#21 – Fourth Economy Consulting 

Posted on September 21, 2020

fourth economy

It’s #ELGLHaverford time! We’re pleased to recognize the top 25 local government companies as nominated by ELGL members. Learn more about the Haverford Award, and then check out our website every day this week to learn about five new companies added to the 2020 Haverford Award list.

Contact information:

Company information:

  • Industry sector(s): Community Development
  • Minority/Woman Owned Business: No
  • Shared content/expertise with ELGL: No
  • Participated in ELGL events/activities: No

Nomination information:

Describe your work and interactions with the nominee – how have you worked with them, on what projects, and in what capacity?

  • Fourth Economy are the leading consultants for Allegheny County Economic Development’s program, Allegheny Together, which is a program that provides strategic planning and technical support for traditional business districts in low to moderate income communities. The process stresses community organization and data-driven planning as a way to direct public investment, spur private investment, and revitalize our communities.Through this process, priorities are established, which are then addressed through technical assistance. 
  • A principal objective of Allegheny Together is to help existing businesses thrive in our county’s downtown shopping districts. By helping existing enterprises succeed, Allegheny Together hopes to attract new entrepreneurs to the market, thus increasing district vibrancy. 

What was the product/outcome of your relationship with the company?

  • Since onboarding Fourth Economy in 2018, they lead the development of three strategic plans for Etna, Millvale, and Sharpsburg business districts, as well as, brought on two additional participants, Clairton and Mt. Oliver.
  • In addition, they’ve worked closely with Borough/ City Managers in establishing Business District Advisory Committees in respective Allegheny Together communities, which is required to help inform priorities and recommendations. 
  • Recently, they pivoted programming to COVID-19 efforts which included the creation of an interactive “business open map”, facilitation of a series business recovery webinars, as well as, coordination of one-on-one help facilitated by small business assistance agencies. 

What are three words you’d use to describe the company?

  • Diverse, Innovative, Community-oriented

Describe the on-boarding process for your work with the company – either when you personally started working with them, or when your organization did. What could someone else in local government know about starting work with this company? 

  • Fourth Economy’s research and analysis approaches are exceptional in that they present clear challenges, opportunities, and suggestions that are data driven. When working with the internal team or Borough leaders in Allegheny Together communities, they do a fantastic job of creating and executing personalized roadmaps that outline each stage of participation. 

What’s the most interesting or fun aspect of your work with the company?

  • During the strategic planning process, you can expect Fourth Economy to provide a comfortable, fun, interactive, and creative space for community participation. They have a more intimate approach , when it comes to community engagement, which has allowed them to develop respectable relationships with Borough leaders and community members participating in Allegheny Together programming.
  • This is a great quality to have, as sometimes community members can feel uncomfortable or reluctant in engaging external stakeholders that aim to redevelop communities. 

What is the company’s pricing structure? Please be as descriptive as possible.

  • Structured pricing based on limited Community Develop Block Grant funding  

How has your relationship with the company evolved or changed over time? How has the company reacted to or addressed any changes that your organization has requested in the scope/focus of your work together?

  • Fourth Economy has helped Allegheny Together become more community driven.They have created a scope that stresses both the collaboration between Borough leaders, building owners, business owners, and interested residents, and data collection.
  • As an economic agency, engaging more with various community members will allow us to understand various community needs, thus helping us determine what unique resources to employ/direct individuals to. 

Anything else to add about the company that we haven’t already asked you?

  • Fourth Economy has allowed our agency to increase our capacity and ability to reach communities within Allegheny County, using their innovative approaches to community development and participation. We rely on their expertise and assistance with helping us transform into a more innovative agency capable of servicing ever-changing communities in our region. 
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