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. …

Thinking twice, but making masks and looking ahead

The orders are the easy part for Allegheny York LLC, a small manufacturer in Manchester Township, York County. They have been pouring in ever since a TV news feature on the company’s efforts to make plastic face shields, said Elisha Weir, vice president and sales lead for Allegheny York, which she co-owns with her husband, …

A pioneer of coworking preps for a comeback

Over the last decade, Anne Kirby transformed The Candy Factory from an object of curiosity into a beacon of community. This year — the 10th anniversary of the Lancaster coworking space — was poised to be its best yet, she said. Then, in mid-March, Kirby began the difficult process of winding it down, even before …

Modeling compassion in the crucible of Covid-19

The consultants at Work Wisdom were used to the video-conferencing app Zoom, the instant-messaging service Slack and other tech tools that connect people remotely.  So when Pennsylvania ordered non-essential businesses to close their physical locations in mid March, the Lancaster-based firm adjusted relatively smoothly, said the firm’s president, Kedren Crosby. The canceled contracts have been …

Startup, interrupted

Sam Beiler and Jared Neff had been drawing up growth plans for their Lancaster-based startup, but the Covid-19 pandemic dashed their forays into raising outside capital. Now, their goal is to begin generating a profit more quickly. “That’s kind of the mindset of any startup right now,” said Beiler, co-founder and CEO of a social …

At JPL, events drop but other work powers ahead

Among the first to raise alarms for JPL was its small staff in New York City. As the first cases of Covid-19 were appearing in the Big Apple in early March, JPL’s four New York employees said they wanted to work from home. “At that point, it was like, ‘Oh, really?’ But they just knew …