I’m just going to come out and say it. The world needs fewer annual reports. No disrespect to anyone whose business depends on annual reports—they definitely fulfill a function for many successful businesses. But personally, who among us gets excited to sit down and read an annual report?

That’s why, as our organization, Adams Economic Alliance, thought about putting together a report, we stretched the concept.

First, we wanted our report to encompass our organization’s full story of nearly 35 years rather than one calendar year. Economic development takes time and each year’s success builds a foundation for the next year, which builds momentum, relationships and community.

Second, we envisioned a beautifully colorful report just as vibrant, alive and thriving as our Adams County community. I don’t know about you, but most annual reports I’ve read do not fit this description.

And third, our audience is you—the public. And we wanted this report, this project, to be inviting and break down any barriers or misconceptions people may have about “economic development.”

So (and imagine a drumroll here) please click here to check out your Adams County Quality of Life Report. Ta-dah!

We chose “quality of life” to describe and encompass everything we do here at the Alliance because over the years, the definition of economic development has stretched and expanded to more accurately encompass a region’s quality of life. It’s a balancing act between economic activity, jobs and industries, homes and schools, preservation and parks, businesses and organizations—that all together, enrich our lives.

Our goal, with this report, is to demonstrate the long-term results the Alliance has had on Adams County’s quality of life since the founding of the organization in 1989. We include facts, statistics and data, partnerships and projects that demonstrate the Alliance’s impact. But we also incorporate opinions: How do you define Adams County’s quality of life? We are happy to include many thoughts! You may recognize the names and photos of people you know, within the pages—which can be viewed and read online.

People, and quality of life, are behind everything we do. Every project, loan or partnership began as a conversation. In turn, those conversations turned into a series of relationships as projects moved through funding, zoning, permitting and additional litmus tests. These tests became road blocks, halting some projects. However, over the past 30+ years, many successful projects, loans and partnerships have yielded compelling economic data!

For example, the report reveals the total dollar amount of financing we’ve provided to Adams County businesses over the years: $428 million. And that’s just one of the extraordinary (if I do say so myself) figures directly responsible for driving our quality of life.

But our story and conversations are far from over. The Alliance’s “reason to be” is to help businesses, continually build partnerships and relationships and improve quality of life. We hope this report informs, inspires and sparks more conversations! Reach out to the Alliance, follow us on social media and learn more about our loan programs, services and partnerships. Let’s have many more conversations.

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 (Facebook.com/AdamsAlliance) and LinkedIn (Adams Economic Alliance).

This article originally published in the Gettysburg Times, February 9, 2023.