Website can help connect area businesses with Marcellus Shale

At Monday's meeting of the Elk County Gas Task Force, Ridgway Borough Main Street Manager Michelle Bogacki said a new website launched by the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) will help support regional economic efforts by bringing together area businesses with companies in the Marcellus Shale industry.According to MSC, the website is designed to forge connections between small- and mid-sized businesses who provide goods and services and oil and gas energy companies, contractors, and suppliers in New York, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Bogacki said the website, which she described as "a business directory specifically for oil and gas," can help both area businesses by increasing the need for their services and Marcellus Shale businesses by giving them a place in the area of their operation to look for those services. "It’s to reach out to businesses that would like to be available or by contact for oil and gas [businesses] to approach them for their needs, and vice versa,” Bogacki said. "I encourage everybody to check that out. It’s a very nice website,” said Jodi Foster, Elk County Planning Department community and economic development coordinator. "It is a place if you know a local business owner that may want to do business with the industry, they can register for $25 a year and they will be included in this database. For instance, Marcellus may be looking for a place where they can buy gravel, they can go on that website and click on that particular type of business owner and that list will come up.”Foster said the cost is $5 for each additional address if a business has different locations. Bogacki said the coalition is also partnering with chambers of commerce and economic development organizations to spread the word to local vendors, suppliers and service providers. As chambers of commerce are usually a main point of contact, they can effectively provide referrals to both local businesses and those in the oil and gas industry. She said the Ridgway-Elk County Chamber of Commerce ( has been doing outreach to make their members aware of the directory. Pick up a copy of the Friday, May 18, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.