Integral to Economic Development: Focus, Balance

three-industries

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, January 12, 2017

By Robin Fitzpatrick

The words “focus” and “balance” could very well relate to New Year’s resolutions, wellness, and health. These two key words also relate to economic development and many similar “resolutions” that will be presented tonight, at the 27th Annual Membership Meeting of the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC).

Tonight presents the opportunity to summarize our accomplishments, successes, and future initiatives on 2017’s horizon. Some of the greatest economic development successes we’ve accomplished over the past year include identifying a shared focus with community partners and implementing ground-breaking new partnerships and programs carrying us into 2017.

A healthy community provides something for everyone—a balance of development and conservation as well as industrial and agricultural production, municipal roads and federal highways, homes and greenspace. No one organization can create such a balance; Adams County’s balance is a result of ongoing conversations, partnerships, and planning. We typically look at our role in the growth and well- being of our community through a three-dimensional lens.  We don’t often stop to consider what our efforts are doing to the many other groups with similar interests.  Are we working with or against our neighbors?  The best explanation or description thereof is when we position economic development against preservation and conservation.  It’s as though we’ve figuratively placed them on opposite ends of a spectrum.  But that is our uneducated or frightened mind that encourages us to do that.  What I’ve learned is that the spectrum is not linear, not 180 degrees; but circular, a whole 360 degrees to consider.

ACEDC was proud to play a part in numerous 2016 Adams County success stories, and we look forward to reaping additional successes in 2017 from seeds that were planted in 2016. Specific partnerships formally launched by ACEDC in 2016 include a strategic county planning committee in conjunction with Destination Gettysburg, the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development. Additionally, ACEDC now offers a workforce development program, ACT WorkKeys, in partnership with HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. ACEDC is also very proud to implement economic development through tax exempt financing via the creation of the General Authority, as a result of the vision created by the Board of Commissioners—Randy Phiel, Jim Martin, and Marty Qually.

Accomplishments in economic development are shared with each and every person with whom we’ve met, whether it was to discuss business financing, tax incentives, or any of the additional services our nonprofit offers to the community.

Economic benchmarks achieved by ACEDC and partners include:

  • $29.7 million+ in total public investment via low-interest loans and grants from DCED and $80 million+ in total private investment via local commercial financing.
  • The facilitation of 142 low-interest business loans since 1996—56 within the manufacturing industry, 45 within the agriculture sector, and 41 to businesses within the tourism/hospitality industry.
  • Since 2005, ACEDC has helped create 591 new jobs in Adams County while retaining 1,528.

How can we help your business grow in 2017? Contact us today at 717-334-0042 for a free consultation. Our nonprofit organization is here to support partnerships and businesses of all sizes and types for the economic benefit of Adams County.

Robin Fitzpatrick serves as President of ACEDC. For additional information, see acedc.org, and follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Adams County business news.

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