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
Bette Slayton, President
Bedford County Development Association
P: (814) 623-4816