Report Calls Philadelphia An Economic Hub

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City Councilman at Large David Oh and Pennsylvania State Sen. Michael Brubaker (R-Lancaster) have released “A Preliminary Report on Improving the Global Competitiveness of Philadelphia.”

The report captures the main findings from a two-day joint hearing between the City Council Committee on Global Opportunities & the Creative/Innovative Economy chaired by the Councilman and the Pennsylvania State Senate International Commerce Caucus chaired by the Senator.

Forty expert witnesses descended upon City Hall representing government officials, business and industry leaders, technology entrepreneurs, and others to testify. “Those hearings were really the start of identifying where Philadelphia stands currently and what we can do to become more business friendly and globally competitive,” said Oh.

“This forum was a significant step forward in determining what we can do to help prosper and grow our business marketplace and jobs climate for the people of Pennsylvania. These hearings were important to begin the process of breaking down the walls internationally, building upon our great relations and ensuring the City of Brotherly Love and this entire Commonwealth broadens its scope of doing business,” said Brubaker.

“We as legislators can help foster an environment where companies can create good paying, family sustaining jobs for the people of Philadelphia.”

Many witnesses also identified a significant lack of a comprehensive city strategy for international business attraction and branding to catch the attention of companies and tourists. Because economic activities have become more globally integrated in this century, the international business component of the City’s commerce activities must be strategically aligned with its broad economic-development goals. With over 70% of the world’s purchasing power located outside of the US, the City and the Commonwealth will have to take advantage of this global demand to prosper and create quality jobs.

Brubaker added, “When appropriate, international relationships improve Pennsylvania’s business climate for our citizens and workers, and that’s why it is imperative we support and encourage such initiatives. Although I believe our Commonwealth has been successful at creating new opportunities and opening doors to our international partners, I also believe we can do better and should do more.”

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One Response to Report Calls Philadelphia An Economic Hub

  1. Philadelphia has the potential to mirror the strength of its neighbors in New York and Washington.

    First, commercial office space in Center City is far below that of both New York and Washington. This is driven by the suppressed demand caused in part by high business taxes in Philadelphia.

    Second, Philadelphia is connected by an excellent (though underfunded) transportation system. Local and out-of-town workers can easily reach Center City by train, car or plane, with the business district being linked directly to the airport by rail.

    Third, Philadelphia is home to several universities with students who seek to become permanent residents of the city. This is an untapped resource for local labor.

    Bottom line is Philadelphia needs to get its tax structure reformed and reduced through good economic policy and efficient government. The city needs to cut costs on underperforming programs that are not contributing to the economic vitality of the region. Once business and wage taxes go down, workers and businesses will call the city home.

    Jon Frey, Richmond Computer
    April 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

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