Preparing Your Business for an Uncertain 2023 Economic Outlook

As our economy continues to slowly emerge from a once-in-a-century pandemic, it’s no wonder business owners feel uneasy about financial decisions that were once considered routine.   

Demand for goods and services continues to outpace supply. Businesses face labor shortages that have led to the strain of increased wages. Supply chain challenges are delaying projects and business cycles. The Fed is trying to squash inflationary pressures by raising interest rates.   

All of these factors have contributed to today’s uncertain economic climate, and 2023 may present similar challenges. As a business owner, it may be hard to come to grips with the fact that you can’t be in control of all the external economic forces working against you. That’s why your focus needs to be on what you can control. Of course, none of us has a crystal ball to predict the future, but there are tangible, strategic measures businesses can take to blunt any negative impacts.   

The first step is to get a clear view of your business’s solvency by closely monitoring profit and loss, operating expenses, and revenue streams. Pay attention to how each of these fluctuates based on seasonal activity, the impact of inflation, the change to your cost of capital and discretionary spending trends.   

Develop multiple business plans for different scenarios. It’s good to have a primary operating plan, but also have a backup in case the economy takes a sudden downturn or makes a faster-than-expected rebound on which you can capitalize. In either event, a working capital line of credit can help normalize cash flow irregularities and provide funding when revenues decline or are delayed.  

If you’re in the services sector, be sure to listen to your clients and understand their challenges. They’re excellent predictors of the year ahead, and opening up lines of communication allows you to explore better ways to partner with them.   

Smooth cash flow problems by reducing payment/receivable cycle time. Establish new ways to get paid, such as an e-commerce storefront, automated clearing house (ACH) and business-to-business card payments. The goal is to ensure you have a payments partner that settles quickly and gets your funds to you fast.   

With employee recruitment a continuing challenge, revamp your hiring process to handle ongoing churn issues. A new process should include faster training and integration to continue your company’s ability to protect operations and, of course, revenue streams.   

Keep an open line of communication with your current employees. Listen to their ideas and show them you value their counsel and dedication. One or two good ideas could change the course of a company’s future forever. Added communication and appreciation also can go a long way to keep your team together at a time when the job market continues to be volatile.  

Lastly, be open and flexible to new ways of doing business – and revisit previous ideas. Opportunities previously discarded might be the perfect fit now.   

Just remember, as a business owner, you cannot always predict the future, but with a few simple steps and an open mind, you can prepare for any potential outcome to help protect your company and valuable employees.   

Heather Hall has more than 20 years of success in the financial and banking industries in the capital region and is executive vice president at Mid Penn Bank, which has offices in Lehigh, Bucks, Berks, Montgomery and Schuylkill Counties, among many others. 

Shapiro nominates Acting Attorney General for AG

Pennsylvania’s Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry has been nominated by Gov. Josh Shapiro to serve as Attorney General. 

Henry’s nomination has been sent to the Senate for advice and consent. 

A longtime public servant and prosecutor, Henry served as First Deputy under Shapiro in his previous role as Attorney General. 

Henry called the work Shapiro did in the Office of Attorney General the “gold standard” in restoring institutional integrity. She said Pennsylvanians should expect the Office of Attorney General to “stay strong, be bold, and continue to do groundbreaking work” on behalf of the state’s citizens. 

“Public service is what drives the dedicated employees of this office to work hard and stand up for the kids, consumers, and victims of crime when they need a fighter on their side,” Henry said in a statement. “As Attorney General, I will be dedicated to making sure this work continues nonstop and that this office will always have Pennsylvanian’s backs.” 

Shapiro said Henry’s decades-long experience as a prosecutor and in public service will serve her well as AG. 

“I have complete confidence in her ability to represent the Commonwealth,” said Shapiro, “and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the people of Pennsylvania can be safe and feel safe in their communities.” 

Henry’s experience includes 26 years as a prosecutor. She has risen from intern in the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office to Pennsylvania’s chief law enforcement officer. 

As First Deputy Attorney General, Henry was responsible for overseeing the Office’s legal matters. Included in this is criminal cases seeking justice for victims, civil suits representing the state, and public protection cases fighting for the rights of consumers. 

Prior to serving as First Deputy Attorney General, Henry spent 20 years in the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. Her responsibilities included Chief of Major Crimes, Chief of Child Abuse, and First Assistant. In 2008, she was appointed Bucks County District Attorney with a bipartisan vote. 

In 2017, Henry received Widener University Commonwealth Law School’s Excellence in Public Service Alumni Award for “extraordinary contributions” to public service. 

Counterfeit auto parts seized, headed to Bucks County

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Philadelphia seized nearly $300,000 in counterfeit automotive parts from China. PHOTO/ U.S. Customs and Border Protection –

Calling them a potential danger to roadways in the region, the Philadelphia U.S. Customs and Boarder officers have seized nearly $300,000 in counterfeit auto parts coming from China.

The items, which were seized on July 14, were destined to an address in Feasterville.

The shipment, which arrived on June 4, contained 5,657 pieces of vehicle parts including vehicle door locks, hinges, powered mirrors, steering wheel switches, headlights and taillights, grills, rear bumpers, and paint kits.

CBP officers suspected the auto parts to be counterfeit and detained them.

“Unscrupulous repair shops and greedy internet vendors that value profits over safety place motorists in severe peril,” said Keith Fleming, CBP’s acting director of field operations in Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection officers will continue to intercept counterfeited or pirated goods because we want consumers to be confident in knowing that the products that they purchase are safe for themselves and their families.”

Officers consulted with CBP’s automotive experts at the agency’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise who worked with trademark holders and confirmed on July 7 that the automotive parts were counterfeit.

Officers completed the seizure on July 14. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the automotive parts is $295,052.

Hatch Biofund receives $5M investment

The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown received another major pledge for investment in the nonprofit’s Hatch Biofund. The Bucks County Employees’ Retirement Board said it will invest up to $5 million to support PABC-member companies.

The investment follows a $10 million commitment made by Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo in March and a $2 million investment from the Provco Group of Villanova, which was made last month.

More than 80 companies belong to the PABC. They are mostly small to mid-size research and pharmaceutical companies. About 40 of the member companies have operations on site.

Bucks County Controller Neale Dougherty called it a good investment.

“Our primary responsibilities on the Bucks County Retirement Board are to protect and grow the Bucks County Employees Retirement Fund. This investment in the Hatch Biofund allows us to meet those goals,” he said. “The establishment of the Hatch Biofund, which will support early stage and startup companies that are Pennsylvania Biotech Center members, is an obvious natural progression for the PABC.”

Companies that apply for investment from the Hatch Biofund will be chosen by a scientific advisory committee and approved by the investment committee.

Developer bringing Core5 Logistics Center at Park 31 to Bucks County

Plans for Core5 Logistics Center at Park 31. SUBMITTED


A new speculative three-building logistics center is coming to Bucks County.

Colliers said that it acquired 74.4 acres of land at 2130 Allentown Road near Lansdale on behalf of real estate developer Core5 Industrial Partners of Atlanta.

Michael Golarz and Tom Golarz of Colliers Industrial team facilitated the deal and will continue to serve as the exclusive leasing agents for the property, which will be a Class A master-planned logistics park to be called “Core5 Logistics Center at Park 31.”

Core5 Logistics Center at Park 31 is being built approximately two minutes from the newly improved Lansdale Interchange of the Northeast Extension making it easily accessible to the Greater Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania and the entire Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

“This is an incredibly exciting project for our team. Large, industrial zoned land parcels with excellent access to major corridors of travel are rare in the greater Philadelphia market. This project is certain to see a wide variety of interest from occupiers – both warehousing and distribution as well as more integrated businesses,” said Michael Golarz.

The agents said there has been a great deal of interest in the planned project.

“Throughout the entitlement process, we received interest from a variety of tenants including warehousing and distribution, pharmaceutical, and food related. We also continue to see demand from local occupiers with pursuing a ‘flight to quality’ within modern industrial space.” Said Tom Golarz.

When complete, the new development will total 591,360 square feet across three buildings.

Construction is expected to begin in January of 2021 with delivery of the first two of three planned buildings expected by the third quarter of next year.

St. Luke’s Physician Group expands in Bucks with acquisition of Dublin Internal Medicine

Dr. Donald Brislin, DO –


St. Luke’s Physician Group of Bethlehem has acquired Dublin Internal Medicine. The practice will now be known as St. Luke’s Dublin Internal Medicine.

“St. Luke’s acquisition of Dublin Internal Medicine expands our reach into Bucks County and enhances our ability to serve those in need of support and guidance during these difficult times along with providing routine care for patients,” said Michael Owsinski, SLPG regional director in a release.

The practice will remain at its current location at 161 N. Main Street, Dublin. Dr. Donald Brislin, DO, will continue as its provider. Brislin earned his medical degree from, and served an internship at, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He also completed a residency at Abington Memorial Hospital and is board certified in internal medicine.

“Dr. Brislin has been practicing in the area for more than 20 years,” said Owsinski.  “He is a respected member of the Dublin community and within the regional medical community.”

“I am pleased for my patients and my practice to be associated with St. Luke’s,” Breslin said. “This new relationship represents St. Luke’s first expansion into this part of the Bucks County market and I believe it will have an immediate impact.”

The practice will continue to see new and existing patients.

Grand View Health to accept Humana Inc. insurance

Grand View Health signed an agreement with health insurer, Humana Inc., that will provide in-network coverage for Humana Medicare Advantage members at Grand View Hospital and its outpatient locations.

The agreement means Grand View Health care will be in-network for members of Humana Medicare Advantage Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), and Private Fee-for Service (PFFS) health plans.

The agreement also will offer in-network access to Grand View Health primary care providers and specialists.

Terms of the agreement, which goes into effect Nov. 1, were not disclosed.

Grand View Hospital is a private, nonprofit facility in Sellersville with 167 beds. Grand View Health has specialized urgent care and outpatient health centers in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Doylestown biotech center receives COVID-19 funding

The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County will receive $803,306 in grant funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development Office of Technology and Innovation.

The grant, which comes through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments and Therapies program, will help the Doylestown center advance the COVID-19 related work being conducted there.

The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, which manages the center, was awarded $165,406 to continue work on a new compound that binds to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and prevents viral entry, and promote it to human clinical trials. This could be the first small molecule drug for treatment of COVID-19.

The Blumberg Institute was also awarded $207,900 to conduct a study to determine if a small molecule, iminosugar, alone or in combination with Remdesivir or Favipiravir, is useful against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.

“The PA Biotech Center is an important part of our region’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, ushering in some of the first diagnostic tests in Bucks County through on-site companies, as well as hosting a number of other entrepreneurs who are developing new drugs to manage this disease,” said state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D- Bucks. “This investment not only spurs economic growth to the area’s biotech sector, but will likely help save lives here and across the world.”

PA Biotech was also awarded $430,000 to convert warehouse space in its complex to research and training space that will accelerate the pace of development of projects dealing with COVID-19 and related work. The 6,000-square-foot space will be used by several biotechnology companies, research projects, and trainees who will work on new therapeutics and diagnostics.

Entrepreneurial ‘Spark Bowl’ returning to DelVal

From Left: Spark Bowl Judge William Schutt, Founder & CEO of LucasPye BIO Tia Lyles-Williams, and the winning 2019 DelVal student team winners Kyle Maio and Anthony Aquilano. –


Bucks County is preparing for a second “Spark Bowl.”

Spark Bowl is a “Shark Tank”-style competition organized by Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, its Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center and the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

Entrepreneurs, startups and even nonprofit organizations can apply to compete to pitch ideas that will address social, consumer or business-oriented challenges in Bucks County. There will be cash prizes for winners.

“The first year of the competition was a resounding success and was a great partnership between DelVal and the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce,” said Tanya Casas, dean of the university’s School of Business and Humanities. “Our students gained valuable experience serving as consultants for real businesses and organizations. The competition will provide Delaware Valley University students with the opportunity to apply what they’re learning in class to help local entrepreneurs, innovative businesses and nonprofit organizations.”

As part of DelVal’s experiential learning program, DelVal student teams will work with finalists to prepare for the competition under the guidance of DelVal faculty and SBEC advisors.

The competition will then be held Nov. 19 at DelVal’s Life Sciences building auditorium.

Existing businesses must be less than or equal to 36 months old as of Aug. 31, 2020, to be eligible to enter. For more information visit delval.edu/spark.

Grand View Health appoints Courtney Coffman as new CFO

Grand View Health has announced that Courtney Coffman has joined the leadership team as vice president and Chief Financial Officer of the Bucks County-based health system.

Coffman started with Grand View Health at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Grand View, and has since overseen the health network’s financial plan and annual operating budget.

She joined Grand View from Reading’s Penn State Health St. Joseph where she also held the position of vice president and CFO.

“Courtney’s leadership and experience in community health care, combined with her knowledge of the region have made her an excellent fit for us” said Jean Keeler, president and CEO of Grand View Health in a statement. “As we forge ahead through unpredictable economic, governmental and healthcare challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, Courtney’s expertise is integral to our fiscal health and fulfillment of our organizational growth initiatives.”

Coffman holds a BBA in Accounting from Temple University.

Penn Community Bank, Bucks United Way, establish COVID-19 fund

The fund will target issues such as food insecurity that may be made worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES –

Penn Community Bank in Perkasie said it is working with United Way of Bucks County to create a Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund to help those who experience a financial crisis from the pandemic.

“The funds are intended to be filling gaps that will arise as a result of these circumstances,” said Todd Hurley, the bank’s chief relationship officer. “There were already people who were food insecure before this. The trickle down of this is creating further hardship because people might be out of work because of it.”

Both the bank and the United Way are contributing $25,000 to help launch the fund, which will be managed by the United Way and be distributed through a review board of community leaders, including Hurley.

Money will be given to United Way agencies, such as food banks, to distribute where they see the need.

“These agencies already have the processes in place to help the community,” he said.

Over the coming weeks, these agencies that serve the community will face their own challenges in continuing their services and reaching the people that need help the most, Hurley said.

Because of social distancing, they may have limited volunteers on hand. There are also questions about how food gets distributed. “Some people can’t get out of their homes, how do we get food them?” Hurley said.

Organizers are soliciting funds for the campaign. Donations can be made to www.uwvbucks.org/covidecovery.

“As local businesses adjust their operations and staffing to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, we know that many in our community will feel the hardship created by missed or reduced paychecks,” said Jeane M. Vidoni, president and CEO of Penn Community Bank. “Penn Community Bank is proud to pledge its support to the Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund. We know that many more businesses and organizations are looking for ways to help in this time of need, and this is it.”