Governor Wolf Launches PA Business One-Stop Shop to Support Pennsylvania Entrepreneurship

business.pa.gov is a new website intended to be a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs in PA.

From the Governor’s Office

On Feb. 7, Governor Tom Wolf launched the new PA Business One-Stop Shop to serve as a sole source to guide entrepreneurs and small businesses through all stages of development, from planning and startup to operation and expansion.

“I know first-hand how difficult it can be as a business owner to navigate through the complex web of processes, requirements, and resources that are needed to successfully run a business,” Governor Wolf said. “That’s why I tasked my administration to come together across agencies to simplify the process so entrepreneurs can get back to doing what they do best – creating, innovating, and succeeding in Pennsylvania.”

The PA Business One-Stop Shop includes resources for planning a business, registration and permitting, hiring employees, receiving funding and technical assistance, and more. It is intended to take the guesswork out of many business operations and procedures, and serves as an equalizer for any who want to do business here.

Before the One-Stop Shop, a small business owner or entrepreneur would be required to seek out information from several different agencies and organizations throughout the planning, startup, and operation processes. The PA Business One-Stop Shop consolidates all of this information into one website, and any questions can be directed to a single phone number that provides one-on-one customer service by phone as well.

“One of the biggest barriers to entry that an entrepreneur can face is the difficulty of knowing what steps to take to start a business, and then knowing what further steps to take to grow that business,” Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin said. “With the PA Business One-Stop Shop, what used to require endless searching for websites and countless phone calls – or spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on services to assist in that process – now can be found on one website, with one phone number. It’s great news for those looking to start or grow a business in Pennsylvania.”

The process for creating the PA Business One-Stop Shop was truly an interagency state government collaboration between the departments of State, Labor and Industry, Revenue, and the Office of Administration. To identify the needs of the business community, Wolf Administration officials held planning sessions and user testing with a wide variety of internal government and external stakeholders and partners to ensure different perspectives and input was received from communities and businesses across Pennsylvania.

In addition to this new one-stop shop website, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network is available for personalized, one-on-one services for entrepreneurs. Locally, the Wilkes University SBDC and Bucknell University SBDC service Columbia and Montour counties, respectively, and are available to meet with individuals looking into starting a small business. These meetings can take place at the SBDC locations, at the Chamber office, or at an alternate location agreed upon by each party. 

Business Continuity Strategies Discussed at Learn at Lunch Featuring Thrivent Financial [Video]

Attendees had an opportunity to learn about ways they can protect their business from going out of business in the event of an unexpected event that keeps them from running their business on a daily basis at a Learn at Lunch on Feb. 13. The lunch talk was sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities and held at the Hampton Inn Bloomsburg

Financial advisors Richard Keller and Kerry Maurer from Thrivent Financial in Bloomsburg spoke about steps that business owners can take to ensure their business continues in the event of death, extended sickness or other leave, retirement, or other unexpected event that makes them unable to fulfill their regular day-to-day duties in running the business. Things like buy/sell agreements, special life insurance policies designed for the beneficiary to be able to buy the business, key personnel insurance, and various other subject and concepts related to business succession planning and protection were discussed. 

The entire presentation was broadcast on Facebook Live, and all Learn at Lunch events this year are scheduled will be streamed on Facebook Live as well, so that other interested members and others will be able to hear the presentation should they be interested but unable to attend in person. See below for the entire presentation, which lasts just over 50 minutes. 

 

Member News – February 14, 2018

Member News

  • Thrivent Financial is collecting items for the Ronald McDonald House of Danville this month from Feb. 1-21. Thrivent will have a collection box at its office located at 417 W. Main St., Bloomsburg, and is collecting small snack items and beverages such as K-cups, juice boxes, and individually-wrapped snack items like granola bars, crackers and cookies. Anyone interested in making a donation can drop it off at Thrivent’s office Mondays-Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. On Thursday, Feb. 22, the public is invited to join Thrivent at the Ronald McDonald House between 5-8 p.m. where these donations will be presented to RMHD, and attendees can hear about the mission and focus of RMHD, take guided tours of the house and enjoy some hors d’oeuvres and a dessert buffet. 

 

  • Friedman Electric will host an art exhibit featuring local artist Claude Harrington at its Bloomsburg store, located at 1100 Old Berwick Rd., next Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 3-5 p.m. There is no cost to attend and light refreshments will be served. Attendees can meet the arist, enjoy the arts and grab a snack while also having an opportunity to look around Friedman Electric’s Lighting Design Center, which features a wide range of products to keep homes and businesses a place of beauty, comfort and energy efficiency. This would make a perfect and convenient stop on the way to next Wednesday’s Business After Hours, which will be just down the street from Friedman Electric at Art of Floating and begins at 4:30 p.m.

 

  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will hold its Annual Meeting next Friday, Feb. 23, from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Pine Barn Inn. A lunch will be served and attendees will be able to hear four speakers. CSCF president and CEO Holly Morrison will talk about “Spreading the Message of Philanthropy” while board member John Kurelja will speak about the regional impact of the CSCF’s philanthropic activities. Two speakers from Wilmington Trust will also talk about the CSCF’s funds’ performances. For more information, see this invitation, and to RSVP, email or call Karri Harter at 570-752-3930, ex. 6, by this Friday, Feb. 16

 

  • For the seventh straight year, Thrivent Financial was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere® Institure, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. Thrivent was one of only five such honorees in the financial services industry, and was one of 135 honorees overall, spanning 23 countries and 57 industries. Locally, Thrivent is represented by Chamber members and Thrivent representatives Richard Keller, Dave Saul and Kerry Maurer

 

  • The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit’s technology group will conduct a pair of computer fairs for middle and high school students in March, and is seeking professionals in business and the community to serve as judges in specific categories. The middle school fair will be held on Monday, March 5 while the high school fair will be on Monday, March 26. Both will be held at CSIU 16’s building located at 90 Lawton Lane, Milton, and will run from 9-11 a.m. Categories that need judges are animation, computer fair logo, digital movies, graphic design, programming and web page design. For more information, or if interested in serving as a judge, contact Bill Herald as CSIU via email no later than next Friday, Feb. 23.

Regulatory Reform Bills Advance in House and Senate

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Last week, regulatory reform legislation supported by the PA Chamber was considered in both the House and Senate. 

The Senate adopted S.R. 226, which aims to help ensure the state is progressing toward a well-functioning and predictable regulatory and permitting program. The resolution requires an independent review of the programs under the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Chapters 102 and 105 programs, which are some of the most commonly utilized permitting programs, to evaluate their efficiency, identify where improvements might be needed and make recommendations to close any gaps. Prior to the Senate vote on the legislation, the PA Chamber sent a memo to that chamber urging support for the measure. The resolution was adopted unanimously after having been reported out of committee late last month in a bipartisan, unanimous vote.

In the House, the PA Chamber sent another memo to House State Government Committee members in support of two other regulatory reforms. House Bill 209 – which would ensure periodic reviews of existing regulations and make recommendations as to efficiencies and potential repeals – was amended and held in the committee for further consideration. House Bill 1792, which was scheduled for a vote and passed over in a House State Government Committee meeting, would allow the General Assembly to initiate a repeal of any regulation currently in effect through a concurrent resolution.

Thank You Annual Meeting Attendees, Award Nominees and Rolling Pines Staff

This is the second of two posts recognizing and thanking all of the valuable contributors that helped make the 2018 Chamber Annual Meeting a successful event once again. It is the continued support and achievements of these businesses, organizations and individuals that helps the Chamber fulfill its mission of offering programs, benefits and events to its members, giving them a stronger voice in advocacy and being involved in more activities and initiatives in our communities. 

First, thanks to all of the 18 award nominees in each of the four award categories. While only one organization/person could win each award, there was once again a strong slate of candidates, and this speaks to the outstanding work that has been and continues to be done by our members and individuals that work for our member organizations. Their contributions to our community help make it stronger and a better place to live, work and play. Several of the nominees that did not win this year will be eligible for consideration of next year’s awards, and members as well as the public are encouraged to submit nominations for the 2019 awards when they are opened in late fall. 

Second, thanks to all of the more than 200 individuals that attended the Annual Meeting. Your support of the Chamber and its work, as well as the individuals and organizations that were up for the four awards is much appreciated and the Chamber looks forward to continuing its work with you and your respective organizations to help them grow and bring additional value to them. The success of both the Chamber and this annual event depends on the continued support and attendance of our members and guests, so we again thank you for your support. 

Third, a big thank you goes out to the staff at Rolling Pines Golf Course & Banquet Facility and at Lucy’s Kitchen & Catering. The event once again went forward without any issues, and the staff was quite helpful to all attendees. The food from Lucy’s again tasted great and the menu was once again a great recommendation with each item complimenting the next. Also, special thanks to Lucy’s, for once again donating an appetizer selection as a hospitality sponsor. 

Finally, thanks to the Chamber and Chamber Foundation staff — Matt Beltz, Phyllis Jones, Deb Sokol and Jeff Emanuel — for their efforts on the day of the event and in the planning.