Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 7

feature

GreaterReadingChamber.org

Berks County:
Let's Play to OuR Strengths
Randy Peers, President & CEO - Greater Reading Chamber & Economic Development Corporation

M

y travels throughout Finance/Real Estate/Insurance, and Government, make up the
Berks County these other five industries. (Arguably, Government is the only one of the
last eight months listed sectors that people may want to see less of.) Combined, these
have introduced me to many six sectors account for more than 60 percent of the jobs in Berks
diverse business and community County. What this means is that Berks County has a relatively
leaders. One thing is clear: we balanced distribution of jobs and industries. Why is this important?
have a very strong entrepreneurial This balance enables us to better weather economic downturns, and
culture throughout the Greater insulates us from major losses of jobs in any one sector.
Reading area. From factories to
Second, we have more industries to build around than our
farms, we can find a success story competitors. From an economic development perspective, we have
in every borough and township. a greater range of industry options to market when it comes to our
Often, however, I hear a business attraction efforts. We also have many examples where
common refrain: "Berks County entire supply chains are contained within Berks County, enabling
needs to be more like Lancaster our Berks businesses to help and support one another. This leads to
or Lehigh." The inference being organic growth for some of our companies.
that if we can replicate some of what these counties have done, we
Another important data point is the fact that the median income
can be assured long-term financial success.
in Berks County is over $2,000 more than the state average: $55,936
But things aren't that simple. Lancaster and Lehigh each have versus $53,599. No doubt our robust manufacturing sector, which
a different set of strengths and challenges as compared to Berks. In
tends to have better wages
many ways-from population
than other sectors, is an
size to geography-Berks is
important reason for this
unlike both places. Therefore,
difference. When you couple
when I analyze our economic
this income differential with
positioning within Eastern
a relatively lower cost of
Pennsylvania, I do so with
living, the benefit is that
respect to the unique strengths
our residents have more
we can build on, rather than
disposable income to put
compare us to our neighbors.
back into our local economy.
So, what are our strengths?
Basically, we in Berks County
The answer lies within the data.
have more to spend on
Each February, the Greater
restaurants, entertainment
Reading Chamber, in partnership with Kutztown University, the and other goods than our neighbors. This is good news for anyone
Reading Eagle, and Herbein & Company, release the annual Berks looking to start a small business in Greater Reading.
County Economic Outlook. The data presented is a compilation
When you sum things up, Berks County has a very strong
of publicly available economic information and original survey data economic foundation to build around. This foundation is our
on current year business trends in Berks. For a data geek like me, greatest strength. Do we have some challenges and red flags? Of
the information holds many more positives than negatives.
course we do. Economic conditions in the City of Reading, as well

To start with, Berks County's economy is relatively balanced.
Of the twelve major industries economists track when measuring
a local economy, six of twelve in Berks County contribute at least
10 percent to our local Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Leading
the way is manufacturing at 22 percent. (Basically, we still make
things here in Berks County-more so than our neighbors.)
Retail/Wholesale Trade, Healthcare, Professional/Business Services,

as a looming labor shortage, are two big issues that we here at the
Greater Reading Chamber & Economic Development Corporation
are working on tirelessly. Yet even with these challenges, I'll
take a healthy mix of available jobs, coupled with a population
with additional spending power, over a shiny new warehouse &
distribution center any day.

  7


http://www.GreaterReadingChamber.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017

Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 1
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 2
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 3
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 4
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 5
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 6
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 7
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 8
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 9
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 10
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 11
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 12
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 13
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 14
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 15
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 16
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 17
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 18
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 19
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 20
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 21
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 22
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 23
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 24
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 25
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 26
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 27
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 28
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 29
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 30
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 31
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 32
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 33
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 34
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 35
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 36
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 37
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 38
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 39
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 40
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 41
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 42
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 43
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 44
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 45
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 46
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 47
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 48
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 49
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 50
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 51
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 52
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 53
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 54
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 55
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 56
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 57
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 58
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 59
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 60
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 61
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 62
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 63
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Fall 2017 - 64
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2020
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
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
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
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com