LNP featured a column by Bob Shoemaker, president and CEO of Lancaster City Alliance. EDC works in close collaboration with Lancaster City Alliance to promote economic development in the City. Learn more about the organization and its economic development efforts at LancasterCityAlliance.org.

In evaluating progress in attracting new business to the Lancaster community, I am struck by the “all hands on deck” approach our various allies employ.

When we have an opportunity to showcase our strengths, and frankly mitigate our weaknesses, we consistently hear “what do you need, when do you need it and we can help!”

Rarely if ever do we, in a recruiting effort, hear, “That’s not our responsibility.”

Frankly, our organization, Lancaster City Alliance, is flattered with the response we get in seeking support from other local economic development groups.

Consider the recent announcement that BrandYourself, a New York City company that manages online reputations, will be opening a new location in Lancaster, creating 100 jobs.

In a very competitive search and due diligence process, Lancaster was successful in bringing this growing company to our community in large part because local groups were able to work together.

Paramount to BrandYourself’s decision to open an office in Lancaster were several critical attributes, the primary ones being the quality of life in the city, the availability to attract talent, and ,of course, desirable working and living conditions.

The efforts of the community in coming together and coordinating the response were noticeable and obviously meaningful.

The key to coordinating this recruitment effort was access and commitment from organizational leaders with a common vision of winning the opportunity.

Across various disciplines, working with key professionals in the areas of finance, real estate, education, technology, government and economic development, we were able to verify a community dedicated to opportunity and an open and inviting culture.

Informally, our community completely showed up in illustrating the positive networking, support and urban vibe important to our prospect.

And, while business attraction is essential to growing a vibrant economic community, retaining and supporting the growth of existing businesses is of equal if not greater importance.

Our goal here at the Lancaster City Alliance is to honor and cherish the relationships we have with existing businesses. And it is clear our peer organizations agree. We rally the same resources in retaining and supporting the growth of an existing company as we do in attracting new business.

The approach taken with new and existing business opportunities reminds me of the very best department stores: many specific disciplines under one roof with common aspirations and complete focus on the customer.

Like a department store, we in economic development realize opportunity can come through any door at any time. Rare is the instance where significant lead time precedes the opportunity to present your best.

Leads for new opportunities come from a variety of sources. Our aim is to assemble the right team, pick the logical quarterback and develop custom plays that meet and exceed needs.

To support the goal of a great customer experience and leveraging each and every opportunity, we are delighted with The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s announcement of their new headquarters in downtown Lancaster.

The chamber has long been a catalyst for moving people and businesses forward, and their desire to invite collaborating partners to join in the relocation to deepen the impact and further propel Lancaster forward is truly exciting.

We here at Lancaster City Alliance in addition to our peers with the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County and EDC Finance Corporation, Leadership Lancaster and the Business Group on Health anticipate making the move with the Chamber later this year, with the goal of creating unique and dynamic outcomes for the community.

Let’s make the most of every opportunity, and nurture the growing collaboration that’s well underway.

View the full article from LNP here.