Did you know that the Greater Reading area is home to over 9,000 businesses creating over 170,000 jobs? Berks County is the headquarters of major corporations, and we are also home to thousands of small businesses that sustain our many diverse communities. The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s mission is to support our business community by assisting in three key areas: Promotion, Support & Advocacy.
Promotion helps our companies gain exposure so they can sell more of their products and services and connect with potential customers. The GRCA hosts networking and other events that bring people together to facilitate business relationships. We publish a quarterly magazine, Commerce Quarterly, featuring our business community. We provide industry-specific events, like Taste of Berks. We even help organize ribbon-cutting events for new area businesses. We connect our member companies to other firms that request specific services or products.
Support focuses on providing technical assistance so that companies can better function and expand. The GRCA offers several financing and loan programs (including programs specifically for minority-owned businesses), real estate assistance, state and local incentive programs, and a portfolio of programs focusing on small and Latino businesses. Our Family Business Alliance provides peer counseling on the many challenges of operating a company with your relatives. Our Women2Women network provides professional development and networking for women. Within Women2Women, De Mujer a Mujer helps Latinas to connect with professional mentors. Lastly, we can connect your company to many other partner organizations or government agencies.
Advocacy helps foster a stronger business climate throughout Greater Reading. We work with our elected officials and policymakers on key issues that can impact your business, including taxes, regulations, and transportation. Our Business & Community Advocacy Council hosts monthly meetings on topics like energy, workforce development, and health & safety concerns. Together, members speak with one voice to help create a positive business environment throughout Berks County.
Come get to know the GRCA better. We are here to support you and your community. Visit us at www.greaterreading.org.
By Randy Peers