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Chamber celebrates 80 years of Bellefonte growth

by on May 10, 2018 8:17 AM

BELLEFONTE — After 80 years of serving the area, the Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony looking ahead to the next 80 years of growth.

Held at the chamber’s office at the Bellefonte Train Station in Talleyrand Park, the ceremony brought together state and local politicians with area business owners to celebrate the BIACC and look at how far Bellefonte has come, and where it's headed in the future.

The chamber started with 16 members and now has 246, including small businesses, nonprofits, medical offices and more. The goal of the organization is to support Bellefonte and the surrounding areas. Chamber executive director Gary Hoover said he hopes Bellefonte will continue to see growth in the next eight decades and beyond.

“Bellefonte has seen a lot of entrepreneurship spirit, especially lately," said Hoover. "We have had our ups and downs, but we have always been able to adjust. With the business incubator across the street, with a lot of new business coming into town, we want to continue to encourage that and see Bellefonte continue to grow.

"We have a strong community in Bellefonte, and it is really a super place to live. We attract the best and the brightest.”
Centre County Commissioner Mark Higgins feels that the chamber is a big part of what makes Bellefonte an up-and-coming community. Higgins said Bellefonte is one of a few towns of similar size in the state that has seen a growth in population over the past few years, adding 200 to 300 people per year. He said that while some of that growth is a spillover from State College, a bigger factor is  Bellefonte’s continued development of business.

“I bring my friends from State College down to Bellefonte because it has become such an attractive place. New businesses are opening up, and there are things to do,” said Higgins. “It is becoming a cool place to be.

“Sixty years ago, Talleyrand Park was a bunch of warehouse, and now it is a beautiful park and a place to be. I think the future will see continue to see Bellefonte continue to move forward.”

State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, said Bellefonte was similar to the town from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with its beautiful historic building and community atmosphere, and that it is an intricate part of the history of the state and its economic development.

Benninghoff also read an announcement from the state House of Representatives congratulating the chamber on its anniversary.


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