On December 14, 2017, EDC hosted a panel discussion with “The People You’d Like to See in your Borough” – local business owners who operate in downtowns in Lancaster County.
- Anne Kirby, Co-Founder, The Candy Factory
- Bill Collister, Co-Owner, Columbia Kettle Works
- Crystal Weaver, Co-Founder & COO, Commons Company
The panel was held at Millersville Borough Offices. The discussion was moderated by Millersville Mayor Dick Moriarty.
(5:40-7:16) Introduction by Anne Kirby
(7:16-8:17) Introduction by Bill Collister
(8:17-10:12) Introduction by Crystal Weaver
Follow Up Question:
Do more businesses providing similar goods and services within close proximity to each other spur more activity and demand?
(11:10-11:45) Response from Crystal Weaver
Through the Planning Commission’s work to create a new comprehensive plan – Places2040 – Lancaster’s urban areas have been identified as areas to direct future growth and investment. What do you think is the greatest opportunity for revitalization in the boroughs? And what do you think is the greatest challenge?
(12:35-14:30) Response from Crystal Weaver
(14:30-17:10) Response from Anne Kirby
(17:20-19:15) Response from Bill Collister
Question from Audience:
Sometimes a community works very hard to attract people in from outside, but communities are also a place where people live. I work in Lancaster City so I wander over to Prince St Cafe and get a coffee. For Columbia Kettle Works, is most of your business from people within Columbia?
(19:40-20:55) Response from Bill Collister
Speaking to the challenges for revitalization:
(25:55-29:30) Response from Anne Kirby
(29:32-31:35) Comments from Audience
Question from Audience:
For Bill – Why Columbia? And what do you see as being ‘next’ to help move that borough along?
(34:02-38:58) Response from Bill Collister
A handful of boroughs expressed the desire to bring in a coffee shop, a brew pub, or a co-working space. The reality is there are economics and specific factors for businesses to take into consideration in order to make projects successful. Could you walk us through your most recent – or a current – project and the process of going from idea to operation? What were your most important considerations? What were some of the hurdles you had to overcome?
(39:50-41:34) Response from Bill Collister
(41:38-45:44) Response from Anne Kirby
(45:45-48:06) Response from Crystal Weaver
Can you speak to your experience in working through local zoning or building code regulations? Was it a positive or negative experience? How could that process be made easier? Can you think of ways the municipality could have been more helpful in the process?
(49:19-52:20) Response from Anne Kirby
(52:22-54:30) Response from Crystal Weaver
(54:30-57:03) Response from Bill Collister
Comment from Audience: Recommondation of SCORE, other business assistance resources as an accessible tool for start ups
(57:19-57:43) Response from Anne Kirby
(57:43-58:04) Response from Crystal Weaver
Question for Audience from Anne Kirby:
As you’re assessing your boroughs and commmunities and you’re identifying where there’s potential needs and opportunities and you’re identifying different buildings, are you willing to adjust codes? Are you willing to help along small business to come in and take some of these buildings and do some cool things with them? It sometimes does require creative thinking and flexibility as well. So how open are your boroughs? How open are your communities to be willing to be flexible?
(1:00:07-1:00:37) Comments from Linda Martin, Ephrata Borough
(1:01:30-1:01:54) Comments from Rebecca Denlinger, Columbia Borough
(1:01:54-1:07:35) Comments from Ed Arnold, Millersville Borough
(1:07:45-1:09:50) Comments from Anne Kirby