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President Biden Visits Small Businesses in Brief Stop in Lehigh Valley

President Biden visits Emmaus

President Joe Biden made a brief stop in the Lehigh Valley on Friday to tout his economic achievements and visit locally owned small businesses.

It is part of the Biden campaign team’s focus on the Keystone State as a vital piece of his re-election campaign.

The White House noted that the Biden-Harris Administration has announced $14.2 billion in public infrastructure and clean energy investments in Pennsylvania and spurred $3 billion in private sector investments in related sectors. This includes $5 million to the Lehigh Valley International Airport for needed renovations, as well as $22.5 million to fix the Cementon Bridge and $2.8 million to fix the Indian Trail Road Bridge in Allentown.

Air Force One arrived at Lehigh Valley International Airport just after 1 p.m. and Biden was greeted upon his departure by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Susan Wild (D-07), Gov. Josh Shapiro and Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk.

Biden made his first stop at the Emmaus Run Inn, part of the Bryn Mawr Running Company, in Emmaus. Owner Sean Linehan and his wife, Nicole, expressed to the President that they are considering further expansion plans to to increased demand for running and walking shoe brands, athletic gear, and accessories.

The President did ask the Linehans about site expansion, asking “When are you opening a store in Delaware,” according to a pool report. He also requested that the couple provide some freebies for the assembled press.

“Would you give them running shoes so they can take off?”

The party then made its way next door to South Mountain Cycle, which provides the community with an array of biking gear. Proprietor Chad Balliet, in his second term on the Emmaus borough council, and his wife Heather purchased the business with the aim to be a destination spot for the bicycling community.

Shapiro asked staff if they were selling more electric bikes than regular bikes. An employee responded that electric was really taking off.

The group continued to Nowhere Coffee Company, which is in the same building as South Mountain Cycle. The business was started in May 2021 with the help of two Small Business Administration loans during the Biden-Harris Administration. The owners – Juan and Lauren Vargas – credited these loans made possible by Biden, as well as money from their savings, for helping them start their small business.

Shapiro joked that the staff wouldn’t ask Biden to make his own espresso. Biden then asked staff if they could make a smoothie and took selfies and chatted with patrons while he waited for the smoothie, paying for it in cash.

Shapiro spoke with press after Biden’s visits.

“I could tell you that the effect of (the administration’s) policies that really benefit Pennsylvania in terms of investments in infrastructure, but we’re seeing small businesses improve. We’re seeing issues that he has focused on that give us the foundation for success.

“I think (Biden’s) got the opportunity in this campaign to lay out a clear contrast between work he has done and what he’s represented, and the absolute and total chaos that Donald Trump would bring to this country. I don’t know that Pennsylvanians want his chaos back in our living rooms every single day. And I don’t think Pennsylvanians want to have to worry about their democracy. I think Donald Trump represents a clear and present danger to our democracy.”

Earlier in the day, Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates held a gaggle aboard Air Force One and shared the reasons for the visit.

“Allentown, a historic steel town, was hollowed out by failed trickle-down economics. But thanks to Bidenomics and the President’s investing in American agenda, Allentown and communities nationwide are experiencing an economic comeback. As we saw yesterday, the President’s economic agenda is working with applications for new businesses reaching record highs 16 million new business applications have been filed in the last three years. We have created 26,000 new manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania under President Biden. Pennsylvania lost 23,000 manufacturing jobs under Donald Trump.

“Also, we are implementing one of the most impactful provisions of the President’s health savings plan, which is the most affordable repayment plan in U.S. history. Starting next month, borrowers enrolled and save who took out less than $12,000 in loans and have been in repayment for 10 years, we’ll get the remaining student debt canceled. This action will particularly help community college borrowers, low income borrowers and those struggling to repay their loans.”

Republicans were not impressed with Biden’s visit to the Lehigh Valley.

“With out of control crime and heartbreaking job cuts, Allentown is another unfortunate victim of Democrat control,” said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “Today, Biden will have to face the very people his policies hurt. In November, small business owners, like ones he meets today, will vote for economic relief and safety in our Republican nominee.”


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