Chamber helps secure funding for Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure
Action on a new Pennsylvania transportation investment strategy was a top priority for employers, workers and commuters throughout the southeast region. The Chamber worked tirelessly with other partners throughout the Commonwealth to encourage the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass a comprehensive transportation funding plan. In November 2013, Pennsylvania’s House and Senate members voted yes for a transportation funding solution that will invest $2.4 billion in our transportation infrastructure to repair and improve highways, bridges, transit systems, rails, trails, ports and airports.
Together with the Allegheny Conference, friends in labor and the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition, a non-traditional coalition of allies formed to move the body politic toward enactment of a comprehensive, adequate and sustainable new transportation funding plan. Sustained advocacy that never waned assured an effective stream of visits, calls, letters and emails to legislators in Harrisburg and in District Offices. Rob Wonderling, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, and Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, walked the halls of the capitol throughout the effort, and especially during important meetings and votes. Countless editorials, Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds were complemented by new social media tools that generated 1,500 emails to lawmakers urging support and thanks. A 100-person Thunderclap through Facebook and Twitter sent 40,000 messages to #fundPAtransportation days before passage of Act 89.
Chamber successfully stops an increase in Philadelphia’s Use & Occupancy Tax
In the spring of 2013, the Chamber successfully stopped the passage of a bill that would have increased the Use & Occupancy Tax for Philadelphia businesses for the second consecutive year.
Chamber helps advance and secure funding for dredging Delaware River
For years, the Chamber has long advocated the advancement and completion of the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project. Dredging the main channel from 40 to 45 feet will allow the Delaware River ports to accommodate today’s larger ships carrying more cargo, thereby enhancing Greater Philadelphia’s competitiveness amongst other regional ports, boosting private investment in infrastructure, and creating direct and indirect jobs. The Chamber is pleased that the Delaware River deepening project is moving forward, but its progress must continue if it is to reach true economic potential.
Alongside members of the maritime and ports industries, the Chamber worked hard to illustrate the need for deepening the shipping channel and advocate for adequate government funding. It applauds the commitment of the region’s lawmakers in carrying this important message among peers. This project is critical for the region because it will contribute to the revitalization of its historic and vital maritime industry. The Chamber will continue to urge lawmakers to support the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project and bring this important project to a speedy completion.
Chamber successfully promotes legislation that passes in the JOBS Act
The Chamber was instrumental and successful in advocating for legislation that increases the shareholder registration thresholds for private companies before the company is required to register its common stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission and become a public company. Modernizing the outdated shareholder requirement now provides private companies the flexibility to remain privately-held and grow as strong drivers of economic development and prosperity. The Chamber argued that the legislation would enable privately-held companies to focus on long-term results rather than analysts’ short-term expectations, create more generous benefit packages for their employees, provide the opportunity to share in the growth of the company by offering Employee Stock Ownership Plans and avoid unnecessary administrative costs.
Today’s law saves growth-stage companies from taking costly, unwanted actions that will divert resources away from future growth. Many private companies do not need access to the public capital markets to grow. Therefore, the law saves companies from the costs related to public reporting, which place additional burdens and further reduce the funds private companies can utilize to grow.