additional funding support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation through the National Road Heritage Corridor. The SMAART program originated in Charleroi Borough and is now being offered for all River Towns participating in the Mon River Valley Coalition.  The SMAART program is meant to encourage entrepreneurs to consider the Mon River Valley for their business investments.

Thirteen communities bordering the Monongahela River participate in the Mon River Valley Coalition with the goal of increasing recognition of the Mon River Valley as a great place to live, work and play.

Photographer Josh Tarquinio will be setting up a studio in the space July 22 and July 29, 4 p.m. – 7p.m. taking professional photo headshots. Headshots are necessary for websites, professional memberships and other materials. He routinely sells this package for $100 it will be available through UpTo for $30. If you are an UpTo customer you will receive a $5 discount.

“We know small business owners do not have access quality creative services, so we go directly to them, create assets they can use immediately and put them on a path to communicate effectively about their products or service,” Eric Sloss, UpTo’s cofounder, said.

Customers sign up online for a 1/2 hour consultation. During the session, UpTo staff determine the marketing priorities and come up with the solution with the business owner on the spot. UpTo staff then creates the original work with a 24-48 hour turnaround so the business owner can start using the creative assets right away. Customers can visit www.whatareyouupto.org to make an appointment.

“UpTo is also an important workforce development connector. By employing creative professionals locally, we connect the designers and writers with small business owners who need services,” Sarah Mayer, UpTo’s cofounder, said. “UpTo is not seminar based, we actually create work on the spot so businesses can step up their creative game quickly and effectively.”