Chamber Minute

August 2019

PA Chamber Minute August 2019

Hi, I’m Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber.

Welcome to this month’s Pennsylvania Chamber Minute.

According to our most recent economic survey, Pennsylvania employers are feeling more optimistic than they have in years.  The state’s economy is performing well; our geographic location is ideal; and our resources offer amazing opportunities for industries of all sizes. 

However, there remain glaring issues that continue to drive business leaders away from the Commonwealth.  Case in point – a recent survey from WalletHub, a financial rating website, ranked Pennsylvania a very dismal 45th in the nation when analyzing the best states in which to start a business.  The state also ranked third from the bottom in terms of its overall business environment.

These poor rankings show that despite our many attributes, Pennsylvania has a long way to go in improving the state’s perceived business friendliness.  The Pennsylvania Chamber is taking the lead to fix this.  First, we’re advocating for reforms to the antiquated Tax Code, starting with lowering a 9.99 percent Corporate Net Income Tax rate that is among the nation’s highest.  Our organization has spent years advocating for this critical reform, as we know the tremendous economic impact it would have on Pennsylvania.

In addition, there are 153,000 regulations on Pennsylvania’s books that make doing business here costly, confusing and time consuming.  Our organization is working with lawmakers to enact regulatory reforms that will streamline permitting processes, and eliminate outdated and duplicative mandates.

The PA Chamber is also taking the lead in building a 21st century workforce with the skills to fill jobs that will drive our economy forward.  In addition to our robust workforce initiative, “Start the Conversation Here,” we’re engaged with the Wolf administration, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, business and labor groups and other key stakeholders to pass legislation that will empower Pennsylvanians with the skills and training they need to excel in their careers, and close an existing jobs skills gap.

Here are the key takeaways from this month’s message:

  • WalletHub’s survey shows that pro-business policies are needed to improve PA’s competitive edge.
  • Tax reforms and regulatory reforms will go a long way to sending the message that Pennsylvania is open for business.
  • Continued, bipartisan workforce development efforts will build a skilled, strong economy that will work for all Pennsylvanians.

Thanks for spending a minute of your time with the Pennsylvania Chamber, the Statewide Voice of Business.