I have looked at the campaigns of my competitors, and they all have brilliant ideas on this issue! From creating and building more super markets in poorer areas and communities, lowering taxes, to giving tax breaks for small business. If elected, I will appoint a committee to look into various ideas from small businesses and other local leaders to come up with an effective plan to help the little man.
THE WORKING PERSON:
If elected, I will raise the minimum wage to $7.50 an hour, a decent living wage for the citizens of Philadelphia. Small businesses will need help with this, and I will personally go to Harrisburg to demand additional funds for the city so we can establish an Emergency Business fund to help small businesses in times of need, both in the wage hike and for any business in need of financial help.
Employees have the right to work in a healthy environment. Our current law stating that only new homes should have mold inspections should be extended to existing businesses. If any employee finds a serious mold problem, such as mold growing on merchandise, the walls, or anywhere else and consider it a serious problem, OSHA will be required to look into the matter and determine if the business must fix the problem, leaving employees with the right to possibly sue the owners.
EMPLOYING THE YOUTH:
Giving a teenager the chance to have an actual job teaches them responsibility and helps to make them responsible citizens. It also leaves them less time to cause trouble such as vandalism. If elected, I will encourage businesses to hire young people aged 14 to 18. They may not have experience, but they will have drive! They will be willing to work, and that first job will be their introduction into a world of new responsibility.
BUSINESS TAX REFORM:
I think we need to listen to The Philadelphia Forward Tax Reform commission and implement their ideas.
They suggest eliminating the Business Privilege Tax by 2015, which is actually possible if we establish two estimated payment dates for the actual payment. That way, businesses no longer need to assemble the cash to pay their taxes on time. They also suggest adopting a single-sales factor apportionment based on sales in Philadelphia so small firms with few sales in Philadelphia will want to stay. By allowing unincorporated businesses the ability to deduct payments to their partners, members, and their sole proprietors, they no longer need to pay incredibly high taxes that their corporate competitors have, thus allowing for greater competition. While all this is happening, we lengthen the Business Privilege Tax net operation loss carry forward period, or rollover, from three years to ten years. That way, start-up firms are no longer discouraged from locating to Philadelphia.
By eliminating the BPT for all business that open in 2008, we will begin allowing more and more jobs to come into Philadelphia.
CENTER CITY BUSINESSES:
BUSINESSES CAN STAY OPEN LATER:
If elected, I will eliminate the law stating that businesses staying open later than 7PM must pay an extra tax! This has done nothing but hurt Philadelphia, both economically and socially. It's incredibly hard to attract visitors to the city or have a night out since the city is shut down by 7PM virtually every night. If businesses are allowed to stay open until 9PM, you will increase commerce and visitors. Under my plan, business in Center City and Residential Areas will be allowed to stay open until 9PM from Monday to Thursday, until 10PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7PM on Sundays without having to pay extra taxes.
The current system cries out more as a "curfew" than anything else, and it limits the freedom of citizens, creating frustration. In the youth, this frustration of not being able to do anything or have any fun creates anger. This anger leads to violence. Giving people a place to go and have fun is better than giving them nothing.
Center City could be another Manhattan, but instead we just let it sit there under-developed. If elected, I will look into whatever possible solution there is to this! One part of this solution is for the city to buy any and all abandoned homes in the city and use them as the basis to develop. In fact, thanks to immanent domain laws, we could take whole blocks if we must, pay the residents, and rebuild on those properties using local contractors with city contracts. An independent board will be put in place to look over any area or building that is being considered for destruction. I will look at each area personally and have public hearing to make sure that it is an idea that will help the city in the long run.
New construction means new jobs, and once those buildings are done, even more new jobs.
THE PHILADELPHIA WATERFRONT:
Walking down the Waterfront, I always feel depressed. The area is horribly under-developed, hardly anyone is out there, and save the odd event here and there at Penn's Landing, there isn't much reason for people to go down there. A well-developed Waterfront, one with a mall an arcade, high-end restaurants and the like, will bring a ton of business to Philadelphia! We'll listen to all the neighborhood committees on what they want and work from there. Thanks to the new Plan Philly group, we can work with them to plan the future.
Philadelphia River City:
I've looked at this incredibly ambitious project and it is exactly the type of long-term planning Philadelphia needs! Ten residential and office buildings built along the Schuylkill River, towers, ranging from 45 to 60 stories tall, that would include 3,700 condominium and rental units and 4 million square feet of commercial space. It's an excellent idea and it will bring Philadelphia to the 21st Century with a bang! This is only possible with dedicated Zoning Reform, and we must realize that if we are to reach a new era of greatness, we need to allow progress to happen.
1. Classes for Small Business Owners - Everyone wants to be their own boss, and what better way to do it then by having your own business? It would be great to have public classes taught in City Hall to teach people how to start their own business, and advanced classes to teach them how to make them grow.
2. I Will Abolish the Minority Business Enterprise Council - If we want businesses to grow, we need to ignore race when it comes to who runs them. Instead, we will have a new council dedicate to helping the poor and struggling entrepreneur called the "Small and Unincorporated Businesses Council".
3. Health Care for Small Businesses - We will do all we can and find ways to help businesses provide health care for all employees. Under my plan, any working in Philadelphia will have health care. We will work with Harrisburg to demand proper funding and do all we can to get state-wide health care.