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Nasty

Erie, PA

#55 Jul 17, 2013
anonymous wrote:
"The answer is that very few businesses view this region as worthwhile to set up operations."
Forget about what other businesses in other regions have to say about Erie.
In my opinion, Erie needs to be starting-up new business all the time. It needs to constantly be reinventing itself.
It can be done. All you need is some motivated doers not talkers and procastinators.
What a great idea..... Erie starting up new businesses and reinventing itself ! Why hasn't that been thought of before ?!
Unfortunately those folks with the resources and capital to do that don't want to. At least not many or nearly enough of them.
There's a reason for that. These prospective business men and women don't want to take such a risk with a likely losing proposition.
All start ups assume a fair amount of risk to begin with but that percentage goes through the roof in a town like this.
Business people need a certain level of confidence with their commitment and it's understandable why very few are willing to take those chances here.
Successful business people didn't get that way by losing. I know, I know many multi- millionaires failed before striking it big. But I'll bet none of them, even when they failed thought they would. I'll bet they always started out believing they would succeed even when they did not.
That's the huge difference when trying to compare Erie with more promising areas around the country. Business people are familiar with Erie's track record and have a greater aversion to risk their investments here. Especially those from Erie who know better than everyone else.
You can be sure that in 5 years, 15 years, and beyond this topic will still be bantered about with no workable solutions in sight. The masses will always accept the downward trend and potential businesses will opt for better venues where they'll bank on finding greater opportunity for success.
anonymous

Spring, TX

#56 Jul 18, 2013
"What a great idea..... Erie starting up new businesses and reinventing itself ! Why hasn't that been thought of before ?!"

It's like playing venture capital without making the cash investment. A business incubator allows the owner who owns the abandoned commercial building to use an underutilized asset. It allows them to diversify. They receive 10% of each new start-up company that moves into their abandoned building. The start-up company has 12 months to be succesful. If they are they stay. If they are not they leave. Example: Put 10 new start-ups in an aabandoned commercial building. 6 will make it 4 will not. The 4 that do not leave the building and you fill it back up with 4 new start-up companies.

You surround the 6 sucessful companies with a management teams and they more likely to find financing because they have had an existing 12 month track record.

It's a win-win. The building owner get equity in these companies without making any cash investment. The start-up companies get 12 months free rent and low-cost professional services to help the new start-up. The new start-up is only giving up 10% in equity, NOT 51% or more to some vulture capital.

This type of program can be put together immediately In Erie without ANY taxpayer paid grants or subsidies. Nasty, what do you think?
Nasty

Erie, PA

#57 Jul 18, 2013
anonymous wrote:
"What a great idea..... Erie starting up new businesses and reinventing itself ! Why hasn't that been thought of before ?!"
It's like playing venture capital without making the cash investment. A business incubator allows the owner who owns the abandoned commercial building to use an underutilized asset. It allows them to diversify. They receive 10% of each new start-up company that moves into their abandoned building. The start-up company has 12 months to be succesful. If they are they stay. If they are not they leave. Example: Put 10 new start-ups in an aabandoned commercial building. 6 will make it 4 will not. The 4 that do not leave the building and you fill it back up with 4 new start-up companies.
You surround the 6 sucessful companies with a management teams and they more likely to find financing because they have had an existing 12 month track record.
It's a win-win. The building owner get equity in these companies without making any cash investment. The start-up companies get 12 months free rent and low-cost professional services to help the new start-up. The new start-up is only giving up 10% in equity, NOT 51% or more to some vulture capital.
This type of program can be put together immediately In Erie without ANY taxpayer paid grants or subsidies. Nasty, what do you think?
I beleive your idea becoming a win - win could apply elsewhere but not in Erie. Erie is an entirely different animal than most other places.
As I said before, those with the means to try your plan steer far and wide from doing so in a city with such a long standing losing track record. For example, you wouldn't think to open a store here stocked full of rodeo supplies. That would be a sure fire risky investment. Many investors view Erie ventures like that rodeo supply store. A high liklihood it won't work here.
Those with the resources and understanding in starting up businesses surely would be putting something similar to your idea in motion if they truly thought they would make a profit. They don't have confidence in Erie and who can blame them ? And so they choose not to invest here.
Your example that 6 out of 10 start up businesses would make it is, in my opinion, too optimistic. If you're talking small discount stores, fast food, and tatoo parlors then maybe they would have a chance but higher paying job creators will find it very difficult to fill their work force with capable employees who possess the right skills, education, and can keep themselves sober.
Not a pretty picture. Quite pesimistic for sure. But I'm in my 6th decade of living here and I've seen nothing but the steady decline of a once proud area these past 30 or so years. When you honestly assess what's happened and why, when you look at the projected demographics of the populace the forecast is continued gloom and doom. Wish I could paint a rosier picture for you but I can't. Some places fall apart and never recover. That's what the best and brightest young people know as well as those business people who decline to invest here.
You aren't the first nor will you be the last to devise a sure fire plan for improvement. Like that rodeo store, better to spend those energies in places with a greater chance of succeeding than set up shop where failure has become an accepted way of life.
anonymous

Spring, TX

#58 Jul 18, 2013
Business incubators can work in depressed cities like Cleveland, Detroit and Newark. The issue is changing the mindset in Erie. If Erie continues to do nothing about becoming self sustainable it fails. If Erie changes the mindset and does something about it they have a chance of turning things around. The problem is you have motivated business people that want to change things but local politics gets in the way. It requires leadership and in the last 6 years there has not been any. It also requires competent people to put things togeteher. I can remember sitting in the downtown economic development meeting with Erie bankers. I listened to the speaker tell the banks he needed more investment in Erie. When questioned, the speaker did not understand basic things like the differnce between debt and equity!?! The speaker did not understand that Erie real estate portfolios were in shambles (dropped over 50% in values) and there was no way the banks would fund anything in Erie.

At least with a business incubator you get to watch a start-up company from the sidelines for the first year or so before making ANY investment in the company. If you think Erie is that far gone and there is no hope, no use in beating a daed horse.
Nasty

Erie, PA

#59 Jul 18, 2013
anonymous wrote:
Business incubators can work in depressed cities like Cleveland, Detroit and Newark. The issue is changing the mindset in Erie. If Erie continues to do nothing about becoming self sustainable it fails. If Erie changes the mindset and does something about it they have a chance of turning things around. The problem is you have motivated business people that want to change things but local politics gets in the way. It requires leadership and in the last 6 years there has not been any. It also requires competent people to put things togeteher. I can remember sitting in the downtown economic development meeting with Erie bankers. I listened to the speaker tell the banks he needed more investment in Erie. When questioned, the speaker did not understand basic things like the differnce between debt and equity!?! The speaker did not understand that Erie real estate portfolios were in shambles (dropped over 50% in values) and there was no way the banks would fund anything in Erie.
If you think Erie is that far gone and there is no hope, no use in beating a daed horse.
I do admire your spirit. That said, your post revealed statements that lie at the root of Erie's continuous demise.
1. " The issue is changing the mindset in Erie. " Major,major obstacle. I firmly believe that this cannot be done. Erie people are too generationally entrenched to change. Besides, that would take effort on their part and Erie folk want no part of themselves being part of any solution. They want it all fixed for them.
2. " It requires leadership and in the last 6 years there has not been any. It also requires competent people to put things together." I would say you're being very generous with a 6 year time frame. Erie has been nose diving much longer than that. Competent people are indeed scarce here but as I've said before, those who are more competent know this place is a waste of their time to expend more energy on. Competent people have circled their own wagons, concentrating on their own personal ventures while trying to keep Erie's rot at a distance. I admit this doesn't apply to every single promising individual but getting the numbers necessary for a major push toward improvement simply won't happen. Not enough of them will take that risk.
3." The speaker did not understand that Erie real estate portfolios were in shambles and there was no way the banks would fund anything in Erie. " Speaks for itself wouldn't you say? The banks are in business to make money and loaning funds to such a losing community is, well, bad business. Wherever you go smart people know to run fast and run far from getting too involved here. Tatoo parlors, fast food, gas stations, and various other counter service jobs will define Erie's future.
4. " If you think Erie is that far gone and there is no hope, no use in beating a dead horse. " Yes, Erie is that far gone and yes there is no hope. Erie has crossed the point of no return. It is a dead horse. Face it, there are just some places that fall way behind and never recover. Survival of the fittest on a community scale. I believe that Erie's destiny is to serve as a sad but valuable example to other American cities what can happen when it's citizenry becomes complacent, stagnant, under educated, and too old to sustain the quality of life it was once proud of.
David Crosby

Mansfield, OH

#60 Jul 18, 2013
Hello Erie, I'm David Crosby, the dummy of the world.
anonymous

Spring, TX

#61 Jul 18, 2013
Nasty: I heard in the ealy 1900's Philly went bankrupt and 6 businessmen got together and were able to turn the city around.

Thank you for your insightful comments.
Nasty

Erie, PA

#62 Jul 18, 2013
anonymous wrote:
Nasty: I heard in the ealy 1900's Philly went bankrupt and 6 businessmen got together and were able to turn the city around.
Thank you for your insightful comments.
Whoa, that was what, about 100 years ago ? An entirely different era, an era well before welfare programs and a time when people were willing to work hard to climb up the ladder of success. Today very few see value in rolling up their sleeves and being patient for success to arrive. Erie people have lost the ability and work ethic to move forward at a steady pace. They want their lives to improve by the actions of others and never themselves. They always feel that they're doing more than enough already and those with better fortunes should provide the solutions. That's a problem that can't be fixed anymore. Highlighting a scenerio from an entirely different mindset so long ago is a nice memory but not one that can be duplicated in Erie today.

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