5 Reasons We Think the Lehigh Valley Is the Perfect Spot for Entrepreneurs to Set Up Shop
At Factory we rave about the Lehigh Valley a lot. But if you’ve never been here, much less heard of it, you’re probably wondering why there’s so much hype about this section of eastern Pennsylvania.
We didn’t just decide to build Factory here at random. In fact, we looked all over the country and decided Bethlehem, PA was the ideal spot for our unique company that’s part venture capital partner, part accelerator, part business operations team.
Want to know why? Read on!
1. It’s a shipping and distribution hub.
National retailers with massive e-commerce businesses, including Amazon and Walmart, have fulfillment centers in the Lehigh Valley. In 2018, FedEx opened its largest distribution hub to date near in Northampton County on 253 acres. With New York City less than two hours to the north and Philadelphia and Harrisburg one-and-a-half hours to the south and west, respectively, the Lehigh Valley is perfectly positioned to move goods all over the country. In fact, that’s one of the reasons our brand partner Stuffed Puffs chose to build its new manufacturing facility in Bethlehem!
2. It’s got accessible airports.
The Lehigh Valley is good at moving people too. You can fly to major cities for business meetings, trade shows and production runs from the low-stress Lehigh Valley International Airport, or catch flights from Philadelphia, Newark and Trenton.
3. It’s a bright spot for talent.
We’re in good company: The Lehigh Valley is home to two Fortune 500 companies—PPL Electric Utilities and Air Products—and the headquarters for household names like Crayola and Olympus. This is a place that’s brimming with talented professionals. Plus there are eight colleges and universities in the Lehigh Valley alone, and they’ve supplied us with a pipeline of bright students and recent grads to intern and work at Factory.
4. It’s got a vibrant business community.
Factory is well connected within the local business community, including with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. We even started an event, called StartUp Lehigh Valley, to bring local business leaders and entrepreneurs together to network and innovate. You won’t find this level of camaraderie in the big cities.
5. We love living here!
The Lehigh Valley is a growing, bustling, diverse community with a culture of hard work and innovation. Families thrive on the affordable cost of living, good school districts and career opportunities. We love that the area has a small-town feel with big-city benefits: there are green spaces and historic downtown districts; art galleries and award-winning restaurants; professional sports teams and music venues. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t love it, and we tell everyone who will stop to listen!