The FCBA was founded in 2011 through an initiative of the Forest County Industrial Development Corporation. The IDC surveyed the local business community to determine their interest in development of a business organization and their needs and concerns that could be addressed by such an organization. Over 93.8% responded in favor of the formation of a chamber type of organization. Because of the unsuccessful history of chambers of commerce in both Tionesta and Marienville, the group chose to avoid the negative local connotation with “chamber” and instead start fresh as the Forest County Business Alliance.
Incorporation was achieved in December 2012 and application was then made to the IRS for 501(c)6 status as a non-profit membership organization. This non-profit status was approved in 2014, and the Alliance Board works to offer its members benefits of value to them individually and to the general economic health of our communities.
The first program developed by the Alliance was the “Support Your Community – Buy Local” effort, designed to boost patronage of local businesses. This program is being re-branded as “Find it in Forest” and will be launched in October 2021 with a new logo and new promotional materials, including a tiered participation program for FCBA members (free and paid levels) and non-members (two paid levels.) Some of our other programs include the “Forest County EMPOWERS Rural Business Development” project (EMPOWERS), Meet & Greet membership events, a “Focus: Forest County” legislative mixer event, an annual Spring Dinner with guest speaker/presentation, member business job openings shared on social media, and support of the entrepreneurship program in the Forest Area schools. You can find details of these programs and others on the Programs tab of this website.