Status report shows increase in economic projects, visits

An Economic Development Status Report shows an uptick in the number of project referrals and site visits for Chester County.

The report was prepared by Chester County Economic Development Director Karlisa Parker and County Business Retention and Expansion Manager Hal Stone. The report recaps totals for 2010, noting that there were 48 project referrals with a total of eight site visits. Nineteen of those projects fall under the heading of manufacturing/distribution.

Prospect activity rose from the first of this year up until July 18, the last day covered by the report. From January 1 until Jan. 27, the report lists five “industrial projects worked” and two site visits. From Jan. 28 to February 24, seven projects are listed as being worked, with two site visits and three trips to meet with prospective clients.

From that point until March 24, eight worked projects are listed along with two more site visits. From then until April 11 four projects worked are listed with no site visits or trips to meet with prospective clients.

April 12 until May 26 netted seven projects worked and four site visits. From May 27 until June 30, there were two projects worked with one trip to meet with prospective clients. The last listed period is July 1 until July18, which featured two projects worked and a site visit.

Of the 36 “industrial projects worked” so far this year, 13 involved manufacturing/distribution, four each were metal/machinery manufacturing and food and beverage. Three were furniture/wood products and two apiece were electronics, alternative fuels, OEM/Supplier and plastics. One project each came under the headings data call center, recycling, institutional and environmental technology.

The report also shows that Economic Development staff attended 35 conferences or meetings through July 18 and that $299,230 in grants have been obtained so far this year.

The report also contains information about an April visit from State Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, the online surveys conducted in June and the June 13 launch of the Chester County Economic Development Facebook page.

By Travis Jenkins, Staff Reporter with The News & Reporter