State and Local Officials Applaud Lock Haven’s Ranking in Best for Small Business

Lock Haven recently was named as one of the top 10 best places to open a small business in Pennsylvania’s northeast region, a recognition that was heralded by state and local officials including state Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton/Centre); state Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson); Lock Haven Mayor Rick Vilello; Lock Haven University President Michael Fiorentino; and Clinton County Economic Partnership CEO Mike Flanagan.

Lock Haven’s No. 3 ranking was determined by data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and analyzed by Talent Tribune, a national blog that provides information and analysis on the nation’s workforce and workplace culture.

“I am proud to represent this fine city and commend all efforts made to invest in the community by helping entrepreneurs and businesses start, grow, and prosper,” Hanna said. “Lock Haven has many influential leaders throughout the community and I am honored to stand with a few of my colleagues in recognizing such an accomplishment.”

“This recognition of Lock Haven as one of the top places for small businesses in the northeast is very well deserved,” Scarnati said, “Congratulations to members of the community who work hard each and every day to foster greater economic growth within our region.  A strong business climate is vital to creating jobs, growing communities and contributing to a better quality of life here in Pennsylvania.”

Talent Tribune reporter Abby Perkins said the company used three criteria in which to rank cities and metropolitan statistical areas as follows:

  • Percent of all businesses that are small businesses (20 employees or fewer);
  • Net small business establishments created; and
  • Net small business jobs created.

“Located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Creek, Lock Haven was once a timber town popular with loggers and boatmen,” Perkins said.  “Now, it’s a haven for small business, as Lock Haven has experienced 3 percent net growth and 3 percent new employee growth at many of its small businesses.  Not to mention, 69 percent of the city’s businesses employ 20 or fewer people.”

“I was thrilled to learn that we ranked 3rd in the northeast,” Vilello said.  “Economic development is a journey, not a destination.  This is a good sign that Lock Haven is headed in the right direction and I am over-the-moon happy.”

“Lock Haven University is more than just an institution of higher education; it is also an economic partner for the City of Lock Haven, Clinton County, and the region,” Fiorentino said.  “At LHU, the goal is to participate in the long-term growth and development of our region. Our faculty, staff, and administrators are involved with helping improve the standard of living and the quality of life for both students and residents of Clinton County.  We work diligently to forge strategic partnerships to build both the institution and the community.”

“We are happy to be listed as one of the best places to do business in the northeast,” Flanagan said. “We have the people, the access, and the infrastructure to draw even more small businesses to our great location.  Small businesses make up the backbone of local and regional economies, and Lock Haven is proud to be the home of many of these successful ventures.”

A recent survey published by the University of Phoenix illustrated that 63 percent of 20-somethings own their own business or want to own their own business in the future, while 53 percent of American adults have seriously considered starting their own venture.  Furthermore, the National Federation of Independent Businesses reported that its small business optimism index increased by 2.0 points to 98.1, the highest rating since before the recession.

To view the entire story published by the Talent Tribune, please click here.