Centre County Industrial Development Corporation

The Centre County Industrial Development Corporation’s (CCIDC) mission is to promote economic development throughout Centre County with the ultimate goal of attracting and retaining family-sustaining jobs. Through various program activities CCIDC supports the expansion, health and well-being of existing Centre County businesses as well as new business attraction. As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, the CCIDC is a vehicle to unite and coordinate economic development initiatives of both the public and private sectors.

In addition to various loan programs and financing assistance, the CCIDC offers space at two business incubators. Pennsylvania firms can obtain start-up assistance including the use of offices and specialized laboratory facilities.

Featured Commercial Real Estate Listing


East College Avenue
State College, PA

Square Footage:5,350 Contact: Mick Trombley

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526 E. Rolling Ridge Dr.
Bellefonte, PA 

Square Footage:47,000                                            Contact: Scott Yocum

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Why Entrepreneurship Is Important to Your Career in Classical Music

Classical Music

In recent times, the term entrepreneurship has been misused by many individuals due to their misunderstanding about the original meaning of the word. Consequently, the term is misconceived by many people who have in turn developed a skepticism towards entrepreneurial activities. Therefore, it is important for entrepreneurship teachers in the arts to correct the various misconceptions concerning entrepreneurship and to illustrate how entrepreneurship can contribute to the progress of a person’s classical music career. There are four ways in which entrepreneurship promotes the progress of a person’s career in classical music.

Identification of  Opportunities

Problem-solving is a major step in entrepreneurship because one of the primary goals of an entrepreneur is to propose solutions to problems affecting the target market in a community. Therefore, a classical music professional with entrepreneurial skills naturally possesses the observation and analytical skills, which are essential in identifying musical opportunities in the community, market, field or area of specialization. An example is designing a classical music headphone that is tailored for lovers of classical music.

Improvement of an Artist’s creativity

Conventional career choices in the field of classical music offer the practitioner little opportunity for innovation, creativity or novelty, therefore people can introduce creativity into their classical music careers through entrepreneurship. This is because creativity is essential in the problem-solving phase of entrepreneurship. An example is generating revenue through designing and marketing classical music headphones on social media. Although a typical composer might not be interested in marketing, if one is used to solving problems it might become an enjoyable process to the individual.

Teaches flexibility

Adaptability and flexibility are key principles in entrepreneurship. We live in a dynamic society that keeps on changing its attitudes about various issues. Moreover, this paradigm shift is usually a result of complex causes. Consequently, an entrepreneur must be very patient when proposing solutions to a problem. Assuming a classical music professional designs a classical music headphone and the initial product proves to be irrelevant, an entrepreneur should objectively analyze the problem again to develop a better solution.

Entrepreneurship provides a protocol that enables a person to re-evaluate an existing problem to provide a new solution in case the first product does not satisfy the wishes of the market. While the core of an idea might be good, we might ignore some minor yet essential needs of our clients. For example, Classical headphones might simply require Bluetooth functionality. Therefore, entrepreneurship gives classical musicians the direction they need to properly meet the expectations of the audience.

Enables understanding of the audience

Entrepreneurship involves creating value for the target market by satisfying the desires of the consumer. Similarly, experts in classical music have to connect to their audiences to compose or play music that brings joy to their lives. Therefore, an entrepreneurial mentality plays a key role in enabling a professional to compose music that the audience can appreciate. 

Although the thought may not really enter the mind of classical musicians, there are some learnings that can be gleaned from entrepreneurship.  These areas might sound disparate but the trait of being creative, being able to understand the audience, thus identifying opportunities for a classical music career to grow and expand, are actually the same as with any other entrepreneur. Hence, the underlying principles are actually the same.

Boosting the Economy with Hemp Plants

Hemp Harvest

There are many benefits that can be derived from hemp. It has many uses in different industries like health foods, clothing, construction materials, biofuel, and paper sectors. It can also be converted into different kinds of products such as CBD oils, tablets,  and tinctures. Manufacturing hemp and processing it into CBD can help meet the increasing demand for CBD, as well as create jobs for farmers and manufacturers all over the world. However, despite its good benefits, marijuana and CBD are considered illegal, especially in the United States.

Hemp and marijuana are cannabis plants under the strain cannabis sativa. One of the good things about this strain is that it does not have THC which causes the “high” effect on people. Instead of getting stoned, consumers will become more functional because it helps trigger their endocannabinoid system. They can work better and focus more on their tasks. It helps them become mentally and physically healthy. But why does the United State still consider it illegal?

A Political Battle

The United States consumes about $580 million worth of imported hemp every year. Sadly, the country continues to import rather than produce and manufacture it. Many companies in the United States have already proposed to legalize marijuana and hemp plantations to help them lessen the load of getting imported hemp from countries like Canada, France, and China. Several legislators have already pointed out that they can earn more from hemp than tobacco. In this way, they would be able to create more jobs from the workers who have left the tobacco industry.

There were certain instances that the government had almost allowed hemp plants to be legalized. In 2014, the government had allowed the production of hemp plants for purposes of research. Eventually, farmers filled 9,649 acres of hemp plants in 15 states, and 30 universities which worked on research on marijuana and hemp in 2016. This event allowed the legislators to see up-close on how hemp was grown, as well as its effects. Hemp supporters were anticipating that with this experiment, it would help them remove hemp as one of the Controlled Substances Act.

Hemp Production and the Opposition It Encountered

The former president of the Oglala Sioux tribe, Alex White Plume have been growing help for almost twenty years. He was constantly persecuted because of the misconception on hemp plants. White Plume stressed that “hemp had several benefits that we should take advantage of”. He emphasized that its usefulness can help replace products that are often imported from other countries.

In 1998, the Pine Ridge Reservation had been suffering from deep poverty for years. White Plume encouraged the tribe to adopt an ordinance which differentiates marijuana and industrial hemp. He thought that their tribal government will protect him from federal attack. His family had done several kinds of research on both the farming and business side of hemp production. He envisioned that they would be able to create an income flow from it to help ease the poverty of their tribe. In 2000, they started they started planting near the Wounded Knee Creek. The Bureau of Indian Affairs have been encouraging them to farm and White Plume believed that they can do it by planting hemp.

Unfortunately, the US officials were not happy to hear such news. They went to the reservoir arm with guns and decimated the plants. It was a disheartening event for the tribe. It could have been a good source of income for the Native Americans as well as for the other Americans in the United States.

Despite its negative publicity, hemp and marijuana can help generate jobs. The country uses hemp in almost all their products, importing them may seem to be more expensive instead of planting one on their own. It can help create jobs and provide a more solid income stream for farmers and landowners across the US.

Launching a Local Loyalty Card Program and Building a Community

Loyalty Cards

Businesses recognize the fact that they spend sometimes up to 25 times more to acquire new customers than serving their existing ones. On top of that, it has been known that loyal customers spend a lot more than new ones. This is why businesses, more than anything, try to keep their customers engaged and happy. To achieve this, loyalty programs have been established to give rewards to customers who keep coming back.

Nearly all industries and businesses have plastic loyalty cards for their customers with a business model in the likes of "get your 15th coffee for free" business model. The ease at which many businesses can use plastic card printers to create loyalty cards means they are becoming more common. Nowadays, some states in the US have seen such programs being leveraged to boost the economy and build a sense of community. The Case of Croydon, PennsylvaniaThe Croydon Town Centre Business Improvement District has launched the Croydon Loyalty Scheme for employees, residents, and visitors. This scheme aims to attract new businesses into the town.  By rewarding loyal customers, this loyalty card program also supports existing local businesses who are losing a market share to online businesses.

Holders of plastic loyalty cards have access to exclusive offers and discounts from partner bars, restaurants, shops, and other partner businesses.

This program is backed by the Croydon Council. For Councilor Vidhi Mohan, the plastic card loyalty program could help boost the economy by supporting the local trade.

Loyalty Programs in the US

In other parts of the US, loyalty programs were established for civic engagement. In Chicago, for instance, Orland Park launched a program where members get rewards for performing duties that are beneficial to the Park. In partnership with a Chicago startup, BondingPoint, members earn points from registering vehicles, answering village surveys, participating in village events, or patronizing local industries. The rewards include free tickets to a concert or a variety of gift cards.

Other local businesses all over the US including New York and Washington D.C. have partnered with companies like FiveStars to help them launch a rewards program for their customers.  Founded by Victor Ho and Matt Doka who have witnessed the importance of loyalty programs for Fortune 500 companies, FiveStars seek to make such programs accessible to local and small businesses.

What's In it For Customers?

Businesses benefit from loyalty programs when their customers are engaged, satisfied, and loyal. Plastic card holders are rewarded for their loyalty in a variety of ways depending on the business model. Here are some examples:

  • Point system

Most loyalty programs are based on a point system. When users swipe their plastic cards, the system shows the purchase history and the amount of money spent. A certain amount of money corresponds to certain points which when accumulated can be exchanged with free products.

  • Tier system

The tiered system puts more importance on the long-term value of the customer's loyalty. Companies classify rewards into tiers, usually with names like Silver, Gold, and Platinum, with increasing levels of rewards.

  • Non-monetary programs

A customer's values and beliefs are sometimes the basis of some loyalty programs. Schemes where the company helps a non-profit organization for every purchase, belong to this category.

  • Co-op membership programs

Loyal customers can essentially be a part of the company through a co-op membership program. Some businesses grant lifetime memberships for a certain upfront fee. By being a member, customers are entitled to discounts and exclusive deals.

There are different platforms where customers can acquire a plastic loyalty card. They can inquire at stores, fill-out a form, or sign up online. In the US, a lot of customers have two or more loyalty cards.

The plastic loyalty cards system today is becoming the standard way for businesses and customers to be connected. Soon enough, it will be a driver for civic engagement in many states.

How to Promote Your Business Using Insured Prizes

Prize Giveaway

Today's marketing strategies have never been more dependent on technology and, of course, social media. With social media constantly reinventing itself and turning into a catalyst for all things trendy, it's no wonder why all businesses, no matter how big or small they may be, turn to the channel to amplify their different promotions. As we all have come to know, social media plays a huge role in the growth of any business. With the rising influence of social media across the globe, not just for the people of today's generation but also for the previous, it would be a waste not to reach out to a wider audience using the channel.

One way of making a name for yourself in the online world for a much larger audience to see is by holding insured prize promotions. This marketing strategy is great for businesses with not much marketing budget to start with. Even with a strict budget, an insured prize promotion can offer huge prizes that your current audience may find appealing.

An insured prize promotion is a great way to amplify your marketing efforts and spread the word about your promotion a lot quicker. Now, you may have probably encountered this type of promotion before as it is very common.

An insured prize promotion or contest insurance can definitely draw in more customers as operations start to run. The rules to these types of promotions often have loopholes, so be very careful in choosing your words. The only expense you're putting out there would be the production of recommended media, a social media boost in target reach, and of course, the insured prize you're going to hand out.

With insured prize promotions, you can offer great and meaningful prizes without breaking the bank. One of the leaders in marketing strategies have turned to these techniques to gain better results at his business's marketing efforts, which everyone knows isn't just a walk in the park.

Whatever the mechanics of your insured prize promotion are, it is always a good idea to go straightforward. It's important that your visitors can understand these mechanics, and so encourage them to play the promotion. If the rules are too difficult to achieve, you might not be able to gain as much traction as you've originally desired/impeding future spread and promotion influence. But at the end of the day, it's not the technique that matters the most. It's how you maximize the tactic to your full advantage.

Centre County Industrial Development Corporation