Advocating for a More Robust Business Environment

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

By Duane Kanagy, Manager of Communications/Community Services, Adams Electric Cooperative

We have been asked why Adams Electric Cooperative supports the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (now part of the Adams Economic Alliance). Here is why.

Part of what the Alliance is doing right now is talking to local municipal officials, and anyone else who will listen, about the economic profile of Adams County. They, and other business organizations, are advocating for a strategic plan that identifies the strengths of this area and outlines ways that will increase economic opportunities for all ages and skill sets.

This profile indicates many challenges facing economic growth in this area, including the lack of available business sites, failing infrastructure and the overall less-than-positive business climate in the state. Here are several more:

  • The mindset toward economic development, preservation and growth and development are in conflict.
  • The lengthy and costly development review and approval process hinders investment in the community.
  • Code enforcement activities vary and standards are inconsistently enforced.
  • Adams County is becoming a retirement-oriented and workforce bedroom community instead of a growing business community that offers opportunities for younger people.
  • The lack of balance in the tax base, both in overall composition and geographically around the county, is hampering investment in infrastructure needed to generate additional investment.

Despite those challenges, the Alliance is working hard to improve the business climate in Adams County. By encouraging new businesses to open their doors and by providing support to those businesses that are already here, our local economy will improve and we all will benefit.

When it comes to growing the economic opportunities in this county, we can feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face OR we can advocate for a more robust business environment fueled by smart planning that benefits everyone.

This month’s Adams Economic Alliance column is provided by Duane Kanagy, Manager of Communications/Community Services for Adams Electric Cooperative, as a benefit of Adams Electric’s Investment in AEA for 2017. Additionally, Duane serves on AEA’s Board of Directors and is a valued member of several committees.

You are invited to partner with Adams Economic Alliance as a 2018 investor to continue our county’s success. Investments by businesses, nonprofits and individuals include a host of benefits, but the paramount one being increased economic activity for the greater good of Adams County. AEA is grateful to Adams Electric and all 2017 investors! Contact AEA’s Kaycee Kemper (717-334-0042, Kemper10@acedc.org) for more information and to become an investor today.

 

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New Ag Business Slated for Historic Gettysburg Farm, Thanks to Low-Interest Financing

Brown’s Ranch, recently purchased by John Boyer

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, September 14, 2017:

By Kaycee Kemper

Since our last column, our organization has announced a new name and identity, so first I want to address this exciting news! Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) was the lead organization of three partner organizations under the same roof, with the other two being the Adams County Industrial Development Authority and the Adams County General Authority.

Now all three organizations are collectively known as Adams Economic Alliance! We are excited and hope you share our excitement over the simplicity (and lack of confusion!) of our new name. Have no fear, Robin Fitzpatrick and myself are still both here, working as President and Vice President to deliver economic development services to businesses and organizations in Adams County.

One of our newest projects involved the purchase of the 232-acre farm known as “Brown’s Ranch” bordering the Gettysburg National Military Park’s Confederate Avenue. It was our pleasure assisting and welcoming John Boyer of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, as he purchased the ranch to locate a new agricultural business in Adams County. Boyer, who grew up in the agricultural industry and studied animal science at Texas Tech, was searching for three years, for the perfect Pennsylvania property to launch a cow calf operation, when he discovered Brown’s Ranch.

Financing was a collaboration between local banker Wayne Steinour of ACNB Bank, and our office in partnership with Pennsylvania Industrial Development Association (PIDA). A $400,000, 15-year low-interest (two percent) loan assisted Boyer with the purchase. Boyer says financially, Steinour’s recommendation to apply for a PIDA loan to cover part of the financing, was “beneficial,” since that portion of the loan will remain fixed at two percent for 15 years.

“Agriculture remains one of Adams County’s top three industries, thanks to innovative growers and producers such as John Boyer. Additionally, we are grateful for community partnerships with local lenders such as Wayne Steinour at ACNB Bank who realize the value of enhancing financing by leveraging ACEDC’s relationships and contacts at the state level,” says Robin Fitzpatrick, President of Adams Economic Alliance.

It is indeed our pleasure to partner with local bankers such as Steinour in order to deliver the very best financing products to Adams County businesses. We do not view PIDA loans as “competition” with local banks; instead we view the PIDA portion of the overall loan as Steinour did—a partnership that resulted in the best option for Boyer as a bank customer and potential Adams County business owner. These partnerships create a business-friendly environment and economic prosperity for Adams County.

Could your business benefit from low-interest, fixed-rate financing? The state has made this incredible financing opportunity (two percent, fixed rate) available to businesses, now through December 31! Loan applications submitted through our office to PIDA will receive this low interest rate for the full term of the loan. Real estate loans can be termed out to 15 years; machinery or equipment loans can be termed out to 7 or 10 years. Feel free to call me today to discuss the possibilities! 717-334-0042, x2

Brown’s Ranch, recently purchased by John Boyer

 

Press Release: Adams Economic Alliance: New Name, Branding Unveiled for Three Partner Organizations

GETTYSBURG, PA (September 7, 2017) – Adams Economic Alliance (AEA) is the new umbrella name for three Adams County organizations—the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). A new branding campaign incorporates the new name and logo, and was first unveiled to members and community leaders at an Investor Appreciation Reception the evening of September 7.

“The primary goal for comprehensively branding the three organizations together is to simplify our identity to the public,” says Robin Fitzpatrick, AEA President. “All three organizations deliver economic development services to the businesses and communities of Adams County. Now, we can be known collectively as one organization—Adams Economic Alliance.”

“Our services and commitment to the public remain the same—business retention, expansion, attraction and relocation,” Fitzpatrick says.

The concept and branding of the new Adams Economic Alliance was approved by all three boards of directors over the past month.

ACEDC is a private, 501 (c)(6) not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1989 as a result of a task force initiated by Adams County business leaders. The corporation is governed by a board of directors comprised of many local and regional community leaders from all sectors of industry. ACEDC’s mission is to improve the economy of Adams County while preserving and enhancing the quality of life by formulating, implementing and promoting economic development strategies for sustained investment and employment opportunities in Adams County.

ACIDA was created in 1998 by act of the Commissioners of Adams County, and capitalized by the Adams County Economic Development Corporation. The Authority is the leading agency authorized under Pennsylvania law to provide taxable and tax-exempt bond financing to manufacturing firms, 501(c)(3) organizations and federally defined exempt facilities that qualify for the tax-exempt financing program. All projects must qualify under federal tax laws and pass bond counsel approval.

ACIDA is intent upon assisting businesses with the creation of employment opportunities and expansion of the Adams County tax base, through financing, as well as spurring redevelopment. In 2013, through a partnership with the County of Adams, the ACIDA began a redevelopment project located in downtown Gettysburg, adjacent to the Lincoln Train Station. This property, formerly known as the REDDI Site, is currently recognized as the Gettysburg Station Project. The property is situated directly behind the Gettysburg Transit Center located on Carlisle Street and borders North Stratton Street. Demolition and remediation of the site is complete. The ultimate goal of the project, working in tandem with the Adams County Office of Planning & Development and Borough of Gettysburg, is to make the site attractive for future development to occur.

ACGA was created in 2016 by the Commissioners of Adams County to establish another avenue or vehicle for tax-exempt lending, creating another pool of $10 million in bank-qualified financing available to Adams County businesses.

For more information on the Adams Economic Alliance, see adamsalliance.org, follow us on Twitter (@AdamsAlliance), Facebook (Facebook.com/AdamsAlliance) and LinkedIn (Adams Economic Alliance).

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MEDIA CONTACT: KAREN HENDRICKS, HENDRICKS COMMUNICATIONS, 717-253-3553

Press Release: Historic Gettysburg Farm Acquired Via Adams County Economic Development Funding

“Brown’s Ranch” Developing into Beef Cattle Operation

 GETTYSBURG, PA (August 16, 2017) – A low-interest loan facilitated through Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) and Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) helped secure the purchase of a historical 232-acre farm in Adams County that’s being developed into a cow calf operation.

“I’ve been searching for a property in Pennsylvania, looking for a way to get back into agriculture, for three years. There aren’t many cattle farms in PA, but this property has the most character out of any that I saw… it was a natural fit,” says John Boyer, 38, of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.  Currently a defense contractor, Boyer grew up in the agricultural industry and studied animal science at Texas Tech.

A $400,000, 15-year low-interest (two percent) loan processed through ACEDC and PIDA assisted Boyer in the purchase of “Brown’s Ranch,” Gettysburg. The farm has the distinction of bordering the Gettysburg National Military Park along Confederate Avenue; the property’s home was used during the Battle of Gettysburg as the headquarters for Confederate General A.P. Hill.

Financing was organized by ACEDC Vice President Kaycee Kemper through PIDA, and local banker Wayne Steinour, Adams County National Bank.

Boyer’s plans for the property include hay production, and a cow/calf operation. He says financially, Steinour’s recommendation to apply for a PIDA loan to cover part of the financing, was “beneficial,” since that portion of the loan will remain fixed at two percent for 15 years.

“Agriculture remains one of Adams County’s top three industries, thanks to innovative growers and producers such as John Boyer,” says Robin Fitzpatrick, ACEDC President.

“Additionally, we are grateful for community partnerships with local lenders such as Wayne Steinour at ACNB Bank who realize the value of enhancing financing by leveraging ACEDC’s relationships and contacts at the state level,” Fitzpatrick says.

ACEDC is certified annually by the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in order to process and administer loan and grant programs for Adams County’s businesses.

This project marks the 143rd low-interest business loan facilitated by ACEDC—and the 46th within Adams County’s agricultural community—since 1996. Previous agricultural loan projects, located throughout the entire county, supported projects that included cattle, orchards, chickens, crop production, eggs, turkeys, and wineries.  Agriculture is considered one of Adams County’s three main pillars of industry, sharing that distinction with tourism and manufacturing/industrial.

Overall, since 1996, ACEDC has secured $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.

Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), Gettysburg, PA, is a private, 501 (c)(6) not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1989 as a result of a task force initiated by Adams County business leaders. The corporation is governed by a board of director comprised of many local and regional community leaders from all sectors of industry. ACEDC’s mission is to improve the economy of Adams County while preserving and enhancing the quality of life by formulating, implementing, and promoting economic development strategies for sustained investment and employment opportunities in Adams County. For more information, see acedc.org, follow us on Twitter (@AdamsCoEDC), Facebook (Facebook.com/acedc.org), and LinkedIn.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  KAREN HENDRICKS, HENDRICKS COMMUNICATIONS, 717-253-3553

The 232-acre Gettysburg cattle farm known as “Brown’s Ranch” has been purchased by John Boyer via financing arranged by Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) in partnership with Adams County National Bank and Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA).

September 7: You’re Invited to Celebrate Four C’s

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, August 10, 2017:

By Kaycee Kemper

A lot happens between August and September—harvests are gathered, a new school year begins, and we enjoy our final summer vacations, daytrips, and picnics. After Labor Day, we return to a more regular work schedule, and we know fall is on its way.

This year, we invite everyone to mark their calendars for the Thursday after Labor Day—September 7. That evening, during a wine & cheese reception from 5-7 pm, we look forward to welcoming all community leaders invested and interested in the efforts of our organization, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). The celebration will revolve around four words that all begin with the letter C: Continue reading September 7: You’re Invited to Celebrate Four C’s

Help Us to Help You

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, July 13, 2017:

By Robin Fitzpatrick

We (Adams County Economic Development Corporation staff) are passionate about advocating for Adams County’s businesses, economy, jobs, workforce, and quality of life. “Work Smart. Live Happy.” is the new slogan for the state’s economic development partners of which ACEDC is one. We realize that living, working, and playing in the greater Adams County community requires a balance and blend of business/industry, housing, preservation, services, recreation, etc. Continue reading Help Us to Help You

Economic Development: Focus of June 20 Commissioners’ Forum

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, June 8, 2017:

The new Adams County Human Services facility, 525 Boyds School Road, Gettysburg

By Robin Fitzpatrick

I have an invitation for all Adams County residents! Whether you use a traditional paper calendar or have evolved to an electronic calendar, be sure to mark, type, text, or otherwise save the date of June 20.

The new Adams County Human Services Building is ready to be unveiled! This is a fantastic example of economic development, adaptive reuse, within our own county government. The former Herff-Jones facility has been revamped to house a multitude of county services under one roof. Continue reading Economic Development: Focus of June 20 Commissioners’ Forum

Powerhouse Partnership

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, May 11, 2017

By Kaycee Kemper

Partnerships are the lifeblood of our work here at the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), and we have recently helped to form a strategic partnership that very well may be the most impactful one to date.

ACEDC, Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, Destination Gettysburg, and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development have partnered to focus on business attraction efforts in Adams County. Each entity plays an integral role to retain and support businesses in Adams County.  Over the past several months, these entities began discussing which industries our communities can sustain and which industries we would like to attract.

One product that resulted from our meetings thus far: a cooperative advertising campaign hitting regional publications, titled “Advantage Adams.”

Using information provided by a study commissioned by Adams County Office of Planning and Development (ACOPD), the partners are diving into the data and will also be holding industry roundtable discussions throughout the coming months. Various business leaders will be invited to attend the roundtable sessions to discuss challenges and opportunities facing their particular industry. Continue reading Powerhouse Partnership

Citing Jobs and Expanded Tax Base, ACEDC Endorses Mason Dixon Downs Project

President Robin Fitzpatrick Says Proposal Aligns with Adams County’s Top Two Industries

Gettysburg, Pa. (May 1, 2017) – Citing jobs and “unprecedented” economic development opportunities, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) today announced it has endorsed Mason Dixon Downs, a proposed harness racetrack, casino and hotel project in Freedom Township, Adams County. The project is being proposed by Gettysburg native, businessman and philanthropist David LeVan.

“ACEDC’s Board of Directors is pleased to support the Mason Dixon Downs proposal,” said President Robin Fitzpatrick. “It augments Adams County’s two top industries— tourism/hospitality and agriculture.” Continue reading Citing Jobs and Expanded Tax Base, ACEDC Endorses Mason Dixon Downs Project

Economic Impact of Adams County’s Fruit Belt

 

By Robin Fitzpatrick

We often refer to Adams County’s three main industries as our pillars of industry—agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing. Within the county’s ag industry, we have long known that fruit is number one in production and is also the reason why value added processing and manufacturing businesses are located here.  But we have not known the full extent and depth of our fruit belt’s economic impact—until now.

A comprehensive, two-year study just concluded, led by the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, in partnership with the Adams County Fruit Growers’ Association, the Penn State Extension Service, and conducted by The Chesapeake Group with TischlerBise.

“The Adams County fruit belt’s economic impact on the county’s economy is $580 million annually—and that’s a conservative estimate,” according to Bicky Redman, senior planner in the Adams County Office of Planning and Development. “Beyond that, the Adams County fruit belt’s economic impact on the state of Pennsylvania is two to four times that.” That translates into $1.16—$2.32 billion in economic activity. Continue reading Economic Impact of Adams County’s Fruit Belt