(Updated) Potential Pottstown Airport Operator Works From Limerick

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — Two proposals for becoming the next fixed base operator of the Pottstown Municipal Airport came in last week and borough council will likely approve the one from the company that already operates out of a nearby airport in Limerick.

Both Fare Share Ltd. of Limerick and Weston Inc. of Barto submitted proposals to succeed TNT Air Inc. as the Pottstown airport’s operator, council learned Wednesday at its committee-of-the-whole meeting.

Fare Share, which runs a pilot school and a charter company at Heritage Field in Limerick, received the borough staff’s recommendation to take over duties at the Pottstown Municipal Airport.

“They put together a pretty strong proposal,” Assistant Borough Manager Erica Weekley told council. “We ranked them first.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140806/limerick-airport-operator-likely-to-add-duties-at-pottstown-municipal

Pottstown’s Juan Carlos Restaurant Leading The Way In PHL17 ‘Hot List’ Competition

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN – Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine has been holding a steady lead in the online phl17 Hot List competition for two weeks, displacing a bigger corporate restaurant along the way,

The phl17 Hot List is in its eighth year and features 164 categories of hot spots to go in the area – everything from arts and entertainment, to fitness and restaurants.

It’s in this last category that Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine is making its stand; currently in first place for “Best Mexican Restaurant” and second place for “Best BYOB Restaurant.”

“The first day I was number one in both categories. I was shocked but pleasantly surprised,” chef/owner Ron R. Garza said in an interview with The Mercury. “Then I look two weeks later and we’re still solid.”

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/pottstowns-juan-carlos-restaurant-leading-the-way-phl17-hot-list-competition/1?utm_source=ubnreadmore&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=ubnreadmore

LEHIGH VALLEY IS HOME TO 1,405 ARTS BUSINESSES THAT EMPLOY 7,714 PEOPLE, ACCORDING TO A NEW ANALYSIS OF DUN & BRADSTREET DATA BY AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS

Arts Industry Comprises 3.8% of All Businesses and 2.3% Percent of the Employment in the Lehigh Valley region

Lehigh Valley, PA – A new research study published by Americans for the Arts uses statistical data to quantify the scope and economic importance of the arts in the Lehigh Valley region, or Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties. The Creative Industries are defined as arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy.

The Creative Industries in the Lehigh Valley include 1,405 nonprofit and for-profit businesses, employing 7,714 employees—comprising 3.8% of all businesses and 2.3% of the people they employ, according to the Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts in the Lehigh Valley report. The findings are based on an analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data, the most comprehensive and trusted source for business information in the United States. The study was conducted by Americans for the Arts—the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education—and includes analyses of 11,000 unique political and geographic regions in the U.S. The data are current as of January 2014.

The analysis demonstrates a larger-than-expected prevalence of arts business establishments, while the mapping analysis shows that these businesses are broadly distributed and thriving throughout the Lehigh Valley and not, as is sometimes believed, strictly in the downtown areas.

“The scope and numbers of the arts businesses represented in the Creative Industries Study reinforce the importance of the arts to our local economy and quality of life.” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “The arts are about jobs, jobs, and more jobs and deserve a seat at the economic development table.”

Arts Industry Resilient

Nationwide, the Creative Industries reports reveal that arts businesses are formidable: 750,453 businesses involved in the creation or distribution of the arts employ 3.1 million people. This represents 4.2% of all U.S. businesses and 2.1% of all U.S. employees, respectively. One of the remarkable national findings from the research, which dates back to 2004, is that arts businesses and employment have maintained this share of businesses and employment during the nation’s up and down economic cycles—demonstrating that the Creative Industries are as resilient and durable as other sectors of the economy.

“The Creative Industries reports are powerful tools for understanding what a major force arts and culture businesses are for the economy—not only nationally, but also locally, in every community across our country,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “These reports should be in every legislator’s office and every city hall, reminding community leaders that the arts are key drivers of the local economy, new employers, jobs, and improvement of the quality of life through their work. The Creative Industries say one thing loud and clear: the arts mean business!”

ABOUT CREATIVE INDUSTRIES REPORTS

The Creative Industries reports are created by Americans for the Arts using Dun & Bradstreet business data. Downloadable reports for the nation’s 435 federal legislative districts, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 3,144 counties, and 7,400 state legislative districts, along with national comparative reports, can be freely downloaded at http://www.AmericansForTheArts.org/CreativeIndustries.

About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is a nonprofit 501(c)3, membership-supported organization that serves as a regional advocate and ambassador for the Lehigh Valley arts community. Its mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations and the community. Through collaborative partnerships, it continues to provide access to the local arts community through education, research, professional development seminars and cooperative marketing initiatives.

Festival Prep Kicks Into High Gear

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Setup for large events like the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and Philipsburg Heritage Days can create nail-biting situations.

Heritage Days Chairman Jim Pollock watched several years ago as a trailer traveled down Front Street facing the wrong direction. No damage was done, but it could have ended in disaster.

“He was a new vendor, and when he first pulled in, he would have been serving toward the sidewalk instead of the street,” Pollock said. “We tried to tell him how to pull out and come back, but he came down wrong and could have taken out several trailers.”

That was a challenge, Pollock said, “so we have to be clear in our direction, especially for new vendors each year when everyone wants to hook up at the same time with over 100 trailers. You have to keep your composure.”

Going It Alone: America’s Top 15 Hubs For Solo Entrepreneurs

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  A big congrats to Allentown, Pennsylvania’s third largest city and metropolitan area, for being the only Pennsylvania city on the list.  Big things are going on in the Lehigh Valley, making us Pennsylvania Proud :).

Solopreneurs (a mash-up of the words “solo” and “entrepreneurs”) may freelance, consult, coach, offer services or sell products. The defining characteristic is that whatever they do, they do it without the help of a single employee. And that means they do everything, from product design to marketing to customer service, whether it’s fun or not.

$1 Trillion in Revenue
No matter what they make, sell or do, solopreneurs are becoming more common. In 2012, the latest year for which data is available, the U.S. economy had a total of 22.7 million solo businesses, a gain of almost 245,000 from 2011. Those businesses had total revenue of $1 trillion (yep, trillion) in 2012, up from $41.3 billion in 2011.

These statistics made us wonder. Where is solopreneurship especially popular? Where is it boosting the local economy? Where are solopreneurs reaping the most financial rewards?

See the list and read more: http://blog.sparefoot.com/6384-top-places-for-solo-entrepreneurs/

Sanatoga K-Mart Store Signs Announce Its Closing

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SANATOGA PA – The K-Mart discount department store at 2200 E. High St., which occupies the largest retail building in Sanatoga village and has operated there continuously for decades, will close its doors Aug. 31 (2014), a store management employee confirmed Saturday (June 21).

Read more: http://sanatogapost.com/2014/06/22/sanatoga-k-mart-store-signs-announce-closing/

‘Devastating For Our Industry’: Pig Virus Affects Local Farmers, Market Prices, Grange Fair

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Charlie Hall sells pigs, customers never set foot on his Unionville-area farm.

“We actually meet them half a mile away and transfer the pigs directly from one trailer to another,” Hall said.

The threat of a growing pig disease has local farmers embracing biosecurity measures to protect their farms and livelihoods.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, is pushing up pork prices and prompting action on the national level.

Nearby Businesses Can’t Escape Effects As PNC Tower Goes Up In Downtown Pittsburgh

Locator map with the Central Business District...

Locator map with the Central Business District neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a $400 million project to build PNC Financial Services Group’s new corporate headquarters nears the midpoint, surrounding business owners are anxiously awaiting completion of Downtown’s biggest skyscraper in more than a quarter-century.

Some look forward to an anticipated boost in business. Others long for their misery to end.

“It’s tough to complain about progress, but this project has definitely been a struggle for us,” said Rob Kania, owner of Metropolitan Preschool & Nursery, which runs a Fifth Avenue facility in the shadow of the project.

Most agree The Tower at PNC Plaza will become a jewel in the city’s skyline. PNC hopes it will be the world’s most environmentally friendly office building.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6233934-74/pnc-project-tower#ixzz34AFlxv00
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Rental Management Company Owner Charged With Theft

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA – A man who spent thousands of dollars renovating a High Street building to house a business now faces 41 counts of theft after allegedly withholding money from his clients to keep that business afloat.

Brian Warren Patrick, 35, of Delaware, owes 10 clients more than $30,500 in security deposits and rental income after he closed his business Affinity Property Management & Rental LLC in May of last year.

Patrick, in partnership with his wife Lori, managed rental properties in the region from their High Street office.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140601/rental-management-company-owner-charged-with-theft

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Florida Investor Buys 7 Office Buildings At Parkway Center, Promises Upgrades

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An investor from Florida who now owns seven of the 11 office buildings at Parkway Center in Green Tree says he wants to bring new life to the “tired buildings” there and work with other owners to upgrade the entire complex.

“We plan to begin upgrades and improvements in July,” said Robbie Oppenheim, Pittsburgh-born president of Market Street Real Estate Partners, who on Wednesday acquired the buildings with partner JDI Realty of Chicago from PWC Pitt LLC, headed by Lee Baierl.

Oppenheim declined to reveal the purchase price for the seven buildings — numbers 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10. The buildings were listed for $49 million.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6196864-74/buildings-building-center#ixzz33DaYcHoG
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Home Values In Philadelphia Region Tumble, Analysis Shows

Full recovery continued to elude the Philadelphia region’s residential real estate market in the first quarter of this year, as the value of a typical home fell 4.9 percent from the last three months of 2013.

University of Pennsylvania economist Kevin Gillen, who analyzed data from 11 area counties for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, said Tuesday that with the latest decline, average house prices in the region are “barely above the post-bubble bottom they hit two years ago.”

While sales of 11,000 houses regionally was 10 percent above the same quarter of 2013, the numbers are 41 percent below what Gillen considers the “normal historic average.”

Suburban price declines were greater than the city’s during the quarter – 5.3 percent versus 4 percent, Gillen said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/20140528_Home_values_in_region_tumble__analysis_shows.html#xlQrIJ1HYPRfOJyx.99

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Fresh Start Planned For Blighted York City Building

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A York City businessman plans to gut a blighted downtown building to make room for a future restaurant.

Elliott Weinstein, president and CEO of Weinstein Realty Advisors, will soon be the owner of 45 W. Market St., the former Griffith-Smith menswear store.

York City’s Redevelopment Authority gave the $2,000 sale the green light Wednesday. Technically, the sale is not final until the paperwork is signed and money exchanged.

Weinstein said he’s hoping to take advantage of York County’s Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, or LERTA, program, which is designed to incentivize economic development by stretching property taxes on improvements over 10 years.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25811017/fresh-start-planned-blighted-york-city-building

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SEPTA Aims For Happier Riders, Unveils 5-Year Plan

SEPTA logo

SEPTA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With increased state funding and stable ridership, SEPTA officials are unveiling a five-year plan to attract more riders, repair crumbling infrastructure, and improve customer satisfaction.

Having emerged from last year’s doomsday scenarios into a hopeful era of what SEPTA planners call “innovation, integration and renewal,” the officials on Tuesday outlined a blueprint for the future that will be presented to the agency’s board for approval in July.

Meeting with transit users and supporters at SEPTA’s Center City headquarters, Byron Comati, director of strategic planning, said legislative approval late last year of a $2.3 billion boost in statewide transportation funding allows SEPTA to plan more boldly.

By 2018, the additional state funding will mean a boost of about $400 million annually for SEPTA to repair bridges, buy new vehicles and upgrade stations and equipment.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140521_SEPTA_aims_for_happier_riders__unveils_5-year_plan.html#erJVxPXXeAuIyUU6.99

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Tacony Hopes Fresh Face-Lift Lures Flocks Of Folks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SCOTT DeGIRALOMO, owner of Computer Guy on Torresdale Avenue near Disston, said he’s very happy with the new, huge “Computer Guy” letters that light up in cool blue across the former Tacony post office that now houses his high-tech services business.

“They replaced my hanging disaster of an old sign outside that was about to fall and crush somebody,” DeGiralomo said dryly.

Like Bull’s Eye Dart Supplies next door, Computer Guy is one of 15 businesses along Torresdale Avenue that got a major face-lift, thanks to the Tacony Community Development Corp. and its business corridor manager, Alex Balloon.

“Alex is our general and our cheerleader,” DeGiralomo said, smiling. “I see him marching around here, talking up Tacony’s positives to store owners until he rah-rahs us into being a team.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140519_Tacony_hopes_fresh_face-lift_lures_flocks_of_folks.html#k3dFxEk0DoZZQWY6.99

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New Partnership Between Revs, York City Gives Employees Incentive To Live Downtown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Eric Menzer’s 27 years of living in York City, he said there’s never been a better time to have a downtown business.

As the York Revolution’s president and general manager, Menzer said he and the 7-year-old baseball team aren’t going anywhere.

And he wants the same for his employees.

That’s why the team partnered with the city to offer its employees incentives for buying homes downtown.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25775906/new-partnership-between-revs-york-city-gives-employees

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Best & Worst Cities To Work For A Small Business

Editor’s note:  Several Pennsylvania metro areas fared well on the list.  Pittsburgh (26), Philadelphia (33) and Lancaster (38).

Continuing WalletHub’s theme of small business-related releases in honor of National Small Business Week (May 12-16), this study sought to identify the cities that are the most and least friendly to employees of small companies.

There is no shortage of commentary on the best and worst cities to start a small business, after all, and with such companies employing about 47% of the private workforce in this country, paying more than 40% of the private payroll, and creating more than 60% of the new jobs added over the past 20 years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it bears asking what opportunities exist for the roughly 12.3% of people who are currently either unemployed or marginally attached to the labor force, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More specifically, WalletHub’s used 10 different metrics – ranging from net small business job growth and industry variety to hours worked and average wages for new hires – to evaluate the state of small business in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.  We then ranked the cities based on their overall attractiveness for job seekers.

Read more: http://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-to-work-for-a-small-business/3768/

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U.S. Small Business Confidence Back At Pre-Recession Levels

WASHINGTON – U.S. small business sentiment jumped to its highest level in 6-1/2 years in April, which should bolster hopes of an acceleration in economic activity in the second quarter.

The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.8 points to 95.2 last month, the highest reading since October 2007, when the economy was on the cusp of its worst recession since the 1930s.

“April’s reading took the index to a post-recession high and a recovery high level,” the NFIB said in a statement.

It adds to data such as employment and surveys on the manufacturing and services industries that have shown the economy regaining steam early in the second quarter after growth braked abruptly in the first three months of the year.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/small_business/US_small_business_confidence_back_at_pre-recession_levels.html#pVIe8UF3EDjeX4HO.99

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Pittsburgh Buys iPhones For Building Inspectors In Effort To Streamline Operations

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brian Ralston used to arrive at the office with 15 or more voicemails waiting for him from Pittsburgh residents, business owners and contractors.

As an inspector with the city Bureau of Building Inspection, he spends his days in the field, navigating among property inspections.

“If you didn’t have my personal cellphone, you had to call and leave a message,” he said.

In mid-April, the city rolled out iPhones for BBI inspectors, a purchase intended to speed up operations and provide better service, said BBI acting chief Maura Kennedy.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6087171-74/inspectors-ralston-bbi#ixzz31VnAmBbf
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Marcellus Can Help Boost Pennsylvania Steel

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS re...

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS report showing extent of Marcellus Formation shale (in gray shading). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania is home to the highest-producing natural-gas shale play in the United States, and Marcellus Shale wells continue to break records. During the last six months of 2013, the commonwealth produced 1.7 trillion cubic feet of gas, or an average of 9.2 billion cubic feet per day – enough to satisfy about an eighth of the nation’s daily natural-gas demand.

The continued safe and responsible development of Marcellus Shale natural gas presents a great opportunity to create new jobs and provide economic prosperity in the commonwealth.

With this prosperity, Pennsylvania is taking center stage in helping the United States achieve energy independence and reduce our need to rely on foreign energy sources. In addition to capital investments and job creation in energy, the development of the Marcellus Shale has the potential to greatly benefit Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector, in particular the steel industry. Perhaps the single most important product used to ensure the safe development of this abundant natural resource is high-quality steel pipe.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140512_Marcellus_can_help_boost_Pa__steel.html#MY1F1cQI3Vhy9OZH.99

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Downtown Phillipsburg Homes And Businesses Starting To See Improvements From Tax Credit Program

Map of New Jersey highlighting Warren County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Warren County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHILLIPSBURG, NJ – A $1 million investment has started trickling into the heart of downtown Phillipsburg.

The area from the black bridge on South Main Street to Stockton Street, between the Delaware River and Sitgreaves Street, is the target of the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program.

John Korp, associate director of the Northwest New Jersey Community Action Program, said people from more than 20 businesses and 30 owner-occupied homes have shown interest or submitted paperwork to enroll. Business owners need to identify what needs they have and may be eligible for reimbursement for curb-appeal, lighting and security upgrades.

Phillipsburg Downtown Association President Joe Little called it a “fantastic” opportunity for the businesses in the area. Many of the shop owners have a to-do list of improvements they had to back burner because of the economy, he said in an email last week.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/phillipsburg/index.ssf/2014/05/downtown_phillipsburg_homes_an.html

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