News & Updates

ERCGP Awarded Grant to Help Regional Businesses

Posted on May 23rd, 2018 at 7:50 AM
ERCGP Awarded Grant to Help Regional Businesses

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership (ERCGP) has been awarded a grant for Engage! - a statewide business retention and expansion (BRE) program initiated by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development designed to regularly and proactively interact with targeted companies. The overall goal of Engage! is to retain existing businesses in a community and to help them grow and expand by building solid relationships with business owners or key decision makers and economic development partners and their representatives. Engage! Is intended to regularly interact with companies for purposes of:

  • Identifying needs and matching resources to help existing businesses and industries address their challenges to become more competitive and successful.
  • Demonstrating to local businesses and industries that the community recognizes and depends on their contributions to the local/state economy.
  • Building community capacity to sustain growth and development.
  • Understanding and addressing the common themes articulated by PA businesses in order to drive policy and the menu of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and partner services for long range business retention and expansion (BRE) efforts.

Engage! is built on one-on-one, in-person contact with business leaders to assess their needs and provide appropriate follow-up assistance. Business outreach is to be conducted by experienced individuals – those individuals capable of developing business relationships with corporate-level business leaders.

“The Erie Regional Chamber was awarded one of ten grants from the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development and will partner with the city and county economic development agencies, and the PA CareerLinks®, to proactively reach out to businesses regionally in the Healthcare, Construction, Manufacturing and Transportation and Logistics industries,” said Jake Rouch, VP Economic Development ERCGP.

“In 2017 our Business Outreach team visited over 300 individual companies to find out just what is keeping them up at night. Receiving the Engage! grant has enabled us to increase our team, thus expand our outreach for 2018. The team here at the ERCGP includes Bill Scholz, Kathleen Johnson, and Amanda Kochirka. Their visits will be used to assess the opportunities and challenges these businesses face for growth into the future. After the Engage! visit, the businesses will be connected with providers who can assist them to reduce their challenges and build upon their opportunities,” continued Rouch.