Community ties are a good thing, right?

The New Year is always a natural time to reflect on our goals and lives, so I’m going to get a little philosophical with this column—but applied to Adams County of course!

I was reflecting on the word “community” and what a warm and fuzzy concept it is, yet with real and sometimes hard infrastructure supporting it. I turned to a few quotes related to community for inspiration:

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

– Margaret J. Wheatley, leadership consultant

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” 

– Coretta Scott King

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” 

– Helen Keller

I believe all three of these quotes capture the spirit, importance and interconnectedness of community.

Over the years, the economic development field has become more and more tied to the communities in which we serve. Public perception has morphed. The public used to view us as an agency that only focused on development and building. While we still do encompass those things, economic development is so much more.

In Adams County, economic development is… providing Spark Loans to small businesses who need that spark of support to launch, grow or diversify. It’s a network of partnerships we’ve developed at the state, regional and local levels—everyone from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to local county and municipal officials, our Destination Gettysburg leaders, local Chambers of Commerce, and Shawn Eckenrode at the Adams County Technical Institute. It’s working with Adams County companies of all sizes and industries to connect them with state and federal low-interest loans and grants to help their businesses grow. It’s launching a new homebuyer assistance program in 2024—look for our exciting details on this, soon!

All of these initiatives are community-building. Yes, some of them may result in actual “buildings,” but the greater building in economic development has now shifted to community building.

And this is where you come in! First, I invite you to check out our website and social media accounts to learn more about the Alliance and our community ties.

Secondly, I invite you to become an Alliance Investor for 2024. This is what we call our membership program, and more details including online signups, are available on our website. Individual memberships are welcome, along with several business levels of support.

But you don’t have to be an Investor to use our services! The Alliance is here for the greater community good, happy to meet with any and all business owners, from entrepreneurs and farmers launching their dreams, to small, medium and large businesses of all types seeking low-interest loans and other programs to accelerate their growth. That’s because everyone’s growth is connected to community growth.

Your investment directly supports those entrepreneurs, farmers, business owners and partnerships—community ties, building community growth for the greater good of Adams County.

Robin Fitzpatrick is President of Adams Economic Alliance, which comprises three organizations: The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). Follow us on Twitter (@AdamsAlliance), Facebook ( and LinkedIn (Adams Economic Alliance).

This article originally published in the Gettysburg Times, January 11, 2024