Editor’s note: A reader sent in this request – if you are interested, contact Rick.
I’m trying to start an entrepreneur meet up in the Charleroi, PA area. Looking for people interested in joining me. I can be contacted at 724-992-8695.
Many Bethlehem businesses are being recruited to move to Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which at least one Bethlehem official finds distressing.
NIZ developers — chiefly City Center Lehigh Valley — have approached at least a half-dozen Bethlehem businesses in recent months, the merchants said. Lynn Collins Cunningham, the senior vice president for Bethlehem initiatives for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, said she’s disappointed by the recruitment effort — arguing it runs contrary to the stated goals of the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority.
“I remember ANIZDA Board Chairman Sy Traub saying that the purpose of the NIZ was to redevelop Allentown, not to hurt other communities. With the outreach to so many of Bethlehem’s downtown businesses, it doesn’t seem like that philosophy is being followed,” Cunningham said. “I have been and continue to be a big proponent of the NIZ, but not at the expense of Bethlehem.”
The owners of a burned-out McDonald’s in Ephrata plan to soon begin tearing down the old restaurant and building a new one that could be open by mid-July.
The McDonald’s at 140 N. Reading Road in the Cloister Shopping center was destroyed by a fire last June.
Lunch crowds in the Hardwood Cafe used to be packed with dozens of workers from the natural gas industry.
A lot of them were regulars. Lately, some familiar faces have disappeared.
“I would say it was right after the holidays that a lot of them were not coming back,” said Justin Trainor, who owns the restaurant in Penn. “The servers would say, ‘Oh, I haven’t seen so and so,’ and (the gas workers) would say, ‘Oh, they didn’t bring them back.’ ”
The falloff in customers has put a dent in Trainor’s business, which has benefited from the gas industry boom in Western Pennsylvania. But low gas prices have forced companies such as Rex Energy and XTO to pull back on new drilling, and the effects are beginning to ripple throughout the region’s economy.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Two more national brand eateries announced on Monday that they are closing their doors.
One week after its Hanover Township restaurant closed, and following two years of disappointing sales on a national level, Pizza Hut announced that its Kidder Street location also will shut down this week.
And Lone Star Steakhouse, part of a chain that features a Texas-inspired menu, will close its Kidder Street location this weekend. Employees at the restaurant confirmed Monday that the restaurant would close permanently on Saturday.
No one at Lone Star corporate offices in Plano, Texas, could be reached for comment.
Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Aspiring entrepreneurs can conveniently learn the nuts and bolts of starting a business thanks to a new, online program developed by Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) for the Pennsylvania Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives Collaborative. The program can be accessed online at BEresource.com.
“Starting Your Own Business” is a free, self-paced program through which learners explore five modules on topics such as business basics, financial and legal considerations, and marketing, as well as an in-depth case study. The final module of the program guides learners through the process of developing a customized business plan.
“In today’s market, entrepreneurial spirit is more than being a business owner. Employers increasingly expect employees to think entrepreneurially when developing ideas and solving problems,” shared Philip Needles, dean of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives at MCCC.
Learners who successfully finish the program and business plan will earn a proof of completion certificate and may be eligible to earn three credits at MCCC through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). Other colleges and universities may also evaluate the completed course and business plan for possible PLA credit toward one of their respective programs.
PLA is the process used by many institutions to determine if an individual’s prior educational, workforce and life experiences can be translated to college credits. Assessments can include evaluation of military or corporate training, review of portfolios, customized tests, and evaluation of completed non-credit courses, among others.
The “Starting Your Own Business” project is funded by a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, and is part of a joint initiative of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges to train and place underemployed and unemployed residents of the Commonwealth in high demand jobs.
The program is open source and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To learn more about the project and its designers, visit BEresouce.com or contact Denise Collins at 215-619-7313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Malvern, PA – Hoover Financial Advisors recently added Danielle Marinelli to its growing staff as a client service manager. Her appointment was announced by Peter K. Hoover, president and founder of HFA.
In her new position, Marinelli’s responsibilities include handling and processing client service issues, Schwab banking-related functions and client fund transfers. Prior to joining HFA, she was a business manager with Creative Financial Group in Newtown Square. Before that, she worked for Meridian Bank in the Financial Services division. Marinelli holds a degree in business and finance from West Chester University where she was a member of the Finance/Economics Society. She is a resident of Wayne.
HFA, which is headquartered on Moores Road in Malvern, was launched in 2005 by Hoover, who has been an independent financial advisor for more than 30 years. Since its inception, HFA has quadrupled in size. In addition to the client services manager, employees include financial planners, insurance and tax specialists, an investment analyst and information services manager. Two years ago, HFA was selected as 2012 Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more information, visit its website at petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.
Whitpain Township, PA – A new name, a new website, a social media campaign, and new ways for local businesses to meet and greet.
Those are just some of the perks now being offered by the former PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce, now known as of Wednesday as the PennSuburban Chamber of Greater Montgomery County.
“We’re really excited to keep our name, keep the logo, but add that geographic reference, so if we talk to folks who don’t know who we are, we can at least tell them where we are,” said CEO Pam Kelly.
Editor’s note: Just another reason to love Lancaster
Lancaster is known for its local foods and crafts, and in recent years, those traditional products have begun to be offered in a new way: online.
The Lancaster community on Thursday was recognized for taking business into the digital world.
It was named the “digital capital” of Pennsylvania and recipient of Google’s eCity designation.
For the second year, the internet search giant has recognized a community in each of the 50 states. Last year, Exton, in neighboring Chester County received the award.
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.”
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
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.
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.”
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.