Friday, September 28, 2012

Suddenly, Casey Finds Himself in a Race

Funny how quickly things change, especially in politics.

Just a few weeks ago, it seemed Sen. Robert Casey was on his way to a landslide re-election bid against Tom Smith.

But this week, the political nerds at The Washington Post have taken Pennsylvania from "solid Democratic" to "leaning Democratic" and that means the moment is on Smith's side.

Mr. Smith is outspending Mr. Casey on the state's airwaves and that's likely to ratchet up in the next few weeks. But before you go out and bet the underdog, consider this context from the aforementioned Post:

To be clear: Casey is still the clear frontrunner here. The Casey name is well known (and liked) in Pennsylvania, and the senator has plenty of money to spend. And with Obama looking strong in the state, Smith would likely have to run 10 points (if not more) ahead of Romney to win. That’s no small feat.
Still, the race has gone from afterthought to intriguing.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Raise a Glass to Our Latest Issue

This week's issue hits newsstands today and it worth a toast because we're focusing on the state's wine industry. Some may scoff at Pennsylvania wines, but as our story illustrates, there's a lot of money in those grapes, especially in the Delaware Valley where the industry has become a vital - and growing - part of the economy.

Other highlights:

  • The city continues to distance itself from the term "business privilege."
  • Lessons from a successful startup in the competitive IT services sector.
  • Insight on the choice between more social media marketing and more SEO for your business.
  • Why you should care about Comcast's Internet Essentials program aimed at providing low-cost Internet access and computers to low income families.
  • More, actually much more, within the printed pages, so I hope you'll take the time to read through at your leisure. Enjoy and, as always, drop me an e-mail with questions, comments, rants and raves.

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Philadelphia's Artful Economy

    We touched on it in our first issue and dove deeper into the idea in our second issue and now, Stephan Salisbury of The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a shot at sizing up the economic impact of the arts scene in our area.

    You should be hearing more about this in the coming months, since the smart folks at the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation put together a great event last week, putting 12 of the area's top arts-related organizations in front of the media. The "speed reporting" event allowed each group to give a 30,000-foot view on what's newsworthy in their organization and each one had several great things to share. That should translate into a good number of stories about events and initiatives, but the real story here, the underpinning, is that there's a lot of activity that's have a direct impact on the region's bottom line.

    But the subtle message from the event is that there is plenty of room to grow. That will deserve attention as we move forward.

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    This Week's Issue: A Safe Bet

    The 20 September edition of Region's Business is out. You can find a PDF version online right here.

    Writer Michael Jacobs - an alum of AOL's hyperlocal news website experiment, Patch, took a deep dive into Pennsylvania's gaming industry. Specifically, he took a look at the economic impact in the Philadelphia area. Find out why slot machines are credited with not only saving Pennsylvania's horse racing industry, but allowing to thrive to the point where it is considered one of the top spots in the nation.

    We also have our first installment of Where Are They Now? Karen Fratti, who wrote about choosing New York City over Philadelphia in our initial issue, caught up with five people who were once regulars in the region's news. Although you don't hear about Jim Greenwood, Lynne Yeakel, Tom Ridge, Mark Schweiker and Faith Whittlesey very often, each one of them is quite active. Take a moment to catch up with them.

    This week's Q&A was a lot of fun. Sarah Lockard, the ePublisher of, is about to embark on the Fall edition of her twice-yearly Main Line Restaurant Week. It's become the largest dining event in the region and she has a great story to share.

    Some great commentary this week. Bill Gunderson offers guidance on how to get to the truth behind the headlines. Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, provides strategies for job growth in Philadelphia. Andrejs Penikis, Social Media Manager for Stream Companies, explains what businesses can learn about social media marketing from both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Finally, political columnist Charlie Gerow explains why, despite polls, Romney has an advantage.

    That's just a glimpse of what's in store, so you can see that there is a lot of great stuff packed in there. So take some time to read and enjoy. If you're so inclined, drop an e-mail and let us know what you think.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Taking a Gamble on Gamblng

    We're putting the finishing touches on this week's print edition and the cover story focuses on the gaming industry in Pennsylvania, specifically the Philly area, of course. Take the time to read the excellent work by writer Michael Jacobs, part of which is an explanation on how slot machines not only saved the state's thoroughbred horse racing industry, but allowed it to take a place among the elite regions in the country.

    Much more in store, of course. Very excited to say that Sarah Lockard, the ePublisher of, is our Q&A subject, focusing on Main Line Restaurant Week, which kicks off in the next few days. If you haven't met Sarah before, you'll be glad you did. You'll find some familiar names in this week's edition, some you may not have thought about for some time.

    We'll post the PDF version later tomorrow morning and hope to hear our feedback.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Latest Print Edition Focuses on Gov. Corbett, Dodd-Frank

    Our latest issue is available and, as has been the case each week, there's plenty to enjoy. The cover story focuses on Gov. Tom Corbett, who has seen some pretty unpleasant poll numbers recently. That's prompted some to speculate that the Democrats may be able to unseat him in 2014; without offering a "spoiler," let's just say that there are several Democrats on the radar, but they all might be well-served to ride it out until 2018.

    Great piece on the Dodd-Frank bill, specifically its impact on small community banks. While the Fed insists that most of the bill's ramifications will bypass such institutions, we got quite a different story from local bank executives.

    Great column by the smart & talented Gina Rubel, who runs a dynamic PR & marketing firm in Doylestown. Great ideas for C-level executives.

    Lots of little things that I always enjoy - and hope you do, too - including our Q&A with the GM of the popular Del Frisco's restaurant, the By The Numbers pages which I always hope sparks some conversation and lots more. Dive in and tell us what you think!

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    Steps Toward Improved Infrastructure

    We've seen enough construction signs to believe that orange is the state's official color. But all the construction leads to something, or at least we hope so.

    The Route 202 Parkway, an idea spawned the year that Lyndon B. Johnson and Barry Goldwater waged battle for the White House, is finally near completion. Early this month, towns along the new expressway held an open house of sorts, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to check out PennDOT's handiwork. The reviews are mixed, of course, since the project had its share of proponents and detractors. The original plan, though, showed a lot of vision; back in the 1960s, the Route 202 corridor was not the dense suburban sprawl of today.

    Despite its opponents, despite its quaint 40 mph speed limit, the parkway will be a welcome reprieve for suburban commuters and within months, many will wonder how they ever managed without it.

    On the other side of the suburbs, we await the long-touted I-95 connector to the Pennsylvania turnpike. Prerequisite projects are completed or underway, but the real "guts" of the project aren't slated until next year and it won't be completed until 2017. Bucks County commissioner Robert Loughery wrote a column for our first issue touting the connector as vital to the area's economic growth.

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    Check out our latest, high-flying issue

    Still groggy from a three-day weekend, we're excited to present our third issue. Our cover story focuses on Philadelphia International Airport, one of the biggest economic drivers in the region. It's amazing how much money is being poured into PHL in the past 10 years.

    We also have a great Ideas column from an executive image consultant. The workplace dynamics are changing, but it's still important to present a strong executive image. He's got the tips to point you in the right direction.

    You'll also find a great story about commercial real estate in the suburbs. It seems that lost in all the buzz about Center City's resurgence, several suburbs are seeing impressive occupancy rates.

    Check it out and let us know what you think!