Erie Regional Chamber Announces Completion of Target Industry Analysis
Erie, Penn. – The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership today announced the results of a five-month competitive realities and target industry analysis that identifies six industries best suited for robust and sustainable economic development initiatives throughout Erie County. The identified industries include life sciences, high value-added manufacturing, food and beverage processing, agriculture and aquaculture, high-value business services (with an additional focus on tech, gaming, and digital); and year-round experiential recreation.
The Chamber retained Garner Economics, LLC to evaluate the Erie region from the perspective of a site selection process – a process where the merits of a location are analyzed based on the needs of a business or a new project. The competitive realities report and target industry analysis included a comprehensive tour of Erie County that focused on analyzing the qualities, elements, and infrastructure that businesses would need for Erie to be a viable candidate. Fifty-two community factors were analyzed and then evaluated against the same set of factors for Pennsylvania and the United States.
“The report from Garner Economics is the first step of many to come for strategic business attraction efforts to our region,” said James Grunke, CEO for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. “One of the most important takeaways from this report is that we’ve not only identified our advantages but we’ve also identified our weaknesses, which allows us to now take corrective action.”
The Garner Report includes: a comprehensive and holistic assessment of key driving forces of Erie’s economy; identifies the region’s assets and challenges; recommends target industries well-suited to fit with Erie’s assets and potential; and additional opportunities to enhance the overall economic vitality of the region.
“The last time Erie truly had the funding to do proactive development was in 2007 with the Tap Into Erie initiative, which focused on taking advantage of our excess water and sewer treatment capacity for water-intensive industries,” said Jake Rouch, vice president of economic development. “This report not only defines the types of businesses best suited for the community based on our current assets, but it also identifies potential funding streams for sustainable economic development programs.
The process of gathering data and information for the report began in January 2019. Over the coming weeks, the Chamber will prioritize the specific recommendations from the target industry analysis and begin the process of developing assets, defining and communicating a regional brand, and organizing effective execution strategies aligned with the report and recommendations therein.