Erie Chamber Blog
Wednesday July 22,  2020
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(And You Don't Even Have to Leave Your Couch)

We can all agree that 2020 is not what any of us hoped (or expected) it would be.

But—despite an ongoing pandemic—there have been some bright spots. While Erie County must overcome the same health and economic challenges every county in America currently faces, there are still positive things happening in our regional economy. In the 12 months since the Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership (ERCGP) hosted Erie Homecoming 2019, we have experienced quite a few highlights: 

  • Last December, the ERCGP announced the $5.2M “Erie Forward” initiative. The regional economic development strategy is focused on five pillars: existing industry support and entrepreneurship, workforce development and talent attraction, new business attraction and investment, quality of place, and regional competitiveness and collaboration. The initiative is projected to have an annual regional economic impact of $465 million by 2024.
  • In February the Flagship Opportunity Zone (a division of ERCGP) won the Grand Prize for the nation’s “Top Urban Opportunity Zone” by Forbes at a ceremony held at The Sorensen Impact Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Boston-based Arctaris Impact Investors announced they will invest $40M in Erie’s Opportunity Zones, which included both funding for real estate projects and investment capital for Erie’s high potential startups and existing businesses.
  • Local institutions like Erie Insurance, the Erie Community Foundation, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, and so many others continued to provide unwavering leadership and a steady hand throughout the series of emergencies our region has faced since March—which is no surprise, given the level of leadership they have always provided to our community.
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved the creation of a new Community college for the first time since 1994 – right here in Erie, Pennsylvania.
  • People like you—people who continue to believe in Erie’s future—who didn’t give up the ship, no matter how unsteady the waters seem. You, for the record, are the inspiration that motivates ERCGP and the region’s other businesses and community-based organizations to come to work every day to find paths out of this darkness.

The collection of achievements, hard work, investment, and leadership have helped Erie start to shed the shadow of our hard-luck past and increasingly become of an example of economic development strategies that attract actual investment and lead to real change.

Despite our current challenges, we need to do everything we can to keep Erie’s Economic Evolution on track.

This October 29th and 30th the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership will host “Erie Homecoming 2020: Erie’s Economic Evolution,” a two-day virtual event that will help ensure Erie County keeps the region’s bright horizon in mind, even as we face immediate challenges.

The event itself will engage attendees in thought-provoking presentations on Erie's unprecedented market momentum, along with virtual tours of exciting investment opportunities in the market, including real estate development projects and investment-grade start-up and operating businesses. Attendees will also discover a broad variety of ways to invest in the Erie regional economic evolution, ranging from community leadership and mentorship to direct investment in Erie’s high-potential companies. 

Every person who attends this virtual event will learn more about how they can invest time, talent, or financial resources (or—even better—all three) in our region. Erie Homecoming 2020 is an opportunity for investors with resources as large as Arctaris Impact Investors to learn more about projects and startups in Erie—but it is also an opportunity for everyday people who love this region to learn more about how they can support Erie’s economic evolution. 

For Erie Insurance, supporting Erie’s evolution might look like serving as the Presenting Sponsor of this event—along with their continued support of several organizations and initiatives that move Erie forward. 

If you left home to get your degree, supporting Erie’s Economic Evolution may look like returning to your hometown and using the knowledge you gained to make it better.

(Kind of like Batman.) 

If you retired to Scottsdale, moving Erie Forward might look like investing in one of the many startups that are now headquartered in the community you still love. 

(Kind of like an older, more distinguished-looking Batman.) 

If you are an executive at one of the region’s growing companies, moving Erie Forward might look like mentoring a future Erie leader. 

(Kind of like Wonder Woman, training her tribe of fierce future warriors.)

Bringing Erie this far has required a heroic effort by more people than we can count, much less thank. Continuing that momentum will require new heroes to roll up their sleeves and join us in doing the work. Grab your shirt cuffs, start rolling, and learn more about all the ways you can invest in your Erie on October 29th and 30th at Erie Homecoming 2020: Erie’s Economic Evolution!


To subscribe to our newsletter for up-to-date information about Erie Homecoming 2020 please visit

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