What do you think of, when you hear the word “alliance?”

I enjoy turning to the dictionary on occasion, to refresh or reset my understanding of words. Today, I decided to look up the definition of our organization’s one-word name, “the alliance.” Here’s what I found:

An alliance is “the action of allying,” also “a bond or connection between families, states, parties or individuals,” or “an association to further the common interests of the members,” according to Merriam-Webster.

Here at Adams Economic Alliance, I think we fit all three definitions! We are here to serve any and all Adams County business owners, whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or an executive at a medium or large corporation—and everything in between. Think of us as your very own “economic ally.”

In case you need a refresh—and because we’ve added quite a few new programs lately—here’s a rundown of some of the services we provide, as your ally:

  • Free, confidential consultations for business owners and prospective business owners.
  • Low-interest loans, grant opportunities, and other financial programs. This includes our very own new Spark Loan Program designed for small businesses. We are proud of our track record: We’ve facilitated more than 200 loans and other types of financing to Adams County businesses, generating more than $428 million! And let’s not forget that agricultural businesses—farms of all sizes—are included in these loan programs. For example, there’s an innovative federal-state-industry partnership known as the Next Generation Farmer Loan Program, which we can facilitate specifically for new, young farmers.
  • Workforce development: We are working closely with the Adams County Technical Institute (ACTI) to be sure we are preparing the next generation of employees needed by Adams County’s employers.
  • Connection to a network of referral partners: We truly work with too many partners to name them all here, from the local to state to federal level, representing both wide-ranging services to niche needs. Two examples to throw out would be the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the state organization through which we secure PIDA loans for Adams County businesses—as well as the Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN), an organization dedicated to walking alongside businesses to avoid layoffs or closure.
  • Business attraction, expansion and retention.
  • Assistance with site selection.
  • Partner with local and regional investors.
  • Provide Adams Intel data at AdamsAlliance.org. It’s a ton of market, industry and economic data, updated regularly, that we make available to the public—all to give Adams County businesses an edge!

Additionally, there are many community allies working for the good of Adams Economic Alliance as well! We are fortunate to have more than 30 talented, insightful community members serving on our boards and committees.

Lastly, I want to leave you with one final image—that of a lightbulb. That’s because I hope this column has helped you see our work at Adams Economic Alliance in a new light. Additionally, I hope that by reviewing and stretching your understanding of our scope of services, it’s perhaps sparked some lightbulb moments of how we can be allies, now and in the future. Please reach out—we look forward to hearing your ideas!

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, August 10, 2023