As the New Year quickly approaches, your Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is actively working on numerous issues at the city, state and federal level that will help your business grow. Working in collaboration with diverse groups from throughout the region, our goal is to accelerate success for every entrepreneur, fast-growing company, and small and large businesses in the 11 county foot-print we call Greater Philadelphia.

Our 2013 agenda includes the following:

City Growth Strategy

We believe now is the time to jump start our local economy by renewing the Administration’s commitment to reduce taxes on employers and employees.

While the nation’s unemployment rate is decreasing, Philadelphia’s hovers at an alarmingly high rate of 11 percent.  The lack of jobs in the city requires more than 1/3 of residents in every neighborhood to commute to work in the suburbs.

Yet, right before our eyes the Greater Philadelphia region is transforming into a modern economy. From the revitalization of our refineries to the influx of technology-based entrepreneurs, creative and adaptive solutions are remaking the way the region does business.

Philadelphia has a major opportunity to capture a much greater share of regional growth as a result of this transformation, creating opportunities for residents at all educational and skill levels, but will succeed only if it changes tax policies to encourage 21st century business formation and job creation.

Reform of K-12 Education in Philadelphia

The appointment of Dr. William Hite as School District superintendent marks an exciting turning point in our city’s history. The business community stands ready to continue its work in partnership with Gov. Corbett, Mayor Nutter, the School Reform Commission, Superintendent Hite, and our broader community to ensure that there is a bright future for every child in Philadelphia.

Recognizing that our region depends upon high-quality schools that prepare every student for success in the workplace or college, the Chamber has made a significant commitment over the last several years to the education and employment prospects of our youth by assisting the School District with resources, leadership and talent recruitment, and programing such as, our early childhood literacy initiative called Read to Me Early Literacy Program and our summer internship program for high school kids in Philadelphia.  To date, the literacy program has impacted over 6,000 Pre-K and Kindergarten students with book collections, training for teachers, parent/caregiver workshops, and classroom visits.  And this year alone, the Chamber helped place more than 1,100 young people in paid internships in the private sector. To date, more than 6,700 youths have participated in this program.

Further Strengthening PA’s Postsecondary Education System

With over 100 colleges and universities in our region, our higher education system continues to fuel the economy and develop a talented and highly skilled workforce.  As Chair of the Governor’s Commission on Postsecondary Education, we fully support the recommendations of the Commission and the development of a robust postsecondary education system that meets workforce needs.

Investment in Infrastructure

A safe and efficient transportation network is critical to economic growth – it reduces travel time and increases reliabilit