GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 6

a message from our Executive Vice President and COO

Quarterly report:
Rolling out the red carpet
By Pamela Shupp, AICP, CECD, Executive Vice President and
Chief Operation Officer, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

C

arbonLITE's path to locate in
Greater Reading starts with
a Plan B, a few chocolatecovered pretzels from Unique and
some Reading Draft root beer.

Originally, the California-based
manufacturer came here to look at
locating in an existing building and when that was not feasible we
went to Plan B. We always like to have a Plan B with our companies.
We were able to show CarbonLITE CEO Leon Farahnik a site
where the developer was able to step up and present a very aggressive
build schedule in order to meet his needs. That site, Berks Park 61,
gave quick access to companies in the region that he needed.
In every encounter, we showed CarbonLITE what makes
Berks County special from our personal touch in hospitality, led
by DoubleTree Hilton Reading, to the unity shown in the support
from municipal and officials and businesses. That's where the
pretzels and root beer come in.
We always try to give visiting company representatives a taste of
our community and when we learned Unique's pretzels and Reading
Draft's root beer struck a chord with CarbonLITE, we made sure
they had them in subsequent visits. That tenacity is something else
that sets us apart as we create the environment so that they can
make the best possible business decision.
We continue to work with CarbonLITE to make its integration
into our community as seamless as possible by connecting it to
local suppliers and providing space to interview candidates for
management positions.
CarbonLITE's decision to locate here, creating 130 jobs with its
$80 million, 270,000-square-foot processing facility, capped a busy
quarter in economic development:
* In the last quarter, we visited 51 Berks businesses. The variety
of businesses include 20 agri-businesses, 22 small business,
seven manufacturing and two service. We also continue to
work with six other manufacturers that we connected with in
2018. Six are planning to expand. We are marketing more than
10 million square feet and 850 acres of property to meet the
needs of expanding and relocating companies.
* We hosted lenders and downtown bank branch managers
to discuss the financing needs of small businesses and
entrepreneurs and non-traditional financing sources.
6 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2019

* Three farms and one restaurant have been financed - totaling
$3.48 M in total investment.
* Through our local business outreach initiative, we are working
with six local companies that are in expansion mode. Two have
existing land that might fit into their expansion needs. Four are
looking at multiple options to locate their expansion.
* In business attraction, GRCA hosted a tour of 225 Peach St.
on June 4 by a South Korean manufacturing company and have
learned that we are now on the short list for site consideration.
GRCA also coordinated and hosted a company for multiple
labor interviews on June 5. They are considering Berks County
for a 1,000-employee e-commerce center in the Hamburg area.
* GRCA attended International BIO, an international trade
show, as a guest of the Commonwealth. We were able to
meet primarily with Taiwanese companies and representatives
that have visited Berks County and are contemplating an East
Coast location.

Workforce Development
Our workforce development efforts continue to gain steam.
In the last quarter, we successfully completed the 2019 Reading
High School Career Resource Fair on April 25 with 78 exhibitors
and 108 wonderful volunteers from the business community. We
also successfully implemented CHOICES to all eighth graders at
Muhlenberg Middle School in response to a shift in school districts
being served by this program. The two-part program took place
on May 28 and May 31 with 12 sections of students, and over 24
volunteers from the local business community.
Our work connecting businesses to resources they need to
succeed continues in the coming quarter on Sept. 11 when we will
host an Economic Development Lending educational session for
bankers, accountants, and prospective industrial and ag lenders.
Finally, I invite you to join us as we celebrate the best work
of our construction and real estate industry at the Building Berks
Awards & Expo on Oct. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the DoubleTree by
Hilton Reading. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available
at greaterreading.org.


http://www.greaterreading.org

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 1
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 2
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 3
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 4
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 5
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 6
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 7
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2019 - 8
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
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