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Pennsylvania celebrates “Small Business Week” Event kicks off in Bedford County at Mission Critical Solutions

(L-R) State Representative Carl Walker Metzgar, 69th District; George Bohrer, President, Mission Critical Solutions, LLC; Bob McGowan, CEO, Mission Critical Solutions, LLC; Executive Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver, PA Department of Community and Economic Development; Bette Slayton, President, Bedford County Development Association; Representative Jesse Topper, 78th District; and State Senator Wayne Langerholc,Jr., 35th District.

(L-R) State Representative Carl Walker Metzgar, 69th District; George Bohrer, President, Mission Critical Solutions, LLC; Bob McGowan, CEO, Mission Critical Solutions, LLC; Executive Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver, PA Department of Community and Economic Development; Bette Slayton, President, Bedford County Development Association; Representative Jesse Topper, 78th District; and State Senator Wayne Langerholc,Jr., 35th District.

 

 Alum Bank, PA — To celebrate the backbone of the state’s economy, the state announced Small Business Week in Pennsylvania in a kickoff event held at Mission Critical Solutions in Alum Bank, Bedford County.

Small Business Week runs from April 30 through May 6 and will include numerous workshops and programs statewide.

The official announcement was made by Neil Weaver, executive deputy secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

“Small business is the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy,” Weaver said. “There are about 1.2 million small businesses with 2.5 million employees in the Commonwealth. Small business accounted for the creation of 24,000 new jobs in 2016.”

According to Weaver, the goal of Pennsylvania Small Business Week is to educate and bring awareness of all the programs and assistance available for those who own a small business or want to start one.

In addition to loans and grants, Weaver’s office creates networking opportunities as well as access to international markets and suppliers. He hopes to let everyone know that his department is responsible for $1.5 billion in loans and grants.

“We will be crisscrossing the state to support a variety of small business activities.”

Weaver noted that Mission Critical Solutions – and Bedford County – were selected for the launch of Pennsylvania Small Business Week due to the close relationship between the public and private sectors in Bedford County.

Mission Critical Solutions is a highly successful company that is a Department of Defense contractor providing fabrication, machining, engineering, and many other services. The company is the vision of partners Bob McGowan and George Bohrer.

Both men credited the Bedford County economic development community, and specifically the Bedford County Development Association for providing assistance to their entrepreneurial efforts.

“BCDA is the first group we reached out to,” said McGowan. “They, in turn, went to the state and helped us get to know the Governor’s Action Team.”

Mission Critical Solutions has shown remarkable growth over the past several years. “We are committed to employing world class people from local training programs,” McGowan noted.

“Small businesses like ours need the support of strategic partnerships to compete successfully in a global market,” said Bohrer. “And the synergies in Bedford County have been awesome.”

On hand to celebrate the state’s announcement were State Senator Wayne Langerholc and State Representative Jesse Topper.

“When Bob and George told me their story I realized that starting a small business is not easy,” stated Langerholc. “They are the people who take a risk. Two thirds of all growth in the country is due to small businesses.  We need to do everything we can to help them succeed,”

Topper added that “We need to remember who signs the paychecks. We are grateful that they were willing to take risks. Groups like BCDA are truly the boots on the ground in helping businesses get started.”

For more information, contact:

Bob McGowan, CEO
Mission Critical Solutions
P:  (814) 839-2078
E:  bmcgowan@missioncriticalsolutions.com

Bette Slayton, President
Bedford County Development Association
P:  (814) 623-4816
E:  slayton@bcda.org

 

Seton building to sell

Green Leaf Property (former Seton Building)

Seton Building, Saxton, PA

The former Seton manufacturing plant is under contract for sale to Green Leaf Medical, LLC, a Maryland based company.

With a 30-plus year history in Saxton, Seton announced that it was closing the plant in 2008.  The 274,000-sq. ft. facility has remained dormant since the facility closed.

Green Leaf Medicals, based in Frederick, Maryland, will be acquiring the plant to house a medical cannabis growing and processing facility.  Its application for a license is currently under review by the PA Department of Health.

The company has experience in this industry.  “Our company competed for a license to cultivate medical cannabis in Maryland and in 2016 we were awarded the #1 ranked license out of 146 competitors,” noted Philip Goldberg, Green Leaf Medical CEO.

The Green Leaf team, working with the Bedford County Development Association, explored the viability of using the Seton facility for its operations.  “Ultimately we selected the location for multiple reasons including Saxton’s willingness to work with us, the high quality local workforce, the price and infrastructure of the facility and its close proximity to our Frederick, Maryland location,” Goldberg said.

“We have met with Mayor Smith, the Tussey Mountain School Board and several officers from the Saxton Fire Company to relay our plans for the facility and our intention of giving back to the community,” Goldberg noted.  Initially, 15-20 new jobs will be created with multiple spin-off jobs needed to support the business.

The medical cannabis will be processed into pills, liquids, oils, topical creams or gels.  Patients who suffer from any of 17 serious medical conditions, and are certified by a physician, may access this product.  These conditions include cancer, epilepsy, severe and chronic pain, glaucoma and PTSD.

“Some folks may have reservations about medical cannabis.  I encourage everyone to learn more about the potential benefits it can provide.  Our company is focused on medical cannabis production and fights against recreational marijuana use,” stated Goldberg.

The Green Leaf board includes a neurologist who has received DEA approval to use medical cannabis to treat children suffering from epilepsy, a pharmacologist from the University of Maryland that develops anti-cancer drugs, a member of the Department of Homeland Security and a retired lieutenant from the Frederick Police Department.

The facility will be a state-of-the-art, pharmaceutical grade, highly secure building.

Pennsylvania recently opened applications for medical cannabis grower-processors and dispensaries.  It carved the state into six regions.  Bedford County is at the western edge of the South-Central Region which consists of 13 counties including Dauphin and York.  In this region, permits will be awarded to four dispensaries and two grower processors.  Applications were due March 20 with an anticipated 90-120-day review period.

About 900 applicants are anticipated to make application for the first round of permits.  Application fees for grower and processors is $10,000 and, if approved, the annual fee is $200,000/year.  The state’s goal is to have sites operational by early 2018.

BCDA Board Chair Doug Gerber noted “Green Leaf Medicals will be a welcome addition to Bedford County.  We’re pleased to see growth in our pharmaceutical manufacturing industry and activity at the former Seton facility.  The building layout is conducive to subdividing which will add to our inventory of available space for lease.  It is gratifying to see that Green Leaf is committed to helping the community and getting people back to work.”

For more information, please contact:

Philip Goldberg, CEO
Green Leaf Medicals, LLC
(800) 530-8793 Ext. 110
E-mail:  Phil@greenleafmedicals.com

Bette Slayton, President
Bedford County Development Association
(814) 623-4816
E-mail:  slayton@bcda.org

Local Businesses Learn About Public Loan Programs

Bedford – The Bedford County Development Association (BCDA) recently held a Financing Seminar to educate local businesses about public loan programs.

Over thirty local businesses and bankers learned about loan programs available to a wide array of industries including agriculture, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, child day-care, construction, developer, research & development, defense conversion, recycling, mining and service enterprises.

Six speakers gave overviews of their programs including representatives from PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission (SAPDC), Catalyst Connection, The Progress Fund, Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD), and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Sponsors included:  Altoona First Savings Bank, First National Bank of PA, Hometown Bank of PA, Ritchey, Ritchey & Koontz, Small Business Development Center and Somerset Trust Company.

For information on public business finance opportunities please contact Terri Brumbaugh at BCDA at (814) 623-4816 or via e-mail brumbaugh@bcda.org.

From L – R: Tracy Ulewics, The Progress Fund; Trudy Mitchell, Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission; Jeffrey Boldizar, Saint Francis Small Business Development Center; Paul Cooney, Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation; Jared Lucas, Department of Community & Economic Development; Art Tintori, Catalyst Connection; and Terri Brumbaugh, Bedford County Development Association.

From L – R: Tracy Ulewics, The Progress Fund; Trudy Mitchell, Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission; Jeffrey Boldizar, Saint Francis Small Business Development Center; Paul Cooney, Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation; Jared Lucas, Department of Community & Economic Development; Art Tintori, Catalyst Connection; and Terri Brumbaugh, Bedford County Development Association.

From L – R: Bette Slayton, Bedford County Development Association; Jared Lucas, Department of Community & Economic Development; Trudy Mitchell, Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission; and Art Tintori, Catalyst Connection.

From L – R: Bette Slayton, Bedford County Development Association; Jared Lucas, Department of Community & Economic Development; Trudy Mitchell, Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission; and Art Tintori, Catalyst Connection.

Rockland adds new facility – Grows into Cannondale Building

BEDFORD, PA — Rockland Manufacturing, a national leader in the production of heavy construction equipment attachments, will expand its operation in Bedford County with the company’s recent acquisition of the former Cannondale building.

“The 221,000 sq. ft. facility, located in Bedford Township, will allow the company to significantly increase our current square footage in manufacturing space as needed,” noted Bo Pratt, President of Rockland. “The acquisition makes sense for us going forward because of our growing product line and space constraints in our current facility.”

“As we continue to grow, the building will give us easy access to plenty of storage and additional manufacturing space as needed,” said Pratt. “We will also be leasing large parts of the building to new businesses interested in doing more business in Bedford County.”

“We are very excited that we’re able to secure a new facility so close to our current location,”said Pratt. “Bedford County has been a wonderful place to live and work. Our people are fantastic. I’ve never met anyone who had a better team. Their commitment to honesty, safety, hard work, quality, and teamwork is unmatched.”

“Now as we continue to grow, we can grow knowing that we can easily keep adding operations in Bedford — which is exactly what we want to do.”

Rockland has a long history in Bedford County. The company moved to Bedford from Florida in 1970 and it currently employs 250 people. “Rockland is a longstanding and well-respected member of our business community. It is a valued employer and supporter of local
organizations. This acquisition is good news for Rockland and Bedford County,” noted Bette Slayton, President of the Bedford County Development Association.

Initially the building will not be fully occupied by Rockland. Lease space will be available.

“Rockland’s acquisition will now enable us to market industrial and commercial lease opportunities. This will expand our inventory of options for prospects seeking to lease space,” noted Slayton.

The Realtor on the project was Sean Bardell, broker/owner of Howard Hanna Bardell Realty.  Howard Hanna Bardell Realty will also continue with leasing available space in the facility.

For more information, contact:
Bo Pratt, President of Operations
Rockland Manufacturing Company
Phone:  814.623.1115
E-mail: sjpratt@rocklandmfg.com
Bette Slayton, President
Bedford County Development Association
Phone:  814.623.4816
E-mail: slayton@bcda.org

Successful restaurateur addresses Bedford County business community

BEDFORD, PA — “Entrepreneurship is about how you want to live your life,” said George W. McKerrow,
Jr., Co-founder and CEO, Ted’s Montana Grill. “It’s the great American spirit. Entrepreneurship is not a
job, it’s who you are as a person.”

McKerrow was in Bedford to address the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Bedford County Development
Association. The meeting recently took place at Bedford Springs Omni Resort and Spa.

Encouraging the creation of business start-ups and entrepreneurs has been a topic of much discussion
recently. In the last 12 months a number of major initiatives have been launched throughout the region.
BCDA is working hard to encourage entrepreneurs to create businesses in Bedford County and the
surrounding region.

McKerrow’s talk detailed the narrative journey he took in his career, including the failures. Starting as a
busboy as a young teen, McKerrow developed a fondness for the restaurant and hospitality industry.
He graduated from Ohio State and convinced himself he’d go to law school “next year,” following a yearlong
sabbatical. He never made it to law school.

He soon found himself employed by Victoria Station Restaurants. “I asked myself if I really wanted to be
working for someone else,” McKerrow explained. He chose life as a self-employed entrepreneur.

“An entrepreneur is a person who will work 100 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours for someone
else,” he said, with great conviction. “Working for someone else didn’t give me satisfaction.”

Noting that he had a high tolerance for failure, McKerrow quit his job and attempted to own and
operate a successful restaurant business. His first venture was a flop.

To be a true entrepreneur, failure is not a reason to quit, it’s simply a lesson to be learned, McKerrow
said.

“Keep the dream in your pocket and find another way. Refocus and re-energize”, he said. One lesson he
quickly learned was the need for a plan. “You have to have a plan. Absent a plan, there can’t be success.
Have an accurate and well thought-out, serious business plan.”

Success began to take shape. In 1981, McKerrow started LongHorn Steakhouse in Atlanta. The casual
dining concept became popular and LongHorn grew into a national chain which evolved into RARE
Hospitality. McKerrow took RARE public in the 1990s and soon experienced life on Wall Street where
“you were only as good as your quarterly earnings”. Wall Street wanted predictability yet the restaurant
industry is unpredictable. “I told them that restaurants are the only industry that orders, receives,
manufactures, sells, produces and delivers a product all in one day,” McKerrow noted.

At the turn of the century, McKerrow and his wife hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro. Climbing the mountain helped
him to decide what he wanted to do next. Did he want to continue in a public company or be a part of a
small entrepreneurial business? “I realized I was missing something in my inner spirit. What really
made me happy was my entrepreneurial spirit.” He came home and resigned as Chair of RARE
Hospitality “to see if I could catch lightening in a jar a second time.”

He knew that Ted Turner — well-known entrepreneur and media mogul — was a strong advocate for
Bison in North America. “He wanted to save the Bison herd, help the Bison ranching business and create
a self-sustaining restaurant industry,” said McKerrow.

He pitched an idea for a Bison restaurant to Turner. “He loved the idea. We shook hands and created
the restaurant.”

Although they grew Ted’s Montana Grill too quickly, the partnership has thrived. “We created 56
restaurants in 72 months in 19 states”, McKerrow stated. “We went too fast.” But the setbacks only
meant they needed to rethink the business. They did, and now operate 46 restaurants in 16 states,
taking 56,000 Bison to market every year.

“Our business is very environmentally conscious,” McKerrow noted. “Chasing the almighty dollar is not
as important as living your core values. You have to do a moral inventory.” He and Turner believe in
nourishing the Great American West.

As for the notion of working together, he stated, “There is an “I” in team. You have to find out where
you fit into the team. There’s no Lone Ranger out there.”

Today, Ted’s Montana Grill serves more Bison than any restaurant in the world.

As an entrepreneur, McKerrow has learned many lessons. However, one lesson stands out above all
others. “I have failed more times than I’ve succeeded,” he said. “But I don’t give up and I never quit.”

Please click here to see the video –>  BCDA Annual Mtg. Speaker: George McKerrow, Jr.

George McKerrow, Jr., Co-Founder & CEO of Ted’s Montana Grill

George McKerrow, Jr., Co-Founder & CEO of Ted’s Montana Grill

For more information, contact:
Bette Slayton, President
Bedford County Development Association
Phone: 814.623.4816
Email: slayton@bcda.org

Host Lloyd Roach of “Bedford County Speaks” interviews Lampire Biological Laboratories

Learn more about Bedford County’s growing ag-biotech industry.  Here is a fun and insightful radio interview featuring Greg Krug, CEO, and Gary Klinger, Laboratory Manager, of Lampire Biological Laboratories.  Host Lloyd Roach of Bedford County Speaks conducts an excellent interview covering  Lampire’s initiatives and the many attributes of living and doing business in Bedford County.  A great interview!

Click here to listen to the interview –> Bedford County Speaks – Aug. 2016

BCDA celebrates “Ready of Business” initiative

DCED Secretary Davin on hand to launch marketing of Business Park II

Bedford, PA — Economic development requires patience and perseverance.  It also demands that risks be taken in preparing for new and existing businesses in Bedford County. One of those major risks includes the development of the pad-ready site in BCDA’s Business Park II.

The site is seen as an important addition to the portfolio of options available to companies seeking to locate or expand in Bedford County.

An event was held recently to mark the beginning of a concentrated marketing campaign that is expected to attract site selectors to the region. On hand to help launch the marketing effort was Dennis Davin, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Secretary Davin was introduced by BCDA Board Chair Sean Bardell.

“An event like this gives us the opportunity to show local, state and federal officials how important it is to fund economic development projects such as Business Park II,” Davin said. “Projects like this are major risks but it shows the vision of the Bedford County Development Association in investing in site development.”

Davin noted that the state will do all it can to help BCDA market the Business Park II site regionally, nationally and globally. “We want to recover our investment,” he quipped. “And we want to help lower the risk of creating a site like this.”

Also joining in the celebration, dubbed “Ready for Business,” was U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster.

“Congressman Shuster has long been a strong advocate for economic development efforts in Bedford County,” said Bardell.

“This site is truly an investment in our future,” said Shuster. “We need to continue to work together, public and private, local, state and federal officials. And we need to keep in mind that I-99 is a key element — the crowning achievement — for Bedford County. If we have pad-ready sites such as the Business Park II, they will come (to Bedford County.)

The “Ready for Business” effort will seek to attract the attention of site selectors and business leaders. The fact that the site has the necessary infrastructure in place will make for an easy transition for any company coming to the area.

In outlining the long road that eventually led to the creation of the Business Park II site, Bette Slayton, president of BCDA explained the work that went into its eventual development.

“The decade of the1990s was a busy time at BCDA,” she said. “We helped local companies with major expansions and recruited Wal-Mart’s distribution center to an 850,000 square-foot site. We also built Business Park I.”

The work on Business Park II began in 1999 when a special committee was created. It took until 2002 to identify the property that would serve as Business Park II.

“We needed a park that could provide larger sites than the three (3) to five (5) acre parcels that were provided in Business Park I,’” Slayton stated.

In addition to its prime location and proximity to a world class workforce, Business Park II can accommodate the development of a 780,000 square foot facility. Site information shows that preliminary land development is complete. An environmental assessment and wetland review have also been completed.

The site is designated as a Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) with tax abatement through the end of 2025.

“Now it is time to tell the world that we are here, with a fully-permitted, KOZ-designated, beautiful 75-acre pad-ready site,” said Slayton.

For more information, contact:

Bette Slayton, President
Bedford County Development Association
Phone: 814.623.4816
E-mail:  slayton@bcda.org

Aerial view of Bedford County Business Park II. The 75 acres is a KOZ pad-ready permitted site.

Aerial view of Bedford County Business Park II. The 75 acres is a KOZ pad-ready permitted site.

NOW AVAILABLE – Phase II of Business Park II – KOZ – Pad Ready (See Video Page)

Postcard BCBP II Final 3-9-16

Fully permitted by all State and Local permitting agencies.

During the past two years, BCDA has completed engineering, design, permitting and earthwork on nearly 80 acres in Business Park II. The project is now ready.

“We moved forward with this project knowing that it will eliminate months in site preparation for future buyers,” noted Bo Pratt, BCDA Chair. “This is a tremendous opportunity given that the site is pad-ready, permitted and designed as a Keystone Opportunity Zone. Available utilities are in place including an abundant and reliable electric supply.”

The project engineer is H. F. Lenz, Johnstown; Glenn O. Hawbaker, State College, the contractor.

75 Acres – Pad Ready Sites
Keystone Opportunity Zone (10 year local property tax and site corporate tax abatements)
Fully Permitted by all State and Local Permitting Agencies
Can Accommodate a 780,000 Square Foot Facility (Includes Parking and Storm Water Management)
Great Location – Two miles from I-99 and I-70/I-76

This project is funded by the Business In Our Sites loan program (BIOS) administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

Bedford County Chamber Award Business Hall of Fame Award

halloffameawardBo Pratt, Chair of the BCDA Board, congratulates Clifton Clark on the occasion of his company’s induction into the Bedford County Chamber’s Business Hall of Fame.

Since 1951 Clark Contractors, Inc. has performed commercial and industrial work for a wide range of clients throughout the central/western PA and northern Maryland area.  As a family-owned business for three generations, the company has built a reputation on quality, job planning, organization, technical knowledge and hard work.

Special Thanks to Clark Contractors, Inc. for underwriting the Winter BCBroadcast.

FirstEnergy/Penelec Receives Economic Development Award

firstenergyThe Bedford County Development Association was pleased to announce its selection for the 2015 Economic Development Award presented at the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner.  The award went to FirstEnergy Corp.  “This year our choice was very clear.  JP Tambourine of FirstEnergy, and his local counterpart Beverly Green, have tirelessly put their time, energy and funding into many activities that encourage economic development in Bedford county and our region,” noted Bo Pratt, BCDA Chair.