Forbes Magazine Ranks Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 8th Best Place To Raise A Family

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Diamond City Partnership Executive Director Larry Newman said Friday he wishes he could be more enthusiastic about the Forbes Magazine ranking that put the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton metropolitan area as the eighth best place in the U.S. to raise a family.

“It’s difficult to get enthusiastic about these types of rankings because they come out a lot,” Newman said. “And they’re becoming increasingly more frequent. But don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that we’re being recognized in a positive way.”

The Forbes list had this to say about the region:

“One of the lowest median family incomes ($42,000) among U.S. metro areas, but crime is low, commutes are short and housing is affordable (87 percent of area homes are affordable at the median income level).

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1337182/Region-gets-high-praise-from-Forbes

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#ARTS: Mobile Technology For Dummies

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

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

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council will host,#Arts: Mobile Technology for Dummies on Wednesday April 30th, 2014 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m at the Butz Corporate Center, 840 Hamilton St., Allentown PA 18101

This interactive session focuses on the adaptation and implementation of mobile technology to help tell the story of your brand, expand your marketing efforts, and grow your sales and business. To hit the ground running, bring your laptop, tablet, and smartphone to this hands-on seminar. Refreshments will be provided.

The member fee is $25; nonmembers pay $45. Tickets are available at www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org 

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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport Gets Funds To Aid In Attracting Carriers

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PITTSTON TWP. — For the second time in 11 years, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is the recipient of a federal grant to entice airlines to offer new destinations or to increase the number of flights to current destinations.

The $575,000 federal Small Community Air Service Development grant will be used to encourage airlines to add flights to business and leisure destinations that are among the most requested by passengers.

Airport Director Barry J. Centini said that on the leisure side, he will look to add Myrtle Beach, S.C., Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as destinations. For business travelers, Pittsburgh and Washington are the targets.

Those destinations seem to be the ones many customers request or wind up taking connecting flights to get to when they embark from the local airport. He said the funds also could be used to entice airlines already operating out of Avoca to add additional flights to current destinations such as Atlanta.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1208151/Airport-gets-funds-to-aid-in-attracting-carriers

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McDonald’s Fighting To Be ‘Relevant’ To Customers

English: McDonalds' sign in Harlem.

English: McDonalds’ sign in Harlem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s is losing customers, as the world’s biggest hamburger chain struggles to attract diners with its higher-priced sandwiches and new offerings like Mighty Wings.

“We’ve lost some of our customer relevance,” CEO Don Thompson conceded Thursday on a call with analysts.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company reported disappointing sales for its fourth quarter, as fewer customers visited its established restaurants. Guest counts at those locations fell nearly 2 percent globally and 1.6 percent in the U.S. in 2013, according to a regulatory filing. And McDonald’s expects some challenges to persist this year.

To win back traffic, Thompson said the chain will focus on speedier service, better value offerings and raising “awareness around McDonald’s as a kitchen and a restaurant” that prepares high-quality food. It’s expanding prep tables and plans to beef up staff during peak hours for better execution. It is also bringing in a new U.S. marketing chief, Deborah Wahl, formerly with homebuilder PulteGroup and automakers Chrysler and Ford.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140123_ap_bf88b84942524b098876eaadaaceb5c9.html#O7wv3H47Mq1BqTbV.99

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Bill Would Promote Products ‘Made In PA’

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG — Would you be more likely to buy a product if it were labeled “Made in Pennsylvania?”

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has introduced a bill to create a “Made in PA” program, complete with a logo and website to encourage consumers to purchase products made close to home.

A similar program, to identify and promote Pennsylvania agricultural products, began in 2004, called the PA Preferred program.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2013/12/16/Bill-would-promote-products-Made-in-PA/stories/201312160060#ixzz2neriTSq7

The 10 Most, Least Respected U.S. Brands

Logo of Campbell's Soup Company

Logo of Campbell’s Soup Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The consulting firm CoreBrand did a report on the country’s most- and least-respected brands, and there’s good news for several Pennsylvania and New Jersey businesses.

Pennsylvania chocolate-maker Hershey’s is the third-most-respected brand in the nation, CoreBrand found.  Also making the most-respected list were Johnson & Johnson, headquartered in New Brunswick, N.J., and Campbell’s Soup, headquartered in Camden.

However, Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid didn’t fare as well, making the least-respected list.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillylists/The-10-most-least-respected-brands.html#GMtoLqXXpcd6fYmM.99

James Street Improvement District, Lancaster Alliance Join Forces

James Pirrung 03:48, 12 April 2007 . . JaMikeP...

James Pirrung 03:48, 12 April 2007 . . JaMikePA . . 2,304×1,728 (5.97 MB) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good organizations evolve to meet changing times.

Three years ago, the Lancaster Alliance scaled back the broad reach that had established the city’s security camera network and helped find a home for the Lancaster Barnstormers.

In an era of diminishing resources, it would not duplicate efforts being done by other groups.  The alliance board chose to work behind the scenes with a focus on city public safety, finances and forging partnerships with other organizations.

Six years ago, it was the James Street Improvement District that changed.  The northwest city group expanded its reach to take in the duties of the Downtown Investment District under a contractual arrangement.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/864115_James-Street-Improvement-District–Lancaster-Alliance-join-forces.html#ixzz2X4k57mp4

Touting Lehigh Valley’s Benefits, To Locals

When he took over the region’s main economic development agency last year, CEO Don Cunningham promised to refocus the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. on its primary goals, especially marketing the Lehigh Valley.

That apparently includes marketing to the people living here, especially business leaders.

LVEDC rolled out a sweeping billboard campaign this week designed to promote the Lehigh Valley to the Lehigh Valley and its business leaders.

Or wait, just Lehigh Valley. Drop the “the.”

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-lehigh-valley-billboards-20130612,0,3517196.story

Tourism Officials Hope Casting A Wider Nets Brings More Tourists To Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The county’s tourism promotion board will soon launch a multifaceted campaign it hopes will catch the eye of as many as 100 million people.

It hopes many of of them will come here and spend money.

The Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to diversify the $1.6 million it will spend on advertising this year.

In addition to a television commercial that will soon be aired in the Philadelphia and New York markets, the visitors bureau also will buy digital and static billboards to reinforce the same message.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/842667_Tourism-officials-hope-casting-a-wider-nets-brings-more-tourists-to-county.html#ixzz2Rc8YwZ9q

For Sale: Bridges, In As-Is Condition

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

If you believe one road’s trash can be another’s treasure, PennDOT has a bridge to sell you.

It’s on Christman Road, connecting Greenwich and Richmond townships over the Saucony Creek.

The 117-year-old span, known as Hummel’s Bridge, was a pioneer in its time.  It had pony truss construction that ushered in an era of similar bridges.

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission consider it “historically and technologically significant.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=471598

Abundance Of Attractions Makes Lancaster County Marketable

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster County, Kathleen Frankford contends, is no one-trick pony.

“It’s probably the most diverse destination in the country,” she said.

Sure, it is known for its Amish and the outlet shopping that attracts people by the busload.  But, there is also live entertainment, dining and lodging.

And, “within each of those categories, you have such a wide range of offerings,” Frankford said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/807662_Abundance-of-attractions-makes-Lancaster-County-marketable.html#ixzz2JEbUTqMC

Lancaster County Convention Center Has Good Month, But Future Cloudy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster County Convention Center finances had a good month in November.

Reserve funds topped $5.6 million for the public meeting center.  And center officials believe this month will also end well.

That means the 20 percent stake of the Lancaster County hotel room tax which has been diverted to the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority will once again be paid to the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.

That money, which totals about $900,000 annually, has been going to the center authority since spring when the reserves required under the center’s bond indenture fell below $5.25 million.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/795319_Lancaster-County-Convention-Center-has-good-month–but-future-cloudy.html#ixzz2FhIxkHdZ

Downtown Inc Makes Move For Visibility In York City

English: Citizens Bank on the central Square, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Say goodbye to elevator rides and treks down a long green hallway Downtown Inc.

The nonprofit is relocating its office to a former bank building just around the corner from Continental Square. The move means Downtown Inc will have a visible presence in the York City business district that it promotes.

“It puts us right in front of our constituents,” said Director Sonia Huntzinger.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/news/ci_20053959

New Digitally Based Record Label Formed In Harrisburg

A new digitally based record label has been formed in Harrisburg by three friends with a passion for music and a desire to help local talent succeed.  Rock Paper Records will use the most current technology, including social media, to help their artists achieve notoriety and success.

Rock Paper Records offers management, development and viral/standard marketing strategies for their clients.  The trio brings 15 years of marketing, band management, operations, branding and tour management to the table.  This twenty something group, Jay Tran, Logan Betz and Sean Kunkle, are self-professed “music nerds” who love music and want to help “the little guy/gal” find success in the music industry.

Providing the best results at the lowest cost, having fun, helping the community and being environmentally conscious is the mantra for Rock Paper Records.

If you are a musician who would like to take your career to the next level, Rock Paper Records wants to help you get there.  Their goal is to get you to your musical goals!

Rock Paper Records is located at:

106 Calder Street, Harrisburg, PA 17012

Voice:  717-756-9890

Internet: http://www.rockpaperrecords.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/RockPaperRecords?v=info#info_edit_sections

Email and submissions:  info@rockpaperrecords.com / submissions@rockpaperrecords.com

Lancaster Mayor’s Office Of Special Events (MOOSE) Addresses Lansdale Economic Development Committee

The Lancaster Mayor’s office has a Special Events division.  Their mission is to “host, create and produce special events for the City of Lancaster, promote and market them, and act as a resource to others planning special events”.  MOOSE exists to create excitement and enthusiasm about Lancaster City.

Lancaster hosts seven yearly events for its citizens and visitors, which are a joint effort between MOOSE and the James Street Improvement District.  Lancaster successfully turned around their downtown by identifying an Improvement District and then expanding it.  Lansdale’s goal was to learn from Lancaster’s successes and adapt them to fit Lansdale.

(HINT) Since these people take their show on the road, Pottstown should invite them here and see what they have to say.  Lancaster’s vibrant downtown is the envy of most cities and towns in this state!

MOOSE’s staff:

Jennifer Baker, Director, jbaker@cityoflancasterpa.com
Valerie Paige, Special Events Manager, vpaige@cityoflancasterpa.com

Mayor’s Office of Special Events

120 North Duke Street

Lancaster, PA 17608-1599

(717) 291-4758

MOOSE website:  http://www.lancastercityevents.com/index.html

New Jersey Casino Deregulation Bill Eliminates Jobs – Saves Casinos Money

Christie in 2008

Image via Wikipedia

Governor Chris Christie signed a new casino deregulation bill which is aimed at bringing New Jersey into line with the rest of the county.  The outdated New Jersey regulations were costing casinos a great deal of money by requiring round-the-clock inspectors at the states eleven casinos.  The original laws were written back in 1978!

80% of casino inspectors are being laid off on March 25th.  More may follow.  The Division of Gaming Enforcement is taking over these duties.  Gamblers will now either phone Trenton or fill out a complaint form instead of tracking down the inspector on duty.

The new regulations also cut minimum staffing levels for casino security officers, surveillance personnel and pit bosses.  Casinos will now have more money to spend on marketing.  With states like Pennsylvania adding casinos, New Jersey gambling revenues are down.

Blogger Announces Scholarship For Pottstown Entrepreneurs

December 15, 2009                                       Sue Repko, Positively!Pottstown blogger

                                                                             (609) 658-9043

Positively!Pottstown, a community blog dedicated to promoting Pottstown, is offering two $100 scholarships for an upcoming Small Business Workshop Series taught by members of Pottstown SCORE. Positively Pottstown scholarships are available to anyone who is already running a business in Pottstown or who is planning to open a business in Pottstown.

“I wanted to offer something specific to the small business entrepreneur who is trying to make it in Pottstown,” said Sue Repko, founder of the community blog that promotes Pottstown. “I guess it’s a holiday gift to a couple of deserving business owners to start 2011 off on the right foot.”

SCORE is the Service Corps of Retired Executives, a nonprofit association sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Association. Course instructors are experienced practitioners who teach practical, real-life skills and strategies for those interested in starting a business or learning how to run their business better. By attending a SCORE workshop, entrepreneurs will also be introduced to a network of supportive professionals who want to see you succeed. “The folks at SCORE have been great to work with. They’re such a valuable resource, and they’re right in town,” added Repko.

The next workshop series will be held on January 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2011. Registration begins at 6:45 pm for all workshops, which then run from 7-9:30 pm. The course includes a manual on preparing a business plan.

January 10 – Sources of Information, and the Tax and Legal Implications of the Different Legal Structures

January 17 – The Business Plan and The Business Loan

January 24 – Sources of Market Information and Marketing

January 31 – It’s All About Profit 

For more detail, visit SCORE’s website at www.pottstownscore.org.

Please note: The January workshops will be held at the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce Conference Center, 152 E. High Street, Suite 360, Pottstown, PA 19464

To be considered for a scholarship, please fill out the application below or visit www.PositivelyPtown.com. Applicants must also write a few paragraphs about their current business or business plans, and include some information about their past business/work experience. They do not need to submit a résumé.

POSITIVELY!POTTSTOWN

SCORE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

January 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2011

Positively!Pottstown $100 scholarships for SCORE workshops are available to anyone who is running a business in Pottstown or planning to open a business in Pottstown.

Please type or print clearly:

Name:___________________________      Phone:_____________________

Address:__________________________    Mobile: ____________________

City:_____________________________  E-mail: _____________________

State: ________________ Zip:________    Website: ____________________

Business Name:____________________    Phone:______________________

Address:__________________________   Mobile: _____________________

City:_____________________________  E-mail: _____________________

State: ________________ Zip:_______      Website: ____________________

The following information must accompany the application:

□ Write 2-3 paragraphs about your current business or your business plans; include some information about your past business/work experience. You do NOT need to submit a résumé.

□ Is your business or proposed business located in the Borough of Pottstown?  Circle one: Yes   No

□ Would you be willing to be quoted in future press releases about SCORE workshops or the Positively!Pottstown scholarship?  Please note: This is NOT required to receive the  scholarship.  Circle one: Yes   No

□ I certify that the information provided in this application is true & complete.

Signature________________________  Date ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________ 

Send to:

Positively Pottstown Blog

P.O. Box 1509

Pottstown, PA 19464

Or  

PositivelyPottstown@gmail.com

Must be postmarked or received via e-mail by: December 28, 2010

(Scholarships are non-transferable. Recipients will receive a certificate good for the January 2011 Small Business Workshop Series, including manual.)

York City Making Improvements To Market Downtown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Image via Wikipedia

One year ago, Roger Brooks visited York City and came up with 33 recommendations how downtown York could market itself and attract people.  This idea should sound familiar to Pottstown residents after a ULI study and recommendations were made for Pottstown.

What did York do with these 33 recommendations?  Do you suppose they ignored them or possibly took an expert at their word and went about trying to carry out these ideas?  I know, sounds pretty zany, doesn’t it!

Mr. Brooks gave York a 3 – 5 year time frame to make the changes.  Like Pottstown, York has a downtown entity similar to PDIDA, called Downtown Inc.  Their Executive Director, Sonia Huntzinger reports they have completed 18 out of 33 recommendations in the first year!

Some of these recommendations, Pottstown has already completed (mainly the cosmetic ones).  One unique recommendation, completed in October, was a “best of” guide.  Downtown Inc. released a Downtown Destination guide which promotes downtown York!

Brooks recommended that York brand itself as “America’s Industrial Art and Design Capital”.  The York County Economic Development Corp. has developed “Creativity Unleashed” to support this effort.  The idea is to attract young professionals and artists to York along with tourism.  A logo was developed to be used by organizations and companies in their advertising to help promote this rebranding.

How refreshing to see that the county and the city work together to achieve these goals.  How refreshing to see the vigor with which York is embracing these recommendations for positive change.

If you would like to check out Downtown Inc.’s website site, click here: http://downtownyorkpa.com/

To view their 25 page Downtown Destination brochure, click here:

http://downtownyorkpa.com/storage/Destination%20Guide%20ALL%20Pages.pdf

To view Creativity Unleashed info, click here:

http://downtownyorkpa.com/creativity-unleashed/

If this doesn’t inspire you, check your pulse!

Positively Pottstown Provides Pottstown Small Businesses With SCORE Scholarships

Three cheers for Positively Pottstown blogger Sue Repko for her donation of two SCORE business seminar scholarships for any new or existing business in Pottstown!  SCORE is located in the New York Plaza building on High Street.  Attending these workshops would be invaluable in helping any business in Pottstown succeed!  Thanks for walking the talk Sue!!!  You can click on a link for Positively Pottstown on the right side of your screen under Big 5 Blogroll.

Read the full store here:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/articles/2010/12/10/business/srv0000010248120.txt?viewmode=fullstory