Business owners gathered at the Bayfront Convention Center today to discuss the future of Erie's economy.
To Erie, the Homecoming Showcase is an event that brings former residents back to town to discuss their successes, as well as ways to improve local businesses.
Nearly 100 business owners came together to share their stories of success. Organizers say this event is a great resource for businesses of all sizes.
"What we hope to do is build new relationships and new opportunities for investment, job growth and just general advancement in the Erie community," says Jake Rouch, Vice President Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.
And, one local business owner says Erie is on the verge of something great. "That's what's actually kept me driving forward is the spirit. There is an excitement in the air... the entrepreneurs are the future," says Tim Case, Owner of Archery Encounters.
We talked with one speaker who isn't from the area but he's bringing his business here with one of the fastest growing industries in the country. "I've done other town halls but I've nerver had an event like this. This 'Erie Homecoming' notion is really cool. I was thinking of my own hometown of Toledo, Ohio and just going back and trying to do the same thing there. Bringing good ideas back, cross pollenating with other industries."
We asked some of the business owners to share one crucial piece of advice with people looking to start or grow their business. Rob Englert, Owner of RAM Industrial Design, tells us, "anything is possible in today's environment, with our access to information. Individuals can make a big impact on the world, much more so than people realize. And all they have to do is try... Follow the trends. You know, always be investing in themes and trends. That's kind of what we did. We saw a trend, we saw an opportunity we saw real demand from real patients and we followed the trend."