Law firm program gives Black entrepreneurs a legal leg up

Jabron Taylor wanted to tempt local taste buds with something new. Inspired by the 2019 chicken war between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, Taylor settled on a recipe based on the Nashville hot chicken sandwich, the signature dish of America’s country music capital but a rarity in Central Pennsylvania. Since November 2019, he and several partners have …

A $195M wish list for Central Pennsylvania

Every year, developers and local officials around Pennsylvania ask for funding from a state program called the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, or RACP. Last year, projects in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties took home more than $39 million. But grants are not guaranteed. The program is competitive and many projects walk away empty-handed. …

A return to not-quite normal

As people trickle back into the workplace around Central Pennsylvania, it may feel like a return to normal. But the feeling could be deceptive. The return to the workplace is a change. And while the change is welcome, people still need time to adjust. “It’s not like you can just pick up where you left …

Lancaster firm pitches high-tech approach to tracking Covid-19 risk

Contact tracing is turning into a mess rather than an effective tool to stop Covid-19. People aren’t cooperating, contact tracers are becoming overwhelmed and the virus continues to spread at a record rate. “It’s almost like we’re at a dead end with that approach,” said Victor Owuor, chief product officer at Lancaster-based investment firm Aspire …

Venture firm takes root in York

Martin Fedorko did not cross the finish line the first time he tried to create a venture fund in York County. But he came away with valuable lessons he is applying to his latest effort: White Rose Ventures Most importantly, he learned that York County’s would-be investors are indeed interested in backing local companies. They …

Surveys: Business outlook optimistic but tempered by expectations of slow growth

As elected officials debate another government-led kickstart to the U.S. economy, business leaders are optimistic about their own prospects but resigned to slower growth overall. That’s the gist of two recent surveys gauging the outlook of executives who have spent the last six months grappling with the crippling impact of a pandemic that has taken …

York County teacher turns entrepreneur

Teachers face a captive audience for their talents every day. But it’s not the kind of audience that can point them to the next networking event or business opportunity — or raise their professional profile. That’s what led York County teacher Erin Lapore to create Noble Space, a professional networking site designed with educators in …

West Shore firm partners with Wells Fargo to distribute new credit-application tech

For nearly two decades, Cumberland County tech company Versatile Credit has been making it easier for businesses to offer in-store credit. Its latest device, called Snap Sign, makes it as easy as pointing a mobile phone at a plastic sign. The signs are a secure, contactless alternative to in-store kiosks, tablets or paper applications that …

Investors pour $2M into Harrisburg-area startup

Data helps online retailers figure out what you want to buy, but it’s not foolproof. Sometimes, you buy things that don’t fit or don’t work — and back they go. But even when shoes or shirts make a return trip, there is data to be gleaned. That’s the premise behind ReturnLogic, a tech firm founded …

Lancaster County business owner turns to employees for succession plan

In fall 2018, Dan Laird was crouching in a duck blind on Maryland’s Eastern Shore when a banker friend asked him about his plans for Commonwealth Fire Protection Co. Laird had taken over the Lancaster County company in 2017 after the death of his business partner and longtime friend, Paul Hoffnagle, in a chain-saw accident. …