Benefits of Starting a Business in Philly
For a city of 1.6 million with about 6 million people in the metro area, Philadelphia is one of the largest and most densely populated cities in America. It is the biggest city in Pennsylvania and hosts hundreds of industries, banks, insurance firms, and major retail chain franchises. The Fed Business Survey has released their report showing that Philly is booming at a rate not seen in 33 years. The city’s economy is growing at about 7.8% for 2017. There are many reasons why you should start your business or try out your business ideas in Philadelphia.
Lots of criticism is always volleyed at the Philly tax systems. However, there are few things that need to be set straight. The most criticized city-specific taxes are those levied on profits and revenue which start-up tend to have less of, as they build their client base. Even high-growth startups with venture funding still, have low earnings that will not be subject to the full impact of such taxes. You also have to keep in mind that the city’s taxation isn’t that different from the tax structure of Chicago and New York. The capital gains tax is far much lower than that of California and New York State, which are considered start-up haven.
Philly area has close to 40 universities which churn out hundreds of graduates every year. These include top-ranked research universities like Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania with its internationally recognized engineering school, and Wharton School of Business. These 40 universities avail close to 100, 000 graduates to choose from, a majority of whom remain in the city. So any start-up seeking employees will never run short of talented, ambitious, motivated and well-trained graduates to hire. One notable development is that for the first time in a long while, students at Wharton School of Business have signed up for the entrepreneurship track in greater numbers than the investment banking track.
Philly is developing its own entrepreneur programs similar to Y-combinator in San Francisco. One such program is DreamIt which seeks to help entrepreneurs in high-growth industries to fast track their entrepreneur dream. The firms that participate in these programs receive additional financing and venture financing to boost their cash flows. The city also has the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership, through which the governments provides seed stage checks for those starting their businesses. The city has four levels of financing starting with banks, the grassroots communities like Philadelphia Startup Leaders, the government and the incubators like DreamIt.
Jump Start Philly
The Jumpstart Philadelphia is a program that exempts business which creates jobs in Philly from paying Business Income and Receipts Tax for at least two years after commencement of operations. There are also a variety of licenses and fees that are waived for eligible new businesses in the city all in a bid to create a business intelligence platform. One such waiver for a start-up business is the commercial activity license. All these makes it far much easier for anyone to start a business in the city and sustain it through the first few years as it gains a foothold and builds its client base.
Location, location, location
Being the second largest city on the eastern seaboard of continental United States Philly is centrally located between two major cities New York and Washington DC. This is a fast growing city that is ranked among the top 20 best cities to live in. The city is home to over 40 campuses, 12 Fortune 500 firms, major transport infrastructure, as well as 135 companies on the Inc. 5000 list. Some of its principal incentives include the JCTC which offers a credit of $5000 per job created or 2% of annual wages paid out as well as the Keystone Innovation Zones (KIZs).
Just like any other large city, Philly has its fair share of challenges. Even then the city has gone out of its way to create an environment where those starting businesses are accorded lots of incentives to ease the ability of their firms to grow, make profits and create employment.
Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in social media marketing, CRM, and sales. He's had the opportunity to manage his own startup businesses and currently freelances as a writer and business consultant.
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