Lancaster City Alliance plans small-business forum

The Lancaster City Alliance is hosting a small-business forum in downtown Lancaster this week, building on a similar event held at the end of last year.

The forum allows up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Lancaster to network with community business leaders to learn about available resources and support.

Known as Cultivate Lancaster, the forum had its inaugural event in December 2015. More than 120 attendees heard from key leaders in the community such as Vy Banh, owner of Rice and Noodles Vietnamese restaurant, and Mike Shirk, CEO of The High Cos.

This year, Cultivate Lancaster will be held on May 12, and the event will feature two speakers – Peter Barber, founder and owner of Two Dudes Painting Company, and Nicole Vasquez, owner of That Shuu Girl Boutique.

The event will take place in Lancaster at 750 Poplar St., the location of Two Dudes Painting Company’s warehouse, at 5:30 p.m.

Although the event is free, attendance is capped at 200 people. So far there are about 60 spaces left, according to Marshall Snively, vice president and COO of the Alliance.

The Alliance plans to host a forum twice a year as part of its award-winning economic development strategy for the city, which is in part devoted to cultivating entrepreneurs in the city.

Aside from Cultivate Lancaster, other events downtown are also focused on entrepreneurial ideas.

ASSETS Lancaster and the Lancaster County Community Foundation are running the 2016 Great Social Enterprise Pitch, which is a business-plan competition for social enterprise ideas.

“You know, most of the businesses that are in Lancaster are home-grown so it all started from one idea,” Snively said in an interview with the Journal. “We’re very surprised at the amount of entrepreneurial activity in the city, and we want to make sure that we have the environment that entrepreneurs can grow and thrive.”

Lenay Ruhl

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