In this time of PA budget uncertainty, what is one of the best business incentives?
As economic developers, we are well aware that not everyone wants money. Not every company interested in a new business location or in expanding their business wants a business loan from us – no matter what the interest rate. Whether it is an issue of timing, already having adequate capital in hand, or not being able to meet the job creation or other threshold requirements, not everyone wants or can utilize state financing.
So, what is one of the best incentives that Pennsylvania can offer companies? Yes, you guessed it – our legislative priority #3 advocating a streamlined, predictable, and coordinated permit review focuses on one of the most meaningful incentives that can be offered.
For several years, we have been discussing streamlining the permitting process as an important step for the Commonwealth. Excessive permitting timelines and onerous regulations – associated with various state agencies – result in increased project timeframes and costs, impairing economic growth and job creation. Due to the uncertainty caused by these increases, investment and related jobs are often sacrificed and Pennsylvania communities’ competitiveness is negatively impacted.
This is not about cutting corners and ending up with projects that violate established ordinances. It is about a clear and consistently applied permit review process that is of benefit to everyone. Permit applications that are analyzed and considered more efficiently and effectively afford a reasonable degree of comfort and certainty that the timing and expenses associated with the permitting processes will be more predictable.
So perhaps I am showing my bias to you as it is now time to take another look at establishing priorities for 2016-2017, but our work in this area is not yet done. I encourage you to participate in the Advocacy process, identifying legislative priorities for PEDA in the coming weeks. It is important that the priorities identified during this year’s process represent how you want us to spend time and resources. And, if this issue sounds familiar, frustrates you, or inspires you – you probably want to make sure that you reach out to Chuck Leonard and become part of the PEDA Permitting and Regulatory Review (PARR) committee.