What is DABA?

 

DABA (the Downtown Allentown Business Alliance) is a Main Street Program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce working in support of the downtown businesses through events and marketing.

MISSION STATEMENT

 The mission of the Downtown Allentown Business Alliance is to create and sustain a welcoming downtown district which promotes business and community growth.

We can all grow together and have fun along the way!

OUR INITIATIVES

The Downtown Allentown Business Alliance (DABA), formerly the Hamilton District Main Street Program, focuses on events and programming designed to engage the downtown workforce, the community at large, and visitors to downtown Allentown. Our program has been a partner in the revitalization of downtown Allentown, working alongside the business community in a collaborative private-public partnership over the past ten years.

In July 2018, we restructured to better meet the needs of the changing business environment and to focus on two main program areas:

Business Development

Working in support of downtown retailers and restaurants, DABA has introduced a range of specific events that promote commercial success, from monthly meetings and seminars to targeted workshops for different types of business needs.

Marketing, Events & Programming

Focusing on such signature events as Blues, Brews & Barbecue, Allentown Beer Fest, Restaurant Weeks, First Monday, Summer in the City lunchtime music series, Sip into Spring Cocktail Trail, Jingle Bell Cocktail Trail, Holiday Tree Lighting, New Year’s Eve celebration, and other special occasions attracts audiences from across the region to downtown Allentown, promoting our commercial and social appeal.

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DABA exists to creating economic vitality through marketing and events in support of the business community. As the lead entity creating high-caliber events in an urban setting, we work hard to make downtown Allentown an inviting and vibrant community.

What are the boundaries of the DABA?

The DABA consists of the area between 12th Street and 5th Street and Walnut, Hamilton and Linden Street. 

How is DaBa Funded?

The DABA is funded by private sector dollars and festival and event revenue. 

What is the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ)?

The NIZ is a special taxing district created by state law that is being utilized to encourage development and revitalization in center city Allentown and along the western side of the Lehigh River. This powerful economic development program has spurred more than a half-billion dollars in redevelopment activity through a unique tax incentive and financing tool.

Where can i get a map of downtown allentown?

Visit any of our downtown business for a free copy of the new Downtown Allentown Map and Guide. If you are visiting during business hours, stop by the Downtown Allentown Business Alliance/Chamber office to pick up this informative map. 

GET INVOLVED

Meet new friends and serve as an ambassador to the downtown Allentown by volunteering for special events. Want to become involved in our welcoming community?

STAFF

 

Liz Martin

Liz Martin

Senior VP, Allentown Chamber of Commerce

Liz Martin is the Senior Vice President of Allentown Initiatives. Before taking on her role with the Allentown Chamber, Liz was the Director of Marketing for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. Prior to joining LVEDC in 2020, Ms. Martin spent six years with The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, most recently as the Vice President of Major Events. Liz has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Educational Studies from The Catholic University of America and a certificate from Oxford University, UK where she spent a semester studying. Prior to her collegiate pursuits, Liz graduated from Allentown Central Catholic High School.

In her spare time, Liz enjoys spending time with her friends and family and enjoying all the Lehigh Valley (especially Allentown!) has to offer. She resides in the West End with her husband, Nate, their daughter, Rowan and their goldendoodle, Kobe.

Maggie Walters

Maggie Walters

Manager, Downtown Allentown Business Alliance

Maggie Walters works to support the Downtown Allentown businesses and community through event planning, marketing, programming, and business development. She serves to create a vibrant and bustling downtown community.

Maggie received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business with a concentration in Marketing from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. While completing her degree, she was Director of Philanthropy for the International Business Association, Alumni Relations Chair for Delta Phi Epsilon, and student at Temple’s Rome Campus. Maggie is proud to stay involved in her alma mater as an Educational Support Professional, serving students in the International Business Program. Prior to her college pursuits, Maggie graduated from Liberty High School in Bethlehem.

When Maggie isn’t on Hamilton Street in Downtown Allentown, you can find her visiting her sisters in Philadelphia and New York, cooking a weeknight dinner with her Mom, or walking her Labradoodle, Jersey. She also enjoys spending time at Boomfit Strength Club, eating and shopping at Lehigh Valley favorites, and enjoying time with friends.

Aaron Gasparetti

Aaron Gasparetti

Manager, Allentown Initiatives

Aaron Gasparetti is the Manager of Allentown Initiatives at The Chamber.  He is an exciting new addition to the already energic Allentown team working to partner financial savviness with event coordination.  He will be working closely with the businesses of Allentown to continue bolstering an already strong relationship to promote growth, focusing on the development of business in the urban community. 

​Aaron graduated in 2020 with two business Associate degrees from Northampton Community College and has been with the Chamber for 1 year.

BOARD MEMBERS

Santo Napoli, Chair

assembly88

Santo has operated numerous retail stores in Allentown, Reading and Easton but quickly learned Downtown Allentown is where he wanted to be.  For a few years he operated 3 different retail locations on Hamilton Street and his latest creation assembly88 has won “Best Men’s Shop of the Lehigh Valley” four times.  Due to popular demand a woman’s assembly88 is scheduled to open fall 2023 in a vacant storefront next door.

Santo serves on numerous boards across Allentown, which have given him exposure to a diverse array of community stakeholders.  Santo was recruited to volunteer with the Downtown Allentown Business Alliance (DABA) in 2013, and he has been serving as chair of the board since 2017.  At DABA, Santo was instrumental in implementing the Allentown Merchant Program (AMP) card and in 2015, DABA named Santo Volunteer of the Year for his role in creating the AMP card.  In 2018, Mayor Ray O’Connell appointed him to the Allentown Parking Authority Board, and in 2019, Santo was asked to serve on the Allentown Chamber of Commerce Board.  In 2023 Allentown City Council voted to appoint Santo to serve the remaining term of a vacated seat.

Santo lives in the Allentown West End with his wife, Jasmine and a 3rd grader in the Allentown School District.  Santo feels a strong connection to his Sicilian roots, so he frequently travels back to Italy to see his family. He spends free time during the summer gardening and Sundays in the fall at Lincoln Financial Field with his childhood friends cheering on the Eagles.

Geoff Brace
County Commissioner & Center City Resident

Jill Brader
City Center Allentown

Maureen Campbell
ADP

Dan Diaz
City of Allentown

Capt. Charles Roca
Allentown Police Department

Lauryn Graves
Air Products

 Virginia Haas
County of Lehigh

Ellen Kern
Office of Senator Pat Browne

Sean King
Aspire Marketing

Julie Macomb, Esq.
Lehigh Valley Health Network

Matt Malozi
Civitas Regio

Elizabeth Martinez
Office of Rep. Peter Schweyer

Erin Pietrulewicz
ESSA Bank

Ron Young
PennDOT

Liz Martin
Allentown Chamber of Commerce

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