The Saturday after Thanksgiving marked “Small Business Saturday,” a day that encourages consumers to show love to the small businesses that serve their neighborhoods and communities by patronizing their stores. This annual day of recognition began in 2010, but over the past two years, participation in Small Business Saturday has mattered more than ever as employers continue to experience pandemic-related economic hardships.
The PA Chamber is proud to represent thousands of small businesses across Pennsylvania that infuse jobs, culture and economic vibrancy in their communities. A recent newspaper column authored by PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr stresses why it’s essential to support small businesses not just on Small Business Saturday, but every day and outlines the PA Chamber’s focus in helping small business owners withstand the uncertain times we’re unfortunately still navigating.
The PA Chamber’s “Bringing PA Back” initiative is the outlet through which we’re taking steps that will have a direct, positive impact on small businesses and set Pennsylvania on a path to economic success. Our tireless efforts have already secured a number of wins for small businesses since the initiative began, including:
- Enacting several bills to aid businesses during the pandemic’s initial economic upheaval and shutdown orders;
- Passage of occupational licensing reform and an omnibus workforce development package to help address Pennsylvania’s job skills gap and workforce issues;
- Repeal of an overtime expansion proposal that would have had severe negative consequences for small businesses; and
- Investments in Pennsylvania’s infrastructure – including small cell and 5G broadband technology – that will boost the state’s competitive edge.
We’re also making legislative progress on a critical package of small business tax reform bills – highlighted in detail in last month’s newsletter – that will break down barriers to growth for small businesses, and we look forward to working with lawmakers to get these bills to the governor’s desk in January.
As the new year approaches, Pennsylvania stands at a historic crossroads regarding both our public health and our economy. The Omicron variant has presented yet another curveball in the fight against COVID-19. In addition to promoting CDC health guidelines, the PA Chamber stresses that the quickest way to put the pandemic behind us for good is through vaccination. We’re urging all employers to combat another surge in infection by getting your vaccines and boosters, and encouraging those in your communities to do the same.
From an economic standpoint, our “Bringing PA Back” initiative is the driving force of our organization’s mission as we develop an actionable plan for a world-class economy. Stay tuned in early 2022 as we’ll chart out how to stack up against other states in our competitiveness, workforce and infrastructure and present an agenda for strengthening those core pillars in our mission to build equality of opportunity for every Pennsylvanian. If we all work together toward this goal, the sky is the limit in how far we can go.