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BARR: Prioritizing Long-Term Economic Growth in the New Year

We live in rapidly changing times, especially for business. While we remain optimistic about our economic recovery, we continue to be plagued by pandemic-related challenges from government directives, workforce shortages, labor market issues, and supply-chain disruptions. The Omicron variant of COVID-19 and November’s record high annual inflation of 6.8 percent have also been a blow to the business community.

Over the past year, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry advocated for critical legislative measures that support our business community. These reforms include advancing legislation to remove state tax barriers on small businesses; passage of occupational licensing reform and an omnibus workforce package to help address the state’s job skills gap; and enacting legislation to improve the state’s infrastructure, including small cell and 5G broadband technology.

Moving forward, Pennsylvania can be a leader in economic recovery by adopting a long-term strategy to capitalize on the Commonwealth’s growth potential. Simply put, Pennsylvania needs a more ambitious recovery plan that prioritizes the state’s competitiveness, infrastructure, and workforce that creates equality of opportunity for every resident. But, it’s not enough to bring the economy back to where we were pre-pandemic. Our future relies on our ability to attract new business to the state. While other states have shown growth and investment, Pennsylvania lagged.

That’s why the Pennsylvania Chamber launched our Propel PA Forward initiative, which aims to create a framework for success by identifying benchmarks to chart how Pennsylvania ranks compared to other states and where there is an opportunity for improvement. As we move into the new year, the PA Chamber is driving a plan that focuses on policies that will improve the state’s business climate and put us on a path to propel Pennsylvania forward.

The Pennsylvania Chamber will continue to work with policymakers to pursue a public policy agenda that helps businesses survive and thrive. Our legislative agenda prioritizes workforce development and career readiness; affordable and accessible health care; an equitable civil justice system; flexibility in energy markets; balanced labor laws; and responsible state spending.

By allowing goods and services to flow more quickly through the state, training the next generation of workers, and creating a modernized, efficient and reliable infrastructure system, we can make the state more attractive to investment and job growth.


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