March 5, 2015 |
NO ONE LANDED a knockout punch. No one stumbled badly. Thus, no one broke away from the pack. Instead, at last night's latest mayoral forum, six candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia mayor showed themselves to have quite similar views on a range of issues. Hosted by the Next Great City Coalition, which represents 130 community, faith, environmental, business and union organizations, the forum at the Pennsylvania Convention Center focused on the coalition's six key initiative areas: improving substandard housing, supporting small businesses, cleaning up public spaces, improving nutrition for children, creating more trails and bike lanes, and storm preparedness.
February 26, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania residents will likely hear a proposal for a broad-based tax increase when Gov. Wolf proposes his first budget next week. After meeting with business leaders Tuesday, Wolf declined to discuss details of his plan but would not rule out a graduated income tax targeting high-income brackets, a structure he has touted in the past. "What I talked about was a fairer tax system. I do intend to present that," he said. "This is a chance for a reset. I hope the people of Pennsylvania will be pleased with what I propose.
February 25, 2015 |
THINKING OF running in, or attending, the annual Pyongyang marathon in North Korea in April? Think again. Travel restrictions that were implemented in October will not, as expected, be lifted in time for the event, which means only locals will be able to attend or run in the race. Supreme leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly afraid foreigners will spread Ebola, which he believes is a biological weapon developed by the United States. You can't make this stuff up. But Andrea Lee, the co-founder and CEO of Uri Tours in Palisades, N.J., told the Associated Press that 200 runners had signed up with her company.
February 10, 2015 |
What do an Ivy League university, a frozen-yogurt chain, and John Cipollone, a 70-year-old Center City grandfather not at all self-conscious about being bald, have in common? All have embraced a whimsical trend rapidly altering the way business communicates to consumers and employees: Animation. Walt Disney Studios has known of the appeal of hand-drawn moving figures since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs wowed audiences in 1938. Now, in increasing numbers, businesses and institutions outside the entertainment industry are turning to animation to make an impression.
December 16, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - It wasn't long ago that the ovens at Formica Bros. Bakery were going full blast - putting out 50,000 pieces of bread a day. As recently as 2007, the nearly century-old establishment in the city's Ducktown section employed 70 people. Owner Frank Formica recalls how orders from casinos were like yeast to his dough, lifting his bakery's bottom line ever higher. Then, pummeled by out-of-state competitors, the casinos began to fall into a swoon, and this year, as four of them closed, Formica lost a big chunk of his business "in the blink of an eye. " He is down to 35,000 to 40,000 pieces a day, employs 40, and is sending his trucks ever farther to find new customers.
December 3, 2014 |
About 120,000 Philadelphia workers could receive mandatory sick pay if recommendations released Monday to Mayor Nutter become law. Nutter twice vetoed sick-leave legislation, which is widely challenged as cost-prohibitive by the business community. But he reversed his stance in June when he announced the task force along with City Councilman William Greenlee, who has long advocated the measure. "The real winners in this would be those workers that right now do not have paid sick leave and can join growing numbers around the country that have what I believe is a very reasonable benefit," Greenlee said Monday.
September 18, 2014
ISSUE | JOBS Ex-Im primes pump As a Washington insider, Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint seems to think he knows how to run our businesses here in Philadelphia ("Let the Ex-Im Bank expire," Sept. 9). While he may have experience owning a small business, his marketing firm didn't export - which explains why he seemingly doesn't understand that Ex-Im, rather than a form of corporate welfare, means jobs in Philadelphia. In Pennsylvania, Ex-Im Bank supports 285 exporters, 179 of which are small businesses.
July 22, 2014
AS LAWMAKERS in Washington haggle over the future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Michael Strange has no doubts about where he stands. Strange is owner and president of Bassetts Ice Cream, which has about 25 employees at its Center City headquarters. Exports, mostly to China, account for 20 percent of Bassetts' annual revenue. Ex-Im is an obscure federal agency that helps American businesses, mostly small, sell goods abroad. But some lawmakers - primarily tea party Republicans in the House - want to close down Ex-Im when its authorization ends Sept.
July 7, 2014 |
After 10 years of paying five employees, plus additional "associates," to staff his Old City business, James R. Domenick is looking for space in the suburbs, and thinking about moving out. It's about taxes, and the pressure the city has felt compelled to exert on small businesses such as Domenick's insurance office to raise money for its cash-strapped public schools. "I am not an antitax person," Domenick told me. "I believe people need to pay for the infrastructure and the services they receive.
July 4, 2014 |
Private employers added 281,000 jobs in June, the payroll company ADP reported Wednesday, indicating an economy that seems to be shaking off some of the lingering aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression. "It was a great number," said economist Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, analyzing the report for the New Jersey-based ADP. "The gains were broad-based," he said. "Every industry experienced an increase in employment. " Even so, he said, it will be several years before the economy can create enough jobs to return the many long-term jobless to employment.