Our government affairs committee works closely with elected officials in the county to best serve your needs. The committee meets each month to discuss the important issues which affect our county and hosts panels with experts on various topics.
Pennsylvania's economy remains sluggish in its post-pandemic recovery, with fewer jobs and fewer individuals in the labor force. Furthermore, our tech and innovation economies are stagnant. Individuals come from all over the world to be educated in Pennsylvania only to leave post-graduation. We must find innovative ways to attract and retain residents - and adequately fund programs to do so.
IMPROVING THE BUSINESS TAX STRUCTURE
Recent bipartisan legislation has significantly improved Pennsylvania's corporate tax rates by reducing the rate from 9.99% (second highest in the country) to 8.99%, and each
year thereafter will drop another 0.5 percentage points until it reaches 4.99% by the start of 2031. CCCBI will continue to
advocate for comprehensive reform of the state's overall tax structure to stimulate economic growth, grow our population, and retain businesses in the Commonwealth.
Pennsylvania is in dire need of regulatory reform. Current processes obstruct growth, improvements to business and infrastructure, increase costs, and frustrate employers. CCCBI advocates for more transparency in the permitting process, decreasing the amount of time spent approving submitted permits, and more consistent results. A more streamlined, transparent approach will save employers' time, money, and headaches, and increase economic development.
The Chamber supports the responsible development of all American energy, both fossil fuels and renewable energy. Unfortunately, many state policies and federal regulations are hindering energy producers in our state. The Chamber seeks to achieve energy independence, while also addressing climate change in ways which do not damage our economy.
Chester County is one of the leading tourist locations for the Delaware Valley, but has the potential to grow further with the right resources in place. In 2019, Chester County employed nearly 25,000 workers in the tourism and entertainment industry. While this number has slightly fallen due to the
COVID-19 pandemic and its lingering effects, the County still has a lot to offer. From charming main streets to the state’s
largest garden display, it isn’t hard to see why so many people come to visit the place which we call home. But the tourism
industry is being held back. 2019 data shows that only four states spend less than Pennsylvania does on tourism promotion, and some states spend as much as fifty times what Pennsylvania does on marketing tourism. From natural beauty to historic battlegrounds, Pennsylvania and Chester County have a lot to offer the rest of America. It’s long past time to invest in tourism.
MODERN, SAFE, RELIABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
Pennsylvania has some of the oldest infrastructure in the country and consistently ranks as one of the worst states for infrastructure in the entire nation. CCCBI advocates at the local, state, and federal levels for improved conditions, capacity, operations, maintenance, safety, and resilience of roads and mass transit. The state legislature needs to create an environment that encourages investment in infrastructure projects beyond outdated taxation programs. Modern, safe, and reliable infrastructure will attract and retain employers across the Commonwealth, increase competitiveness, and create jobs. The Chamber will also advocate for a streamlined permit and regulatory process for projects.
Chester County is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the country, and we must encourage balanced land use and responsible development to make sure this remains the case. Affordable and quality housing continues to be an issue facing our
residents of younger generations, who are looking to relocate or stay within the county as prices continue to rise. CCCBI advocates
to our elected officials, businesses, and our community organizations to work together toward a shared vision and goals to implement appropriate land use regulations to allow residents and businesses to locate and grow in Chester County.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Pennsylvania's higher education system ranks fourth in the nation for investment in research and development, but the state
continues to lag behind other peer states when it comes to turning those academic advances into jobs. The state's funding for
innovation-based development has yet to recover from decades old severe budget cuts and must be replenished in order to be
A well-educated and skilled workforce is the key to the success of any economy. CCCBI advocates for Chester County and the Commonwealth to prioritize workforce development, talent-pipeline management, and retention efforts. Employers across the state continue to experience workforce shortages, on top of many other challenges, including those regarding inflation and the supply chain. We encourage our elected
officials to focus their efforts on creating programs that lead to skilled employees, incentivizing and retaining graduates, and providing quality educational opportunities to Chester County residents to advance further in their careers.
Education is key to a thriving economy. Chester County is home to seven institutions of higher education, fourteen public school districts, eight charter schools, and twenty-three independent schools. We are proud to have some of the finest academic institutions in the nation, and CCCBI works hand-in-hand with many of these schools to identify opportunities and partnerships. With schools like these, Chester County and Pennsylvania need to be able to keep our graduates in the county and in the state. Pennsylvania's talent-pipeline management needs work, and we encourage our legislators at all levels to work toward bipartisan solutions to make this goal a reality. We live in a magnificent community, and there is no reason for our great Commonwealth to lose population each
year, and with that, lose all sorts of funding which helps our state run.
ACCESSIBILITY AND AFFORDABILITY
The child care community is in crisis and the adverse impact on the business community and our state’s economy is staggering. In a February 2023 survey by the Start Strong PA Campaign, nearly 1,100 providers reported 4,000 child care staff vacancies and waiting lists of 38,000 children. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 2,000 child care programs across the Pennsylvania
have closed permanently. This has led to a severe staffing crisis plaguing the industry, in turn, affecting businesses and families statewide. Without a healthy childcare system, tax revenue declines, workers leave jobs, and economic production suffers.
There are many barriers to solving this crisis, for example, Pennsylvania’s child care programs operate under some of these
strongest and comprehensive set of health and safety regulations in the country. Childcare costs have skyrocketed for families, costing many families almost as much as their monthly mortgage. Additionally, employees of the industry are some of the lowest paid across any profession, making recruitment and retention nearly impossible.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the future economic viability of our communities depends on addressing the childcare shortage. We are calling on our General Assembly to come together with the childcare industry and the business community to address this crisis through four recommendations included in our letter.
1) Employee Child Care Public Private Partnership
2) Childcare Tax Credit for Parents
3) Retention and Recruitment
4) Regulatory Reform
For a more detailed look at our goals in this legislative session, check out our 2024 Legislative Agenda.
The Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry serves as your advocate for business in Chester County, Harrisburg, and Washington, D.C.
Our Government Affairs Committee takes action to inform our members and influence public policy, because we know the direct effects in which government can have on your business. We ensure your concerns are heard by our County Commissioners, state legislature, and federal representatives.
Through legislative tracking, maintaining relationships with key decision makers in public sector, and writing letters and published editorials on important issues, we work for you to improve the business climate in Chester County, Southeast Pennsylvania and across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.