All Politics is Local: Local Chamber Leaders Converge in Harrisburg for 2024 Chamber Day

Once a year, local chamber of commerce leaders from across Pennsylvania meet in Harrisburg for an advocacy day with the Pennsylvania Chamber and the PA Association of Chamber Professionals. This year, Chamber Day at the Capitol was jam-packed with conversations featuring legislative leaders on timely, business-centric policies – with a strong focus on how to give small businesses a competitive boost. One big issue that repeatedly arose was the need to improve Pennsylvania’s treatment of Net Operating Losses, otherwise known as the start-up tax.

Why the Focus on NOL’s?

Legislative efforts to improve Pennsylvania’s treatment of Net Operating Losses have bipartisan support and are a top PA Chamber priority as lawmakers negotiate the FY 2024-25 state budget. Right now, Pennsylvania’s 40 percent cap on NOLs is one of the most restrictive in the nation. Only Pennsylvania and New Hampshire cap NOLs below the federal level of 80 percent, while 24 states benefit from having no cap at all – putting Pennsylvania at such a disadvantage that the Kauffman Foundation recently identified the Commonwealth as having the lowest rate of new entrepreneurs in the entire country.

This needs to change! Recently, the PA Chamber led a coalition of more than 70 chambers of commerce across Pennsylvania in sending a letter to Governor Shapiro and the General Assembly for an elimination of Pennsylvania’s start-up tax. The letter stresses that this is a major step in the shared goal of improving Pennsylvania’s competitiveness and attracting start-ups and cyclical businesses.

Chamber Day

Efforts to improve Net Operating Losses were discussed during a Chamber Day session with the respective Majority Appropriations Chairs of the state Senate and House, Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, and Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Philadelphia. Both legislators agreed that the problem needs to be addressed. The PA Chamber is continuing to partner with local chamber advocates and legislators from both parties to reach consensus on a solution.

Other hot policy topics on the agenda included talks with lawmakers on housing, permitting reform, and updates on the Shapiro Administration’s economic development plan. Chamber Day concluded with an update on federal business policies from the U.S. Chamber; and a Q&A between local chamber leaders and the PA Chamber’s Government Affairs team.

The PA Chamber’s advocacy efforts are only as strong as those of our nearly 10,000 members, local chamber partners, and the allied stakeholders who support our mission to build a stronger Pennsylvania economy! As business advocates share their triumphs, challenges, struggles, and suggestions in forums like Chamber Day, their voices give depth to our efforts to craft effective pro-growth policy and help us articulate how legislation would impact businesses for better or worse – all helping us represent their best interests the halls of the state Capitol.

The PA Chamber and the PA Association of Chamber Professionals value and appreciate our local chamber partners and the critical relationships we hold. A special thank you to PA Chamber Investor Member RETTEW for sponsoring 2024 Chamber Day.