Highlights from 2017
2017 was a big year for the Greater Reading Economic Partnership. One of the biggest changes of our organization’s history took place, we joined the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA). GRCA is a combination of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Greater Berks Development Fund, and us, the Greater Reading Economic Partnership(GREP). With this much fire power, the organization is the leading economic development organization in the Greater Reading region. Our focus on retention, attraction and growth will not change and we can more deeply support local businesses. At the end of this article is a link to our annual report.
This past year, GREP worked with over 85 different companies. Of these 85 companies, we made 68 referrals to our investors, partners and local financial institutions. We also worked with 64 leads. Of those 64, here’s the industry breakdown: 50% manufacturing, 14% food and beverage manufacturing and 11% logistics and distribution. These leads help highlight what sectors of the economy are growth mode. Manufacturing had the highest number of leads and it continues to be the lifeblood of our community.
What to look forward to for 2018
Our mission involves not only attracting new business, but also growing the businesses which already call Greater Reading home. Looking ahead, 17 local companies are looking to expand in the next 12-18 months! On the industrial side, by 2019, we will see 7 million +/- SF of new industrial space come on line. Space that will accommodate existing business growth and new business growth in all industry sectors.
And to top it off, we recently moved to 606 Court Street in downtown Reading which is now the new home of GRCA. Being closer to the heart of the city enhances our commitment to the City of Reading downtown, provides space for key economic development partners (Assests, SBA, SBDC, SCORE). We’ve also got some great small meeting space in case you need a place to hold a meeting or just hang out with some cool professionals!
None of this would be possible without our public and private investors. Thank you again to our investors and to the County of Berks! You help us make Berks County be something greater.