Erie Regional Chamber and Former Governor Tom Ridge speak on moving Erie forward

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Moving Erie forward is what former Governor Tom Ridge and others at the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership are voicing.

Yoselin Person spoke with Ridge and others to hear what the group feels is needed to move the Erie region forward. She was live from the heart of downtown Erie with more on this story.

The former governor and others say it’s always a mission to enhance economic growth and collaborate with other businesses, especially during these trying times. Like many parts of life, reconnecting may not be the same as it once was before the pandemic.

Much of business is now virtual, but an opportunity to invite the former governor of Pennsylvania back to his hometown to talk about Erie in person was too good to pass up.

“In addition to the vision, I love the notion of Erie Forward. What do we do to move forward, to be aggressive, it’s momentum. It’s making Erie 2.0,” said Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor.

Lesley Ridge-Allen, vice president of business engagement at Erie Regional Chamber, says moving the Erie community forward and into the future is worth the effort.

“Though we remain more divided than we would like to as a country, it’s so crucial for communities like Erie to put that to the side and really focus on the ways to come together and find that common ground,” said Lesley Ridge Allen, vice president of business engagement, Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.

The former governor of Pennsylvania and former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge says there are several economic development groups in the Erie region, therefore, it’s important to work together.

“Public officials are important and government programs are important, but they really need to supplement what the community itself sets as its priorities, sets as their goals,” said Ridge.

Ridge says younger generations will always focus on tomorrow, but ignoring financial goals today may be robbing from that future down the road.

“They just have to show their willingness and their commitment to be involved and that they are welcomed to be part of that process, because it’s so integral and important for our future,” said Allen.

Ridge says the Erie Regional Chamber has gotten together and helped businesses. He’s hopeful Erie will work with the chamber despite any differences.

“Republican, Democrat, east side, west side, county, city, whatever, it’s a regional enterprise, it’s a regional goal. I think we can achieve it if we work together,” said Ridge.

Business owners that may be struggling in the wake of the pandemic are encouraged to call the chamber.

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