Small business coalition gives Philly passing grade

Local businesses may have gotten a boost from Small Business Saturday, but as Leanne Krueger-Braneky likes to say, “one day is not enough.”


Krueger-Braneky heads the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, which has released an update to last year’s report recommending sweeping changes to the city’s business environment.

As the holiday shopping season begins, “it’s slightly less confusing if you’re a small business owner than it was a year ago,” she says.

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The city has put a lot more information on the city’s rules and regulations for businesses online, particularly on the Commerce Department’s website. 

That just leaves comprehensive business tax reform.

“I think there’s actually a number of recommendations where the easy part has been done and the challenging aspect or the piece that’s going to have a deeper impact where there’s still room for improvement,” Krueger-Braneky says.

She points to a city requirement that a new business pay its first two years of taxes in advance as an onerous burden. A program called JumpStart Philly has exempted companies that create three full-time jobs in their first year, but she says that’s aggressive growth for most small businesses.

The paper praises the city for adding translation services at its small business assistance programs and for a “Buy American” executive order from Mayor Michael Nutter for city purchases.

For the average consumer, there’s still time to leverage spending power. For those who didn’t get a chance to have an impact on the local economy on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday, there is still  Giving Tuesday.

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