Williamsport, PA (PressExposure) March 16, 2011 -- Williamsport, PA.The Marcellus Shale economic phenomenon is creating unprecedented growth opportunities for many Pennsylvania businesses. Many Pennsylvania companies want to expand due to the demands of gas companies on local businesses for more equipment and services, but are finding barriers to doing so, such as access to capital or workforce.
"With drilling expanding in many counties, local businesses are experiencing unique growth opportunities, but some of them are having difficult times securing capital to take their companies to the next level," commented Matt Henderson, Business Consultant, Small Business Development Center, Lock Haven University.It isn't clear how many businesses are experiencing such difficulties borrowing from local banks, or what other constraints they face in expanding.
Penn State Cooperative Extension will be working with PAGasDirectory.com to conduct a survey to determine the barriers Pennsylvania businesses are experiencing in supplying products and services to the natural gas industry.This survey will also determine if businesses are growing as the result of the drilling and the impact of this growth on hiring. The economic development opportunities of Marcellus Shale may be jeopardized if these businesses are unable to grow due to lack of funding or other constraints.
The goal of the survey will attempt to quantify the barriers businesses face, including whether lending is an issue with companies servicing the natural gas industry and if the restricted lending is impeding the growth and employment opportunities at these companies. "Should the research identify problems, we are hopeful steps can be taken to resolve them," commented Tim Kelsey, Ph. D. Professor of Agricultural Economics, College of Agricultural Economics, and The Penn State University.
The survey will be sent to over 1000 companies that have attended or exhibited at a Gas Expo in the last twelve months. "We are pleased that we can facilitate with Penn State's to address an issue that may problematic to a number Pennsylvania companies," stated Joe Barone, PA Gas Directory, LLC.
As one of the nation's land-grant colleges and universities, Penn State has a special mission in addition to research and classroom teaching. That mission is "extension". Penn State Cooperative Extension provides access to a rich store of university research-based information and expertise through non-formal, non-credit programs. People, communities, businesses, and government in every county use extension programs to solve problems and reach their potential. In a word, extension helps Pennsylvania and its people to grow.