Entrepreneurship: Learned or inherited?

Researchers and policymakers have long recognized the impact of entrepreneurship on the economic prosperity and development of countries. To paraphrase William Baumol, the eminent American economist, entrepreneurs are the usual suspects for both slowdowns and great leaps in economic growth of nations. Given the positive consequences in both economic development and social change, entrepreneurship is a key variable for developed and emerging economies. Thus, it is not surprising that a deeper understanding of the drivers of entrepreneurship is a significant stream of research. Among the most interesting questions in this field is why individuals in some societies engage in entrepreneurial […]

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Building a work-ready community

Economic prosperity in the Crossroads region relies on one factor: the strength of the workforce. Any business, to remain competitive and grow, must be able to attract and keep qualified employees. Economic developers, in their quest to attract new business to our area, point to the quality of the local work force as the deciding factor for companies seeking to build new plants. As Hagerstown Community College President Jim Klauber recently pointed out in his address to faculty and staff, “Everyone (i.e. economic development professionals) offers tax incentives and cheap land for site development. That’s a given. The community that […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line views on a few items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal region: • Congratulations and kudos to Jefferson Security Bank, based in Shepherdstown, W.Va., for reaching its 150th anniversary and for celebrating the milestone by focusing on “random acts of kindness” to help others. • A thumbs up to Casey Kelly, a former youth apprentice and current junior analyst for Washington County-based Beacon Grace, was named the Maryland’s first youth apprenticeship ambassador. • Good luck to William James Renner of Shepherd University and Caroline Thorp of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College as they advance […]

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Know your online communities

It is difficult to resist the allure of omnichannel shopping experience. Omnichannel shopping is defined as a seamless shopping experience in all available channels provided by a retailer, either online or in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Executed correctly, the seamless customer experience in omnichannel retailing drives substantial traffic to retailers’ websites or in-store to deliver an around-the-clock customer shopping experience. Ensuring positive service experiences leads to higher customer engagement, thus developing brand loyalty. However, plenty of retailers fail to provide a seamless customer experience across, and within, these existing channels of the retailing landscape. A major shift of how customers […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line views on a few items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal region: • A pat on the back to James “Jim” Martin, president of Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Inc., who was named the 2018 Business Person of the Year for the The Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. • A reminder to budget some time, if you can, to check in on the legislatures of your respective states. Maryland Del. Bill Wivell spoke about the importance of input from business during a recent Washington County (Md.) Chamber of Commerce forum appearance in Hagerstown, Md. “It’s very, […]

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Filling the workforce pipeline of tomorrow

The economic health of a geographical region relies on the strength of its incumbent workforce. The future economic health of our region rests on filling the pipeline with skilled workers ready to take the baton. Employers, educators, economic developers and government agencies each have a role in creating and sustaining the workforce. The keys to winning the race are collaboration, cooperation and preparation. Employers, by collaborating with educators help to guide students toward careers in industries such as transportation, manufacturing and health care, to name a few. For example, many of today’s manufacturers offer well-paying jobs, but finding the workers […]

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Managing the fear of change

I have been a facilitator of change for most of my career. For me, being the facilitator of change is easy. I can manage it well, and I have learned how to help others manage it well. But, admittedly, I am not perfect, because I fear change — personally and professionally. Years ago, in a meeting with my supervisor, I broke down sobbing because of change happening to me. The strong, “tough cookie” that I am ended up breaking down in tears. I was an emotional mess. You see, my professional role was shifting into the “unknown” because of a […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line views on a few items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal region: • A hopeful thumbs-up to economist Anirban Basu of the Sage Policy Group, who shared his 2019 forecast with the Crossroads Business Journal. Basu said President Donald Trump and the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives aren’t likely to agree on much, but they might be able to strike a deal on a federal infrastructure package, and that would be good news for this region. • Kudos to Hospice of Washington County (Md.), which recently announced that its Doey’s House had earned The Joint […]

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Breaking Down Silos

Global economies, competitive advantage, market share, online everything — all terms that we have come to accept as part of our daily business lives. Whether or not by choice, we have all come to expect interaction on a global scale with practically everyone. However, there is one area that struggles with communication in almost every instance; that being the internal communications of the organization itself. Silo mentality has been discussed in many boardrooms over the past several decades but has recently come to the forefront as the need for competitive advantage has become increasingly more difficult to obtain. Age old […]

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‘Teamwork makes the dream work’

Successful companies in all industries have one thing in common: strong teamwork. Healthy workplace teams, regardless of the industry, provide a number of benefits to the company, to the individual and to the community. High-functioning teams have greater productivity, lower turnover, more creativity and positive morale. These teams, however, do not appear on their own. They are the result of an organizational culture that fosters cooperation and collaboration over competition and individual achievement. In other words, strong high-functioning teams are made, not born. There are several steps that any organization can take to begin to create an organizational culture that […]

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