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Fourth Economy in the News: April 2024 Roundup

Here's a look at some recent noteworthy news and updates from our work and our clients.


Energy Funding and Assistance Finder

We partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop the Energy Funding and Assistance Finder to assist communities and organizations in identifying opportunities to receive funding and technical assistance for energy projects that can help to reduce pollution, lower bills, and drive the adoption of new, clean, and efficient technologies.

As the energy landscape evolves, the Finder will remain dynamic and provide regular updates on available energy funding and assistance opportunities across Pennsylvania!

Pennsylvania reveals roadmap to grow $17 billion outdoor economy

NEXTpittsburgh's Ethan Woodfill, spoke to Sally J. Guzik, Vice President at Fourth Economy, for comment on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' “Growing Outdoor Recreation for Pennsylvania Conclusions Report and Roadmap for the Future,” a comprehensive list of strategies to grow the state’s outdoor industry, develop its economic development capacity, and improve inclusivity and equity through the outdoors.

Fourth Economy has a growing body of work related to the outdoor and cultural economy, including current client, Friends of the Riverfront, and recent clients, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), the GAP Conservancy, the City of Charlotte, and York Cultural Alliance/York County Economic Alliance.

“We’re witnessing a trend where cultural and outdoor recreational opportunities are increasingly merging,” said Sally.

“This approach not only opens new funding and access avenues but also plays a critical role in attracting talent,” she said. “In Pennsylvania, the outdoor economy contributes $29.1 billion in consumer spending annually. Nationally, the impact is staggering, with outdoor recreation generating $887 billion in consumer spending, alongside $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue. These figures underscore the outdoor and cultural sectors’ vital role in our economy.”

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership outlines strategies for improving the Golden Triangle

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP), released its 2023 annual report which included goals for advocating and supporting strategies to encourage the reuse of failing office buildings and empty storefronts, while offering loans and grants and a new rent rebate program to attract new retailers.

As part of this effort, PDP enlisted Fourth Economy to develop a roadmap outlining strategies to access and effectively manage resources dedicated to capital projects. Learn more about the project here. In conjunction with this work, we also supported the Allegheny Conference on Community Development by analyzing the potential for revenue generation that could be captured or diverted through the establishment of a Downtown Pittsburgh Investment Zone.

What a driverless future might look like

Politico spotlighted the report Fourth Economy and Steer completed for our client, the Chamber of Progress, a new tech industry coalition devoted to a progressive society, economy, workforce, and consumer climate.

The Chamber backs public policies that will build a fairer, more inclusive country in which all people benefit from technological leaps.

The study quantifies autonomous vehicle market opportunity, presents recommendations and promising practices to capture that opportunity, and highlights actionable steps for policymakers.

Red River Regional Council and Red River CHDO hold build sessions for rural housing study

InForum and the Grand Folks Herald (via Yahoo) reported on the Red River Regional Council and Fourth Economy Client, the Red River Community Housing Development Organization (Red River CHDO), hosting housing build sessions as part of their rural housing study. The Regional Housing Study and Action Plan will help decision-makers, stakeholders, and community members gain a meaningful sense of the housing market and key housing issues. RSVP for the build sessions by calling 701-352-3550 or on this webpage.

Greater Lafayette Region receives $35 million in READI funds

Fourth Economy worked with the Greater Lafayette Commerce and partners to update Greater Lafayette's Regional Development Plan. As a result, the region received $35 million in funds from the State of Indiana’s second round of the READI program which will help fund projects within the seven-county region. Read the full article from Journal & Courier here.


From supporting the growth of the outdoor and cultural economy, to reimagining downtowns and a driverless future, Fourth Economy helps clients create more prosperous and equitable communities. Our services combine research, strategy planning, and engagement to ensure that the government and business leaders, academia, and communities we work with have the data, tools, and actionable strategies needed to grow their economies. If you’d like to delve deeper into our approach, reach out! We'd love to connect with you.


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