Local business leaders and entrepreneurs got the chance to catch up and talk about ways to make Erie a more prosperous community.

Those local leaders said they’re incredibly optimistic about Erie’s future and that they feel everything is lining up for a bright future.

Erie Homecoming is described as a celebration of Erie, one that connects the community as well as people from outside the community to what’s happening in the region and what’s on the horizon.

“There’s so much going on in erie that’s positive. We get exposed to it with regularity, but erie homecoming is an opportunity for a larger audience to come together and meet some of these stories, businesses and initiatives,” said Jake Rouch, vice president of economic development, Erie Regional Chamber of Growth and Development

The theme for this year’s Erie Homecoming is Trailblazers: Dare to Dream and hundreds are expected to attend the two-day event.

The CEO of Velocity Network said Erie continues to become a location of interest for developers from all over.

“Erie is probably one of the best places, not just in the country, but the world to live in right now for a number of reasons,” said Joel Deuterman, president and CEO of Velocity Network.

Deuterman said it’s his goal to bring fiber internet access to all of Erie County and explained why the region offers some of the best economic development assets around.

“It has a great economic climate. The cost of living is low, the actual climate is fantastic, people are very supportive of somebody that is trying to make a go of it. So honestly, I can’t think of a better recipe for success than Erie,” Deuterman said.

Rouch said the Regional Chamber of Growth and Development modeled its plan for Erie around blueprints similar to that of Detroit.

And when one of Detroit’s representatives took a tour of Erie to see developments, he was stunned by the progress.

“We took him around Erie today and his mind was blown about we’re doing here and all he could say was ‘man are you guys doing it the right way. You are on target,'” said Rouch. “It doesn’t take a lot to kind of show that people are believing in Erie, they’re investing in Erie, and it’s going to lead to an even brighter future for the community.”

The second day of Erie Homecoming is taking place Thursday at the Bayfront Convention Center.