Format Policy Report
Client Sustainable Business Network
Date November 2011
Length 41 Pages

Improving Philadelphia’s Small Business Climate

Taking Care of Business recommends nine specific actions the City of Philadelphia should take to improve its business climate. Based upon interviews with over one hundred small business owners, non-profit and government leaders, the report begins by asking why small businesses are important to the City’s economic growth, who small business owners are and how they rank on small business formation and survival.

The report then makes the following nine recommendations:

• Reduce the time, cost and confusion of obtaining City approvals.

• Simplify the tax compliance burden for small businesses and eliminate the requirement that a start-up business pay two years of taxes upfront in one payment.

• Ensure laws do not unnecessarily harm small businesses.

• Reform the inspection system to ensure it is fair, objective, and offers the right to a timely appeal.

• Partner with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and nonprofit support organizations to increase financing to small businesses.

• Create a more collaborative, integrated network of nonprofits to support small businesses more effectively.

• Bring blighted vacant land back on the market and into the hands of new and expanding businesses.

• Consolidate and modernize the City’s procurement process to increase small business participation.

• Improve communication between government and small businesses.