Saturday, November 28, 2015

POSTED: Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 8:52 AM
Filed Under: Economic Development

Sometimes I think what’s occurred in the job market over the last three years is similar to what happens to single-family homes each week on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

A house that may have stood for 60 years gets turned into rubble in what seems like two minutes. Then, the rest of the TV show is spent constructing something new and improved on the site.

Think of the financial crisis-induced recession as the equivalent of a demolition scene during which eight million jobs got crushed. The plans and renderings could stand in for the many fix-it measures implemented by the Bush and Obama administrations and the Federal Reserve.

POSTED: Monday, October 18, 2010, 12:00 PM
Filed Under: Economic Development

Look out six to nine months and what does Select Greater Philadelphia see?

Continued sluggish growth in the regional economy, according to the latest release of the Greater Philadelphia Leading Index.

The index value was 97.3 in August, down from 97.4 during May, June and July. I guess flat is the new up.

POSTED: Monday, October 18, 2010, 8:20 AM

Without its vibrant biotechnology sector, Philadelphia would barely rate as a region that venture capitalists might want to visit once in awhile.

That’s clear from the quarterly MoneyTree Report, released Friday by PricewaterhouseCoopers and National Venture Capital Association.

The report, which uses data from Thomson Reuters, shows 10 of the 31 venture financings of Philadelphia-area companies during the third quarter were for biotechnology firms.

POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010, 12:02 PM
Filed Under: Economic Development

The mission of Select Greater Philadelphia, an arm of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, will get a little broader.

William P. Hankowsky, the incoming chairman of the chamber, told the 1,400 gathered at the Convention Center Friday for the group's 210th annual meeting that Select Greater Philadelphia will become a resource to help businesses that are already in the region plan for growth here.

Since it was founded seven years ago, Select Greater Philadelphia has focused on attracting corporations to the city and suburbs, and marketing the region as an attractive place to do business.

POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010, 10:52 AM
Filed Under: Economic Development

VWR International L.L.C. had hoped to make a statement in early 2009 by making its new headquarters a key part of the redevelopment of a former steel plant in Chester County.

The privately held laboratory-supplies distributor had outgrown the two office buildings near West Chester where it had been since 1992.

However, financing headaches for the real estate developer produced project delays that led VWR to drop that idea and sign a 12-year lease in an existing office building in Delaware County in June 2009.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 2:06 PM
Filed Under: Technology

A New York private-equity firm will buy Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Enterprise Integration Group, which is based in Valley Forge, for $815 million.

Veritas Capital, which has acquired other business in the defense and government sector, called the deal "a unique and exciting opportunity." The transaction is expected to close at the end of the year.

The Enterprise Integration Group produced revenue of $626 million for the 12 months ended June 30. It has about 1,800 employees, of which about 700 are in the Philadelphia area.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 8:05 AM

The candy-fueled holiday of Halloween may be less than three weeks away, but in a North Philadelphia factory ’tis the season for chocolate-covered Easter eggs.

Zitner Candy Corp. is in full production mode on a regional sweet treat that begins to appear on store shelves in mid-February and is often sold out by Easter.

The workforce of 10 full-timers at a tiny factory on North 17th Street near Allegheny Avenue swells this time of year, with 12 part-timers and more than 40 seasonal employees who hand-shape the fillings, feed the chocolate-coating machine, and inspect each egg before it’s packaged.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 11:28 AM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech | Technology

It’s all well and good for policy-makers to talk about encouraging innovation as the path to economic growth.

But for every innovative company in the life-sciences arena that attracts millions in venture capital, several others are tightening their belts as their cash burns away.

Last week, Rosetta Genomics Ltd. announced plans to cut its annual operating expenses by $4 million. Its total operating expenses were $7.89 million for the first half of 2010.

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Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at

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