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By Kathy Henderson, Director of Economic Development

It’s September already!  Where did the year go?  We usually ask ourselves that question around this time of year and look back to see how were we so busy that another year has slipped away from us, where has the time gone and more importantly what have we accomplished? 

At CCEDC this is the time of year that we not only look back over the past several months, review what we have done and what successes we had, we also take the time to look ahead and plan for the year(s) to come.

Businesses must do that as well because without a plan or a road map, you do not have a clear picture of where you are going much less how you will get there. 

Through our Business and Education Partnership, we are a member of the Carbon Schuylkill Luzerne STEM Ecosystem. The vision of the Ecosystem is for all students to possess the needed STEM skills to be competitive for the 21st Century jobs in Northeastern PA. This initiative will help us to help our schools provide the education for our students that will see them through to a successful life. 

The Earth Day 5K Hippie Run/Walk/Bike had another successful year and this year added a distance bike ride.  The event raises funds for our scholarship that benefits graduating seniors from our five school districts and CCTI.

Our loan review committee approved business loans from our Small Business Expansion Loan Fund and the Carbon County Industrial Development Authority revolving loan fund. To date, CCEDC has approved over a half-million dollars in loans to local small businesses in Carbon County. 

CCEDC is a member of the Partners for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) and is participating in the ENGAGE! program which is a grant initiative through the Department of Economic and Community Development (DCED).  The purpose is to interview companies within Carbon County on their needs and challenges and direct them to the proper organizations for assistance. 

We are currently working with a large chain retailer in finding new locations within the county effectively helping to grow the tax base for the local municipalities and townships as well as provide jobs. 

This is just a very small list of what we have done on the economic development side of the CCEDC since January of 2019.  If I had to list all of the Chamber’s services we have provided since January, I would not have enough room in this article to talk about the numerous member networking events, ribbon cuttings and other services that we provide including hosting a consultant from the Small Business Development Center at Wilkes-University on a monthly basis. 

We are in the planning stages of where we want to go in 2020 and beyond.  Now is the time for you to stop and take stock of what you have accomplished and look towards the future.  Not just as a business owner, but as an individual. Where you are going to go in 2020?