Progress Being Made on Improving State Permitting

PA Chamber President & CEO Luke Bernstein stood alongside Gov. Josh Shapiro during a press conference in Harrisburg last Thursday in which the governor delivered an official update on his administration’s efforts to streamline state processes for permitting and licensure, part of an initiative that Shapiro says aims to make Pennsylvania’s state government operate “at the speed of business.”

Earlier this year, the PA Chamber released a comprehensive framework for enacting permitting reform at the state level, teamed up with organized labor to advocate for these improvements, and led a coalition letter to Gov. Shapiro and members of the Pennsylvania legislature, urging them to reform the state’s “dysfunctional and unpredictable permitting system.”

During last week’s event, Bernstein thanked the governor for addressing the business community’s concerns and reiterated the Chamber’s support for eliminating backlogs and expediting the processes for acquiring the permits and approvals.

Bernstein emphasized that these efforts will help make Pennsylvania a more competitive state for business and unlock significant economic growth.

Selected coverage of the event has been excerpted below.


‘We’re making progress:’ Shapiro not satisfied with state permit, licensing processes

by Dennis Owens | Harrisburg ABC 27

One of the first things Josh Shapiro did as governor, and he was widely applauded for it, was promise to streamline the processes for getting permits and licenses. On Thursday he was outside a local salon with a progress report and it’s a good one, he says.

When he took office, it took 27 days for a dentist to get a license. Shapiro says that is now down to four. Wait times for unemployment compensation calls were over an hour. He says that’s now down to 17 minutes.

Shapiro said, “We’re making progress thanks to the hard-working Commonwealth employees who are dedicated to this effort. They’re the ones on the front lines. They’re out there identifying areas where we can speed up the process and improve.”

Luke Bernstein, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry said, “While permitting and licensing reform do not sound exciting, it doesn’t sound like the sizzle to us, this is really, really important stuff. And I’ll tell you what, this is not only the sizzle, this is the steak. This is vitally important to making Pennsylvania more”


Shapiro on cutting state’s red tape: ‘We have made real progress’

by Paul J. Gough | Pittsburgh Business Times

Josh Shapiro said the first steps his administration took in reducing paperwork and wait times for permits and licenses are making a difference, particularly in health care, unemployment and education.

“We have made real progress, we have eliminated backlogs and cut wait times across the board,” Shapiro said Thursday morning during a news conference in Dauphin County.

New state business licenses have gone from eight weeks to three days. “Many of them … you’ll get it done in just one day,” Shapiro said. “That is real progress.”

Luke Bernstein, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, praised Shapiro’s efforts. “This is vitally important to making Pennsylvania more competitive,” Bernstein said. “I hear this from employers all the time.”


Gov. Shapiro says he’s slashing red tape, streamlining business permit, licensing

by David Wenner | PennLive

Pennsylvania has significantly speeded up the process of issuing permits, licenses and certificates in areas ranging from opening a business to becoming a nurse or teacher, to going hunting, Gov. Josh Shapiro said Thursday.

One of Shapiro’s first actions after taking office early this year was to sign an executive order to overhaul the state’s permitting process. On Thursday, he gave an update on the effort, which he said will eventually allow applicants to be told upfront exactly how many days the processing will take. He pledged more details and updates as the processes continue to improve.

The effort received a strong endorsement from Luke Bernstein, the president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. Bernstein cited a study that ranked Pennsylvania 44th worst in the country in terms of ease of opening a business.

“People have been talking about licensing reform for years. People have complained about it for years, but it was not until this governor, this administration, took leadership, took the initiative … I’m thankful for his leadership,” he said. “This is vitally important to making Pennsylvania more competitive.”



Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.