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HOW TO CUT A DEAL OVER BREAKFAST SCHWARTZ RAMPS FOR GOVERNOR’S BID

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REGION’S BUSINESS

PHILADELPHIA EDITION

A JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND POLITICS

ENTREPRENEURS SEEK

MORE FUNDING Startups look for seed money to get rolling, while established businesses hunt for credit.

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14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

CONTENTS

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13

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How is Corbett Doing on Jobs?

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Halfway through his first term, here’s a look at how the governor is doing on his promise to create jobs.

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Breakfast Menu: Your Next Deal The Power Lunch isn’t dead, but business breakfasts are gaining in popularity, creating another avenue for building relationships.

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19

The Search For Funding ! Despite some big moves and

generally positive buzz, 2012 was a down year for new business funding. That, plus a tight credit environment for small businesses, make the hunt for capital more intense.

22

Tough Times for Small Businesses

Short-term loans are the lifeblood of small businesses for everything from expansion to adding staff to cash flow issues. But getting those loans has proven to be a challenge. !

28

Internships Can Help All Involved

34 Big Banks?

Students who complete internships are more likely to get a job upon graduation. The host company receives some benefits, too.

Why Ami Kassar’s Multifunding.com never - never - deals with big banks for small business loans.

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No Thanks

We’re introducing a budget that balances in 10 years – without raising taxes.How do we do it? We stop spending money the government doesn’t have.” PAUL RYAN IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

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Using a Social Media Policy

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! In some ways, the internet continues to be like the Wild West, but there are steps a company can take to help protect its image online. Implementing a social media policy for employees is a step in the right direction.

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14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

EDITOR’S DESK

Connecting a Better-Educated Workforce

Karl Smith is the Editorial Director for Region’s Business. You can contact him at ksmith@regionsbusiness.com.

Creating corporate programs that give back to the community is a process fraught with speedbumps, potholes and sinkholes. They are tough to create, difficult to implement and unwieldy to manage. When I was with Patch.com, the company had a great initiative called Give 5, where the company would have you take five work days and, instead of “Patching,” volunteer for something in your community. Pretty cool, right? Our group sorted shoes for the excellent Reuse Your Shoes charity and one of my most industrious editors actually adopted a park and we prepped it for summer fun. In the end, though, the program became cumbersome for corporate to manage and instead of specifying days to Give 5 or even making it a must-do, it became a “if you feel like it” kind of thing. So it still works in some instances, but certainly not all. Comcast has taken control at the corporate level with its Internet Essentials program. This program doesn’t aim to solve all the world’s problems, nor does it absolve Comcast from

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any other criticisms that may be leveled against it (ask me about my experience with Comcast customer service some time). It does, however, address one of the biggest issues in our society today, one that is quietly growing and is certain to have grave repercussions in the future - the digital divide. You don’t have to watch the nightly news to know that “everything” is going online. Those World Book encyclopedias your parents bought have been replaced by Wikipedia, your atlas has been replaced by Google Maps on your smartphone and news comes through RSS reader. That is, unless you don’t have a broadband connection at home. Or, for that matter, a laptop. But why should you care? Simple, and it’s not emotion. Rather, it’s quite pragmatic. Those on the wrong side of the digital divide will fall behind educationally. Way behind. The result is a more poorly educated workforce and it’s easy to see where that cycle leads on an economic and societal scale. So the Internet Essentials program takes a stab at this and, to date, has connected more

than 5,700 Philadelphia families to the world of high-speed internet. This is not just a simple handout. Comcast distributes low-cost computers ($150 each) and broadband for about $10 (plus taxes, of course) for families who have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, including public, parochial, private, and homeschool students. Comcast allows nonprofits and others to purchase the service for a year in advance and Comcast will also test lessexpensive laptops in Philadelphia and Chicago. I was lucky enough to attend an event last September and spoke with Comcast senior vice president David Cohen. He emphasized that he hadn’t met a business leader yet who didn’t want a better-educated workforce and added, rather pragmatically, “80 percent of the Fortune 500 today only accepts job applications online.” So far, Comcast has avoided the potholes and managed to maintain the energy and enthusiasm behind this important initiative. There’s no short-term payoff, really, but the long-term impact will be significant.


14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

WEEKLY BRIEFING BY THE NUMBERS

HOTEL

Flower Show Attendance Down

Liberty Two Space To Become Hotel

225,000

A portion of Liberty Two Place, at 16th and Chestnut streets, is slated to be sold for a high-end, 150-room hotel. Current owner of floors 48 through 56, IStar Financial Inc., formerly intended to use the space for residential condominiums, but the area is now being marketed as Liberty Tower Hotel.

Attendance at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, according to The Associated Press

17%

HIGHER EDUCATION

Professors’ Union Strikes New Deal Members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties and the Pa. State System of Higher Education struck a tentative agreement Friday, which includes a compensation package and health care cost savings through co-pays. PASSHE is scheduled to vote on ratifying the contract March 20. EDUCATION

Commission Votes To Close 23 Schools Twenty-three of an originally proposed 37 Philadelphia School District schools will close after a Philadelphia School Reform Commission vote last week. At least 19 protesters were arrested at the vote, including the president of the American Federation of Teachers, according to the Washington Post. BANKING

First Female CEO In At First Federal Bank First Federal of Bucks County mutual savings bank will soon transition to its first female CEO after current CEO Bruce Iacobucci retires this summer. The announcement came late last week, when Mr. Iacobucci said it’s a “good time to retire.” His successor, Jeane Coyle, was named the chief administrative officer and executive vice president in December. She will assume the role of CEO July 1.

5

The Provence

STEELMAN PARTNERS

Proposals By The Numbers: The Provence The Provence is by far the most ambiEach week, Region’s Business will feature one of the six proposed casinos vying tious of the six proposals — a total resort for Philadelphia’s second gaming license. as opposed to a casino with add-ons. The ancillary facilities take up so much of the project’s total square footage BY SANDY SMITH that the casino almost seems like an afterthought; Philadelphia Inquirer Project name: The Provence Developer: Tower Entertainment, LLC architecture critic Inga Saffron called it “a shopping mall with a casino attached” Operator: Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. Location: Broad and Callowhill streets when she reviewed the proposal last December. Particulars: It also seeks to maximize its urban site Gaming hall: 120,000 square feet, by placing retail shops and restaurants at 3,300 slot machines, 150 table games street level while elevating the casino one Hotel: 125 rooms floor up. Other ancillary facilities: Because so much of the activity at the 125,000-square-foot rooftop familyProvence takes place outside the casino, oriented dining and shopping village; its economic impact is projected to be concert hall; night club; sports venue; larger. eight restaurants open to the street; The developer’s local impact report private swim club; spa and fitness center; estimates the casino will produce not three event facilities; 20,000 square feet only 7,800 jobs and $204 million in of meeting space; two indoor parking direct and indirect economic impact garages, total capacity not specified annually in Pennsylvania, with 5,300 of those jobs in Philadelphia, but states that the Provence will spark 2 to 3 million square feet of new development around it over the next decade, representing more than $1 billion in new investment. Tower Entertainment head Bart Blatstein is also promoting this project as one that will help attract more and bigger conventions to the city thanks to its proximity to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This article was originally published on the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog, www.PhiladelphiaRealEstate.com.

Drop in attendance from last year’s Flower Show, blamed on snow prediction

PHL Named a Top Airport for ‘Connecting’ Philadelphia International Airport was named one of the nation’s top airports for meeting new people, according to a list recently released by MeetAtTheAirport.com. Philadelphia ranked behind Orlando, Miami, Newark and Boston

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Restaurants located in PHL

16

Bars located in PHL

7

Lounges located in PHL


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14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

WEEKLY BRIEFING

ADVERTISING

‘Temple Made’ Campaign Wins FACEBOOK.COM/TEMPLEU

Against more than 3,000 entries in the 28th Annual Educational Advertising Awards, a Center City marketing agency Neiman walked away with nine awards, including “Best of Show” for its “Temple Made” campaign. The crowdsourced campaign encouraged students, faculty, staff, and alumni to tweet and Instagram with the hashtag #TempleMade. Contributions were then aggregated to show the school through its community members. Two other Philadelphia schools won “Best of Show” awards: St. Joseph’s University and Philadelphia University, but neither school employed local marketing agencies. DEVELOPMENT

Commission Could Ease Demolition Guidelines The Philadelphia Historical Commission is considering a rule change regarding demolition of historical buildings. The proposed change would no longer require owners to show they made an attempt to sell a property to receive a “financial hardship” to justify the demolition. Critics say this modification would make it easier to demolish historic buildings. Ben Leech, director of advocacy for the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia sent out an online petition to delay the change last Wednesday.

Beige Book: Moderate Economic Growth In Philadelphia Region BY ALEXIS SACHDEV In its latest national survey, the Federal Reserve has indicated that improved hiring and continued housing recovery, among other factors, aided economic growth in January and February throughout the country. The Beige Book, as the survey is called, noted that 10 of the Fed’s 12 districts reported moderate growth; Boston and Chicago reported slow economic growth. Business growth and activity has been moderate in Philadelphia, according to the Fed. Real estate leasing, residential construction, transportation services, and general retail sales were noted for growth, whereas the manufacturing sector cited declines in overall demand, and real estate sales grew more slowly. According to the survey, general price levels and home prices, as well as wages, were reported to increase, similar to the last Beige Book period. However, a report released in February by the Philadelphia Jobs Commission said there is city-wide 10.2 percent unemployment and more in some areas, compared

Once City Council passes the law to formalize the Actual Value Initiative, owners of the city’s largest 25 commercial buildings will pay approximately $20 million less in property taxes next year, or an average of a 30 percent decrease, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Philly District Welcomes New Businesses South Street Headhouse District — which includes the South Street, Society Hill, Queen Village, and Bella Vista neighborhoods — is home to more than 400 businesses and welcomed 18 new businesses in 2012. European Republic 602 South St.

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to the statewide average of 7.9 percent in December. The report indicated there could be potential job growth, though. “Energy-related projects” and “some repair work resulting from Hurricane Sandy” could boost employment, which some said feels “sustainable.” Tourism and entertainment growth has been spotty, the Beige Book reported. Whereas Pocono ski resorts have seen increased snowfall, and thus greater tourism, Atlantic City casinos struggled through January. The survey cited Revel Casino, which plans to file bankruptcy this month after less than a year of operation.

MEDIA

SUPERSTORM SANDY

NBC Joins Networks In Flight

SEPTA Receiving $1.2M in Relief

TAXES

Commercial Properties Getting a Break Via AVI

SMALL BUSINESSES

FACEBOOK.COM/NBCPHILADELPHIA

After breaking off a helicopter-sharing relationship with CBS3 and Fox29, NBC10 has acquired its own chopper for its twice-daily news gathering flights. A TV chopper can cost a station anywhere from $500,000 to $1.5 million each year, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. NBC10’s newest addition, the Bell 206L-4 LongRanger named Sky Force 10, is part of Comcast Corp.’s investment in one of NBC’s top-ranking TV news stations.

Four months after Hurricane Sandy, federal hurricane relief funds allotted SEPTA $1.2 million as reimbursement for costs, said transportation secretary Ray LaHood. The money will reimburse the transportation agency for the costs of moving and securing vehicles, sandbagging vents above the Broad Street Line, manning pump rooms, and paying workers overtime to staff the control and customer service centers, as well as removing trees and repairing downed wires.

Nomad Pizza, 611 S. 7th St. Urban Princess 740 S. 4th St. Baklava Cafe, 627 South St. Divan Mediterranean Grille 622 S. 6th St. Paradigm Gallery + Studio 803 S. 4th St. The Pet Snobs Boutique 530 S. 4th St. Corsa , 535 South St. The Art of Medicine 507 S. 2nd St. Bizarre Bazaar & South Street Odditorium 720 S. 5th St. Impact Boutique 644 South St. Redwood, 340 South St. The Lite Choice 135 South St. Ps & Qs, 820 South St. Glam Extensions 641 South Street Bainbridge Street Barrel House, 625 Bainbridge St. Salon Cheveux Amour 834 South St. Moon and Arrow 754 S. 4th St.


14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

EXECUTIVE BOOKSHELF

WEEKLY BRIEFING MUST-HAVE APP

FlightTrack

The Vatican Diaries “A revealing, timely look at the reign of Pope Benedict, the conclave, the papal election process by the cardinals, and the history of one of the world’s oldest and most mysterious institutions.” For more than 25 years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. Mr. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life. Perceptive, sharply written, and witty, The Vatican Diaries will appeal not only to Catholics (lapsed as well as devout) but to any readers interested in international diplomacy and the role of religion in an increasingly secularized world. Amazon.com

“The best flight tracking app out there ($4.99)! Now optimized for your tablets, too! Track flights with beautiful, zoomable maps or get real-time departure info, delays and gate numbers at a glance. Full international coverage means you can track all your flights worldwide. We’ll even update you on cancellations and help you find an alternate flight.” New York Times GOTTA-HAVE-IT GADGET

Withings Baby Monitor Withings Baby Monitor ($299.99) allows the busy parent to watch his or her child using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Features include: highresolution video (with pantilt, zoom, and night vision), clear sound, and the ability to play lullabies with the touch of a button.

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@Philly360 “Your guide to Philadelphia’s music, design and culture scene” RT @Philly360: On Mar. 8 1971, Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali! Celebrate & visit the Philadelphia History Museum. Joe’s Everlast boxing gloves are there :) RT @Philly360: We are super excited that “A Raisin In The Sun” is at the Arden Theatre Mar. 7 - Apr. 21. Get your tickets now!

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14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

DEALBOOK

UTILITIES

NY Firm Buys Gardner Denver in $4B Deal Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., New York buyout firm noted for its 2010 acquisition of Toys ‘R’ Us, closed a $3.9 billion deal with Gardner Denver, a Wayne, Pa.based industrial pump manufacturer, last week. KKR will pay $76 per share, a 3-percent premium to Gardner Denver’s closing price last week. The offer is also 39 percent higher than the company’s stock price on October 24, the day before the industrial equipment company said it was exploring “strategic alternatives,” according to KKR’s website. The merger is subject to approval from Gardner Denver’s shareholders, regulatory standards, and other customary closing conditions.

Horizon Lines Moving to Local Port

PHILADELPHIA REGIONAL PORT AUTHORITY

Ocean carrier Horizon Lines will begin a weekly vessel service between the Port of Philadelphia and San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 11, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority announced last week. Vessels will leave Philadelphia every Thursday carrying general, refrigerated and pharmaceutical cargo and will arrive in Puerto Rico in less than four days, according to a statement. Horizon Lines said in a statement that it chose Philadelphia because of the port’s “strategic location; fast transit times; fast turn-around times; comprehensive rail and highway network; expedited inspections (including onsite USDA, APHIS, and U.S. Customs), and on and off-site warehousing.” “This new service is a home run for the Port of Philadelphia and the region,” said Tom Holt, Jr., chief executive of Holt Logistics Corporation, whose Greenwich Terminals LLC operates PRPA’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, from which the vessels will depart.

HEALTH CARE

TriState Imaging Adds 3 Facilities Jenkintown, Pa.-based TriState Imaging Group recently acquired three other diagnostic imaging centers, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed. According to the report, TriState Imaging acquired: Main Line Diagnostic Imaging of Jennersville, Pa.; Delaware Open MRI in Wilmington, Del.; Delaware MRI and CT of Silverside, Del. The imaging company now oversees 31 centers located in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and South Jersey, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.


14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

POLITICS

11

Schwartz Gamble High Risk, High Reward BY ERIN ROWLEY

F

irst female governor of Pennsylvania. First Democratic U.S. Representative to be elected governor of Pennsylvania. First person to unseat an incumbent Pennsylvania governor since the 1970s. U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-13) would get a few “firsts” attached to her name were she to be elected Pennsylvania’s next governor, a position she’s announced she intends to run for in 2014. She has also announced her intention not to simultaneously run for her house seat. She’s all in — but does she have a shot at unseating Governor Tom Corbett come November 2014? Rep. Schwartz has represented Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, comprised of Northeast Philadelphia and parts of Montgomery County, since 2004. She served in the Pennsylvania Senate for 14 years before that. She’s cultivated a reputation as a strong fundraiser, and her positions on the House Budget Committee and the House Committee on Ways and Means give her experience on fiscal issues — experience that she is quick to tout when talking about her gubernatorial qualifications. “My experience here in Washington in terms of meeting with some of the biggest companies in the country and being one of the leaders moving forward on innovative industries and growth industries, I just see that there’s so many opportunities that we could be seizing in Pennsylvania if we do things right,” Rep. Schwartz said. “I see this missed opportunity every few years, we don’t do what we need to be doing.” Aside from her desire to use her experience to better her home state, there are four factors that probably helped Schwartz make the decision to get in the race, according to G. Terry Madonna, Professor of Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College and the Director of the Franklin and Marshall College Poll. One is Gov. Corbett’s job performance numbers. A recent Franklin & Marshall College poll found that just 26 percent of voters think Corbett is doing either an “excellent” or “good” job. Another factor is the success of

SOMETIMES YOU CAN’T WAIT FOR THE IDEAL OPENING.’ —TERRY MADONNA

another woman, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who Mr. Madonna says successfully used gender as one component in her campaign. “There’s excitement about a woman running,” Rep. Schwartz said. “I’ve heard that — people stop me on the street telling me that.” A third factor, Mr. Madonna said, is that Rep. Schwartz is already wellknown in the populous area of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. And the fourth factor, he says, is that time may be running out for the 64-year-old politician to make her move. “When you’re in your sixties, you don’t have an infinite number of possibilities out there. It’s not like you can afford to wait several more elections. In your sixties, do you have 10 years?” Mr. Madonna said. A few things that could present challenges to Rep. Schwartz’s campaign, Mr. Madonna said, are her lack of

name recognition outside of southeastern Pennsylvania and her legislative record. “One of the problems that you get when you have lawmakers running for state office is thousands of votes that they’ve cast, literally thousands, and how they can be used against any person who runs for executive post out of the legislature,” Mr. Madonna said. Rep. Schwartz isn’t well-known statewide, but Mr. Madonna said that’s not necessarily a problem. “My joke is ‘that’s a problem that $5 million can cure,’” he said. Asked how she plans to go about raising her profile throughout the state, Rep. Schwartz said that’s what a campaign is for, adding her time as a state senator gave her an opportunity to meet people throughout the state. A recent poll by Harper Polling puts Rep. Schwartz neck-and-neck with former U.S. Rep Joe Sestak,

with 19 percent of Democrats picking her and 20 percent picking him. State Treasurer Rob McCord, Philadelphia businessman Tom Knox, former Rendell administration members Tom Wolf and John Hanger fill out the potential candidates with 7, 3, 1 and 1 percent of the vote, respectively. But the poll also showed 50 percent of Democratic voters are undecided. Rep. Schwartz didn’t want to discuss other potential Democratic gubernatorial candidates. Neither did the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania GOP Press Secretary Billy Pitman said the party is not looking to comment on any specific candidates while the process is in such an early stage, saying “we’re focused on highlighting Gov. Corbett’s strong record of accomplishment and the campaign promises he’s kept to the people of Pennsylvania.” But the party has given some hints that it has a sense of who the democratic opponents may be and that it wants to get some punches in early. On February 12, the party sent out a press release in response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech titled “When will Allyson Schwartz Present a Serious Plan to Reduce Spending?” This sparring will no doubt get more intense as November 2014 gets closer. But what happens if Rep. Schwartz isn’t able to win her party’s nomination and unseat Gov. Corbett? “If you would have asked me eight weeks ago, before this flirtation with the governorship, what she would likely do, I would have said probably run against [U.S. Senator] Pat Toomey because that’s the more direct progression,” Mr. Madonna said, adding that she could get into that race in 2016 if her gubernatorial bid doesn’t work out or that she could take an appointment with the Obama administration. “You gotta make up your mind what you want your career choices to be and sometimes you can’t wait for the ideal opening,” Mr. Madonna said.


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14 MARCH 2013

POLITICAL COMMENTARY

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

Paul’s Filibuster Worthy of Media, Political Praise

Charlie Gerow is CEO of Quantum Communications, a Harrisburg-based public relations and issue advocacy firm. CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.

He held the floor of the U.S. Senate for nearly 13 hours. It was a feat that even opposition Leader Harry Reid said took a great deal of courage “...and a strong bladder.” Freshman Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky staged a rare Senate filibuster last week, ostensibly over President Obama’s nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA. But the real target was his passionate concern over the constitutional issues surrounding drone attacks on Americans. Sen. Paul had asked the Obama Justice Department for clarification on the issue of whether or not drone attacks could be authorized for Americans on U.S. soil without due process. After his historic filibuster, he finally got an answer from Attorney General Eric Holder: “No,” came the reply. Several things made Sen. Paul’s stand unique. First, unlike other filibusters, his ultimate goal was not to block the nomination (which ultimately sailed through), but to force an issue not directly related. Second, his move was largely a surprise. He didn’t consult with his own leadership before taking the floor. Few saw it coming.

He said he was willing to stand alone, if necessary, and “will speak until I can no longer speak.” He accomplished all those goals, but what he accomplished beyond those objectives was what made his stand so impressive. He dominated the news cycle and drove it from the Senate floor, something rarely seen. He was the focus of the social media, at one point reportedly the No. 1 trending item in the world on Twitter. Sen. Paul won praise from both sides of the political aisle. Several Republican senators joined him on the floor, including Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey. Democrat Ron Wyden from Oregon did as well. So did some admiring observers from the House who sat in the back of the Senate chamber watching Sen. Paul hold forth. Although Sen. John McCain criticized him, his 2008 campaign chief said the filibuster meant “Rand Paul arrived as a national figure.” Democratic consultant Donna Brazile, an Obama loyalist, added that “...Rand Paul, to his credit, went to the Senate well and spent 13 hours driving home this big issue.”

Maybe Sen. Paul anticipated all of this when he decided to take his courageous stand. Not many others did. But his 13 hours of fame propelled him into the national spotlight and mention as a serious contender for the White House in 2016. He captured the imagination of the nation and his party, bringing energy to the GOP and invigorating many of the libertarians who have followed his father for years. He also attracted the attention of grassroots conservative activists waiting for someone to take the lead. At a time when many Republican leaders seem confused about how to handle the Obama Administration and lack a clear voice on the pressing issues of the day, Rand Paul displayed clarity and conviction. The response showed how badly needed those qualities are right now. Sen. Paul summed up the reaction by saying, “Americans are looking for someone to really stand up and fight for them.” Sen. Paul stood for 13 hours. The rewards he reaps from his simple but profound stand are likely to last a lot longer.


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POLITICAL COMMENTARY

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

13

Two Years In, Where Does Corbett Stand on Jobs?

Eric Boehm is bureau chief for PA Independent, a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.

HARRISBURG — Democrats started off the week by hammering Gov. Tom Corbett over Pennsylvania’s latest jobs report. The state’s unemployment rate climbed to 8.2 in January, putting Pennsylvania 0.5 percent above the national average, even though it had remained well below the national rate during the worst of the recession. The worst part for Gov. Corbett — politically at least — is that unemployment when he took office in January 2011 was only 8 percent. And that looks even worse a week after Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway bragged at a budget hearing that the state’s rate was better than when the governor took office, citing figures from December 2012 when unemployment was 7.9 percent, before it shot up in January. So the Democrats have had something of a field day with that one, as you might expect. But, mostly, they are asking a fair question: Where is the recovery in Pennsylvania? The national unemployment rate has fallen from 9.1 to 7.9 in the last two years, but the Keystone State remains stubbornly high. Gov. Corbett’s defenders say that the unemployment rate is misleading, because more people are now looking for work than when he took office and jobs are growing,

but not quickly enough to keep up with the new job-seekers flooding the market. Turns out, both are partially right, and partially wrong. It boils down to this: In Pennsylvania there are 122,000 people who did not have jobs two years ago, but have them now — but there are also 25,000 more people in the unemployment line. The labor force — the measure of people employed or looking for work — in Pennsylvania has grown by 2.3 percent since Gov. Corbett took office in Jan. 2011, outpacing the rate of growth of the national labor force. But job growth has increased at a faster rate nationally than in Pennsylvania. In fact, the labor force has grown faster than the number of new jobs in Pennsylvania during the last two year, a sure indicator that the unemployment rate will have to rise. The opposite is true at the national level, which is part of the reason why unemployment has fallen over the last 24 months in the nation as a whole. It’s also worth noting that private sector employment is up by more than 100,000 jobs since Gov. Corbett took office, while government jobs are down by 31,000. Say what you will about the governor’s policies, but he is making good on his

promise to focus on the public sector, where tax dollars come from, rather than the public sector that consumes them. But the next logical question — and the one that really matters — is why has job growth in Pennsylvania been on the sluggish side? Democrats say it is because Republicanbacked tax breaks and other giveaways to big business have been pocketed by corporate fat cats who are more interested in lining their own wallets than hiring workers. Republicans will say it’s because labor unions restrict employment opportunities, or because Pennsylvania’s 9.99 percent corporate net income tax is too high for many job creators to stomach. They may also point a finger at federal regulations and uncertainty surrounding the implementation of Obamacare. Who is right? That depends on your point of view. But this is where the debate should be happening, on issues of policy, not politics. Two years into Gov. Corbett’s time in office, the jobs data can be fodder for talking points on both sides. A substantial debate on improving the state’s economic climate would be preferable.

Council Looks to Accelerate Vacant Land Development

Timothy Holwick is a freelance writer covering Philadelphia government. Find more coverage at citycouncilmatters.com. CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.

A package of bills was introduced to City Council March 7 to incentivize developers to improve vacant land. The effort is spearheaded by Council President Darrell Clarke, who seeks to make it easier for developers to gain possession of vacant land in Philadelphia if they intend to build there, particularly if they are creating jobs or housing for Philadelphia’s low- to middle-income residents. President Clarke introduced five new bills to help encourage developers to acquire vacant property, much of which is owned by the City of Philadelphia. The City currently estimates that there are between 40,000 and 50,000 vacant lots and structures in Philadelphia. More than 15,000 of these vacant properties are owned by public entities, with more than 6,300 of these properties owned by the City of Philadelphia. One bill states “these public owned vacant lots and structures are counterproductive to the health, welfare, and economic stability of

the City as they are blighting influences on communities.” The bill goes on to mention the costs of vacant properties, such as the reducing effect they have on the value of real estate surrounding the vacant property, as well as the cost on the City to maintain them. There is currently no active program to incentivize the development of vacant properties. The bills seek to use the following tools to encourage progress: authorizing the City to make transfers of vacant property for less than market value to facilitate encouraging projects, tax incentives and debt rebates for the vacant property being rapidly improved, authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to take mortgages in lieu of the purchase price for certain vacant properties, and establishing a Vacant Property Review Committee. As mentioned, the City already uses resources to maintain vacant property, but receives no revenue from it.

These measures will allow the City of Philadelphia to monitor the transfers of vacant property through the Vacant Property Review Committee, while also giving City offices the tools to sharply discount the property. The main idea here is that funds received for vacant land, even if discounted, are funds for the City to use elsewhere, instead of continuing to sink money into vacant property maintenance. To ensure that this is not simply a liquidation of property, the Vacant Property Review Committee will look to guarantee the developers acquiring these lands actually plan to develop something beneficial to the residents of Philadelphia. If all goes well, many vacant properties could go from resource-draining blight to cash-yielding urban improvements. The plan will be ironed out in Council over the coming months, but developers should be taking note of what could be lucrative deals on vacant properties.


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14 MARCH 2013

2013: YEAR OF THE INNOVATOR

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Social Media Offers Risks, Rewards

Mark A. DiAntonio, Esq. focuses his practice on civil litigation and employment law matters. He can be reached at mark@diantoniolaw.com or (215) 609-1563.

Steadily, but almost quietly, Philadelphia has become a hotspot for entrepreneurs. The combination of great ideas, available capital and a welcoming environment have set the stage to make 2013 a breakout year for innovation and new businesses. To Learn More ... For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to suggest story ideas, call our main office at 610-940-1656. The web: RegionsBusiness.com Facebook: Facebook.com/regionsbusiness Twitter: @RegionsBusiness Sponsored by

One day out of curiosity, you Google your company’s name to see what your customers would see if they did the same. Much to your surprise — and horror — up pops a blog by former and current employees bad-mouthing your company and their co-workers, discussing your company’s financial status, and gossiping about customers. The blog uses your company logo and a domain name that’s an unflattering variation of your company’s name. To make matters worse, the posts are made during working hours. Unfortunately, hitting the ‘delete’ button won’t solve this problem. Calling an emergency staff meeting and terminating the offenders won’t help much either. In fact, that may create more problems. The vast reaches of the cyber universe have made it more difficult to control your company’s message. But there are steps you can take to protect your company. There are actions to avoid as well. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to consider:

CONTROL YOUR COMPANY’S MESSAGE TO AVOID PRODUCT MISREPRESENTATIONS AND DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS ABOUT COMPETITORS’

CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.

Do: Implement a social media policy. This allows you to establish restrictions on: use of your company’s logo; disclosure of company information; when social media conversations can — and cannot — occur; and use of the company’s electronic devices. You can also remind employees of their limited privacy rights at work. Have your employees sign nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements. Any employee with access to information that you don’t want to see on a blog should be required to sign such an agreement.

It can also prevent disclosure by a former employee, or allow for swift action to stop the activity. Frequently check cyberspace to find out what others are saying about your company, your employees, and your customers. Services exist that monitor websites, using key word searches to identify the good and not-so-good things being said about you. Conducting searches allows you to quickly address any harmful information about your company, employees or customers, and take action to have the information deleted, provide a response, protect information that should not be disclosed, or quell harassing behavior. Don’t: Immediately discipline or terminate employees who make negative comments about your company or co-workers on social media sites. You must first consider the facts surrounding the posts. It’s essential to evaluate the circumstances leading to the posts before making a “knee-jerk” reaction about an employee’s fate. Indeed, an ill-advised decision could result in the employee having a viable legal claim against you. The subject matter of the post, whether it was done during work hours or off the clock, and if the conversation included co-workers, among other factors, need to be considered first. Ignore comments made about your company, employees or customers, or comments that are purportedly made on your company’s behalf. If you become aware of social media posts that are damaging, or could lead to adverse consequences, it makes good business sense and helps in defending a potential claim if you can show you took steps to rectify the situation. Allow your employees to market your company through social media without having control over the message. Twitter, Facebook and other social media have served many companies well in creating exposure and generating sales. However, you should control your company’s message to avoid product misrepresentations and defamatory statements about competitors, among other potential hazards.


14 MARCH 2013

2013: YEAR OF THE INNOVATOR

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MEETUP CALENDAR

Philly Tech Meetup Network with technologists, entrepreneurs and investors at the March 2013 Founders Happy Hour. More information can be found at PhillyTechMeetup.com. Time: 6 p.m. Date: Wednesday, March 20 Place: TBD

Philly Force Peter Coffee, vice president and head of platform research at SalesForce. com, will be presenting at this meetup.

Time: 6 p.m. Date: Wednesday, March 20 Place: Zivtech, 1315 Walnut Street, Suite 1500, Philadelphia, Pa.

Tech In Motion The first meeting of a new, “Startup to Success” series is bringing together innovative business leaders. Panelists include: Tom Kulzer, founder and CEO of AWeber; Frank Panko, founder of A View From My Seat; Chin-Hock Low, CTO of Chaikin Analytics; and Bart Mroz, head of brand experience at SUMO Heavy Industries. Time: 6 p.m. Date: Thursday, March 21 Place: Two Liberty Place, 50 South 16th Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA MEETUP.COM

NOT YOUR

FATHER’S SECURITY COMPANY

Nakia Stith is building a sociallyconscious sister company for her family’s successful security business

BY BRANDON BAKER

N

akia Stith is a woman who thrives on keeping busy. At the ripe age of 22, she took over her ailing father’s role as president and CEO of West Philadelphia-based Top of the Clock Inc., a security and protection services firm founded in 1991. Since taking the reins, the company has unloaded more than $1 million worth of federal, state and city debt, and has developed a heavily-emphasized company culture of teamwork for its 150 employees. But as she realized she’d successfully turned around her father’s flailing business, she also came to the conclusion that there had to be a larger significance to the work she was doing. “Just from being here [with everyone at Top of the Clock], we realized we wanted to be able to think a little differently, to have a greater impact,” Ms. Stith said. “We understood that the work we were doing was a little limited and confined if we were only talking about armed and unarmed security guard services.” Out of this epiphany, the socially-conscious firm ResilienC was born. Officially launched in 2011 at a Top of the Clock 20th-anniversary event, the “sister company” of Top of the Clock set out to implement solutions for emergency preparedness as well address health and safety hazards in communities ranging from apartment complexes, to school buildings, to senior citizen high-rises. “Right now, it’s a lot of thought work,” Ms. Stith said. “It’s a lot of work about creating this new paradigm, reinventing the way communities — especially vulnerable urban ones — approach health, safety and security. We’re getting people to take control of their destiny.” In essence, the company does much of Facebook.com/ResilienC

the contingency plan leg work that most take for granted. They train personnel — everyone from maintenance to the “guy on the phones” — to understand evacuation plans, first-aid kits, and fire response. Ms. Stith admits the company’s mission hasn’t been the easiest sell. “I’d liken it to car insurance — if it wasn’t necessary or mandated for us to have it, I think people would take their chances,” she said. “Selling prevention is difficult, but on the service side, we can come in and influence our environments ... How many people in your neighborhood have a first-aid kit, and actually know what to do with it?” For a more thorough understanding of ResilienC’s mission, Ms. Stith encourages those interested to attend a May 13 symposium at Drexel University, which will focus on the urban communities of the future. “What we’re doing, is trying to create a new conversation about how we’re protecting ourselves.” Twitter.com/ResilienCSafety

WHAT WE’RE DOING IS TRYING TO CREATE A NEW CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW WE’RE PROTECTING OURSELVES.’ — NAKIA STITH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF TOP OF THE CLOCK, INC.

ResilienC.com

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2013: YEAR OF THE INNOVATOR

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

Modernizing The ‘Little Black Book’ CAPITAL SEEKERS

Business: conXt Founders: Dan and Eric Greenberg Contact: dan@conxt.com

BY BRANDON BAKER Think of conXt as the 21stcentury “little black book.” The basis of the private contact list aggregate came largely from co-founder Dan Greenberg’s time in the military, when keeping friends and family up to date with his mailing address was — to say the least — a challenge. Launched in October 2012 by Mr. Greenberg and his brother, Eric Greenberg, conXt aims to simplify the modern contact list by making it easily imported via any platform. The more-than 1,000 users who currently use the app can categorize their contact list through a dashboard interface that enumerates all of the basics in profile format: place of employment, email addresses,

important dates, children and more. Beyond this, the features of conXt are as much a service as they are a Web tool. To make everyday life tasks easier to manage, the app goes as far as to print, stamp and mail postcards and greeting cards to contacts checked off through the interface. “Right now, with the mailing addresses, we have a lot of activity — especially wedding invitations and holiday cards — but then we have those who only check in every few weeks to use it when the nephew’s birthday comes up,” Dan Greenberg said. “We’d like to see more daily engagement.” Eventually, the Greenbergs would like to see conXt replace the generic app currently pre-

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installed in smartphones as the standard contact book for iPhone and Android. Mr. Greenberg says the app will always be free, instead planning to monetize by capturing affiliate revenue through online greeting card operators like Minted, Tiny Prints, Shutterfly and VistaPrint, with the intent of using conXt’s database of addresses to their advantage in partnering with the aforementioned sites. In the coming months, the startup hopes to raise $700,000 in its current round of funding, as well as launch its mobile app and exponentially raise its number of active users. Have a suggestion for our Capital Seekers series? Email Brandon Baker at bbaker@ regionsbusiness.com

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. Cities for Tech Startups

9

Philadelphia’s rank on CIO.com’s list of top U.S. cities for Tech Startups, behind San Francisco (1), San Jose (2), New York (3), Boston (4), Los Angeles (5), Washington, D.C. (6), Seattle (7), and Austin (8)

$141M

Sum of equity invested in Philadelphia startups

55

Startups in Philadelphia


14 MARCH 2013

2013: YEAR OF THE INNOVATOR

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

CALENDAR

Social Media Boot Camp Event: AroundMainLine.com presents: Social Media Boot Camp for Local Businesses and Organizations. Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Date: Monday, April 1 Place: The Capital Grille, King of Prussia, Pa. Tickets: $195 per person on EventBrite.com Sarah Lockard, CEO of AroundMainLine.com will give a 45-minute presentation on how her company has mastered social media over the last five years and how your business can benefit. A Q+A, cocktail party and helpful handouts will follow the presentation.

17

In Their Words: Humbly Asking For Funding In his words: After nearly eight months, Saunter begins its next big stage of its development — fundraising. Pitching investors is the newest element to startup life for me. I have never had to ask others for money in this way. To create an exponential learning curve, I first began reading blog posts and watching lectures BY BRANDON BAKER on pitching. I also watched others pitch their In the weeks ahead, Adam Kearney will join the ranks of companies, noting what I liked Region’s Business’ “Capital Seek- and disliked. I thought I was ready. I created ers” as he searches for investors to fund his website for the arts, my slides, wrote my script, and memorized it. Saunter. Although satisfied, I knew I had But for Mr. Kearney, the art of pleading for money hasn’t come to approach this new endeavor quite as naturally. Below, he with utmost humility. I began meeting with successful chronicles what that process has companies and investors in Philabeen like. delphia, asking them to be critical. DIARY OF A STARTUP

RegionsBusiness.com Philadelphia, 24/7

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I have since gone through endless revisions. How many? I do not care to count! The trick has been figuring out how to keep my pitch under 10 slides, while addressing everyone’s concerns. The problem is one person likes to see something one way, another the opposite way, and another person not at all. You may even be pitching all three of these people at the same time, so simply knowing your audience can’t solve it. After running in circles, I have come to find what I believe to be the best approach: Create a base of 10 slides with hyperlinks to other slides. These hyperlinks preempt all questions others may have. Make sure you create an index and refer each slide back to that index. Keep it short; keep it sweet!


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2013: YEAR OF THE INNOVATOR BY THE NUMBERS

Top U.S. Cities For Women Entrepreneurs NerdWallet.com recently released a list of the top 10 U.S. cities for Women Entrepreneurs, and Philadelphia didn’t make the cut. 1) San Francisco, CA 2) Seattle, WA 3) Washington, D.C. 4) Minneapolis, MN 5) Portland, OR 6) Atlanta, GA 7) Austin, TX 8) Raleigh, NC 9) Denver, CO 10) San Diego, CA

34.5%

Percent of businesses owned by women in Washington, D.C.

13.7

Businesses per 100 residents in San Francisco

45

Philadelphia’s rank on NerdWallet.com’s list

6.1

Businesses per 100 residents in Philadelphia, the main reason for the low score, according to analyst Divya Raghavan

6.2%

Unemployment rate in Austin

55.8%

Percent of population with a bachelor’s degree in Seattle

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

Wharton Grads Found Online Investment Firm BY MATTHEW KIM With more than $22 million invested in a timespan of seven months, the FundersClub is aiming to take venture capital to a new level. Co-founded by 2007 Wharton and Engineering graduate Alex Mittal and 2010 Wharton graduate Boris Silver last summer, the FundersClub is an online-only venture capital platform. It was also the first online platform to receive membership from the National Venture Capital Association. Common roots The company’s founders first met during their undergraduate days at Penn, when they were both pursuing degrees in the Wharton School and developing their interests in entrepreneurship. “The company exists partially because of From left: FundersClub software engineer Shlomo Zippel, along with Wharton graduates Felicia Curcuru, Alex Mittal Wharton,” Mr. Mittal said. “It’s the common and Boris Silver, all work at one of the first online venture capital platforms. THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN tie that brought us in proximity to each other.” tains over 5,000 accredited investors from Mr. Silver added that from his past expeBefore creating the FundersClub together, a wide spectrum of backgrounds, including riences as an angel investor, or someone Mr. Silver and Mr. Mittal pursued their senior executives, engineers, prominent who provides funding for startups and own careers, starting their own enterprises actors and lawyers. entrepreneurs, he felt like the market was which ranged from Mr. Silver’s fantasy All In A Day’s Work not “very efficient offline in raising capital” sports company Sport Interactiva to Mr. Originally, the FundersClub consisted of and that at the time “there really was no Mittal’s touch screen hardware company only the two co-founders and Ms. Curcuru. way to do this on the internet.” Innova Dynamics. Now, the company has grown to six employMr. Silver and Mr. Mittal were joined by ees and has plans for potential expansion in another Wharton alumna, 2007 graduate the future. THE COMPANY EXISTS Felicia Curcuru, in the company’s early Even though the company has a conPARTIALLY BECAUSE OF stages. sistent group of investors and companies, Ms. Curcuru, who worked for McKinsey working at a start-up means there is no WHARTON. IT’S THE COMMON & Company prior to the FundersClub, met regular daily routine. TIE THAT BROUGHT US IN Mr. Mittal as an undergraduate student as “There is no typical day at a start-up,” Mr. PROXIMITY TO EACH OTHER. well. Silver said. “But, I spend a lot of my time —ALEX MITTAL An Innovative Platform looking at companies, helping support our The FundersClub allows people to invest existing portfolio and a lot of time on our capital into venture funds managed by the In order to work with the FundersClub, legal operations as well as our accounting company, which in turn are used to fund both investors and potential companies and financial operations.” private entrepreneurial companies who are need to meet certain criteria. Investors In addition, the company’s location in San first starting out. must have an annual income of at least Francisco has allowed the FundersClub to Traditionally, venture capital transactions $200,000 or a net worth of at least $1 milgo back to its “Wharton roots.” are conducted offline due to U.S. Securities “We’ve been closely plugged in with the lion, and companies must pass a detailed and Exchange Commission regulations that executive education branch of Wharton vetting process led by a formal investment prohibit private companies from directly San Francisco, going to their events, speakcommittee that analyzes the company’s soliciting the public for investments. market size, potential for growth, services ing with entrepreneurs … we try to be as Private companies cannot fundraise and other factors. The average investment involved as we can be,” Ms. Curcuru said. through online efforts because it is considsize spans from $1,000 to $250,000. Going Forward Currently, the FundersClub receives In terms of expansion, the FundersClub ered a form of solicitation. This is where the inquiries from over 100 companies each hopes to attract an even greater number of FundersClub comes in as an intermediary month. Of these companies, the Funderinvestors in the future. between potential investors and companies “Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions, seeking funding. sClub narrows them down to three to four be really determined and stay hungry,” Mr. Both Mr. Silver and Mr. Mittal believed that become “targets” for FundersClub Silver said. the venture capital industry could be more investments, enabling investors to anaThis article was originally published efficient and accessible to the common lyze companies more closely and engage in The Daily Pennsylvanian, www.thedp. investor by establishing an “online marketin more efficient deals. com. On the investing side, the company conplace” for investors and companies.


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T

he phrase “it takes money to make money” may be hotly debated in the business world, and whether you think it’s true or false, there’s no denying the importance of funding when starting a new business. Philadelphia has been experiencing an innovation surge, with startups sprouting from University City to Fishtown. Technology is the undeniable leader of this new trend, and Josh Kopelman is largely considered the unofficial captain. When Mr. Kopelman moved his operations - the third-busiest venture capital firm in the country - into Center City, it signaled the beginning of a new era in Philadelphia’s business world. But like all new business ventures, obtaining funding remains a challenge. Last fall, Mayor Michael Nutter created Startup PHL, a new initiative to support Philadelphia startups and entrepreneurs. The City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) joined forces to increase the availability of seed-stage capital for startups and to improve the environment for entrepreneurs already in the city. It was a calculated move to establish Philadelphia as a city worth investing in, and so far, the results have been promising. Philadelphia was recently named one of the top 20 finalists for the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge – a competition designed to encourage U.S. cities to generate innovative ideas that address major challenges locally and nationally while improving the quality of life for its citizens. The city also has one of the strongest talent pools in the country. There are currently 101 degree-granting institutions producing scientists and engineers, and the National Center for Education Statistics reported that almost 86,000 certificates and degrees were awarded in the region, 31 percent of them

THE QUEST FOR

FUNDING As Philadelphia strives to nurture its fledgling entrepreneur community, funding its growth becomes a bigger challenge. Many options exist, but choosing wisely has never been more difficult. !"#$%&'% ()*++,%-,)),./% 0))1+$2,$*/.%&' 3/.%4""


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OTHER OPTIONS

Alternative sources for business loans When it comes to securing a loan, there are more options out there than just the traditional local bank route. Several companies have taken a more revolutionary approach to lending, and they are valuable resources too often overlooked by start-ups and Main Street business alike.

Despite the addition of Mr. Kopelman’s First Round Capital, 2012 was a rough year for venture capital investment in the region.

Kickstarter: This funding platform for creative projects has tackled films, games, music, art, design, technology, and more. It launched in April 2009, and since then more than $500 million has been pledged by over 3 million people. As a result, 35,000+ creative projects have come into fruition – but it abides by an “all or nothing” funding model, so there’s no halfway. Ben Franklin Technology Partners: As one of the nation’s longest-running technology-based economic development programs, BFTP has spent the last 30 years boosting funding for companies in Pennsylvania. Their main industries include health care, alternative energy, telecommunication and manufacturing. Astia: Founded in 1999, this global notfor-profit organization is geared toward empowering female entrepreneurs and leaders. They offer programs for highgrowth start-ups that include providing access to capital, ensuring sustainable high-growth, and developing the executive leadership of the women on the founding team. Accion: Dedicated to building a “financially inclusive world,” Accion is a global nonprofit organization that aims to provide crucial financial tools to those who need it most. In the past 50 years, it’s become one of the leading microfinance organizations in the world, and its lending partners can be found throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and the United States. Springboard Enterprises: Women are at the forefront once again at this venture-catalyst platform. Springboard supports female-led companies seeking equity capital for product development and expansion, and they’ve done so with great success. They have helped establish over 500 companies and raised more than $5.6 billion in financing.

[2012] ... marked the first time in more than 15 years that the region failed to hit $400 million in investments.

advanced degrees, during 2009-2010. Grants are the most desirable form of funding for small businesses because they are essentially free money. Without the pressure of having to pay back a loan at a high interest rate, grants are a major catalyst for growth in the startup world. Grants typically come from state and local agencies, as well as the federal government. In 2009, Mayor Nutter announced two programs to direct $13 million in grants for small businesses, and in 2011, the city was awarded $2 million in grants from the Small Business Association (SBA). The SBA provided twenty separate $1 million grants across the country, and Philadelphia was the only city to win two. What’s important to remember about grants is that they’re not awarded for simply starting a new business. Grants are typically only available to businesses rooted in specific fields or industries that are prioritized by the government – such as technology, medical and scientific research, and green energy – so the more Main Street-geared businesses can get left behind. That is where other sources of funding come into play. Angel investors have descended on Philadelphia in recent years, and there are already more than 250 individual members in the region’s multiple angel

groups. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who provide capital for business startups, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. The recent trend of angels forming groups stems from the desire to combine research and investment capital, as well as supply advice to their portfolio companies. Unlike venture capitalists, angel investors usually invest their own funds via pooled money from other investors in a professionally-managed fund. Funding is largely determined by an individual decision, but the actual money stems from a trust, business, limited liability company, investment fund, or similar vehicle. Because angel-funded startup companies have been found to have a much higher rate of success than alternatively funded businesses, their popularity has been growing exponentially in Philadelphia and across the country. Angels are rooted out West, mainly the San Francisco area, but it appears their East Coast counterparts are cut from a different cloth. Local entrepreneurs have taken issue with local angels, accusing them of being less inclined to fund startups, specifically pre-revenue companies, than the angels based in Silicon Valley. So while they’re advantageous if you can obtain one, angel investors

remain highly elusive to many Philadelphia entrepreneurs. Equity investors are another tricky path to funding for local businesses because they are viewed as a higher risk. Known as venture capitalists when dealing with infant companies, equity investors operate through the buying and holding of stock by either individuals or firms. As the value of the stock rises, they make their profit through dividends and capital gains. Equity holders typically receive voting rights, share a company's profits, and recover some of a company's assets if it results in a bust. However, equity investors usually have the lowest priority when it comes to recouping their investment. Despite the addition of Mr. Kopelman’s First Round Capital, 2012 was a rough year for venture capital investment in the region. Local startups haven’t been faced with such a challenge since 1996, and earlier this year, a MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) determined that Philadelphia venture capitalists contributed only $399 million to area startups last year. It marked the first time in more than 15 years that the region failed to hit $400 million in investments.


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tarting a small business anywhere is never easy, but Philadelphia entrepreneurs and small business owners have to navigate an especially difficult path. Philadelphia has some of the highest taxes in the country – anywhere from 13 percent to 18 percent in wage tax before federal income tax – and its economy isn’t exactly booming. The employment rate is hanging around 10.6% (the 7th highest in the U.S.). All of these factors lead to a less than ideal environment for small businesses to flourish. “For the Main Street businesses, the funding environment remains very tough,” Ami Kassar, founder and CEO of MultiFunding LLC, said. “For those of them that have great credit and collateral and cash flow, it’s easy to get a loan. But unfortunately in the recession, so many businesses are made damaged that even when banks are lending out to them, it’s so much more expensive.” Entrepreneurs looking to fund a new business or expand an existing business could consider taking out a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Through these loans, the SBA guarantees the lender that it will be partially responsible for repayment if the borrower defaults on his or her loan. “It’s a great program to supplement those potential borrowers that, for whatever reason — the newness of the company or new product offerings — that they don’t qualify for conventional financing,” said Jeff Culp, regional president for Susquehanna Bank, a preferred SBA lender. “The SBA program really provides us a great alternative to support those customers in getting financing.” As a preferred SBA lender, Susquehanna Bank is given more control over the approval process, which “puts us in a position to be pretty responsive,” Mr. Culp said. Banking Grades, a grading tool from Kassar’s MultiFunding, ranks Many banks do not make the grade when it comes to the best and worst banks for small business lending. Unsurprisingly, in small business loans, hampering economic growth. Philadelphia and across the country, small banks reign supreme. Here are Street, Suite 1200 the banks in Philadelphia County that Ngbm^];Zgdh_IabeZ]^eiabZ%*/+)PZ]lphkma currently boast an A rating, meaning a bank uses Street 25% or more of its deposits to make small business Ngbm^];Zgdh_IabeZ]^eiabZ%;khZ]Zg]Hq_hk] loans: Streets :lbZg;Zgd%1*.&1,0:k\aLmk^^m Ngbm^] ;Zgd h_ IabeZ]^eiabZ% ,1ma Lmk^^m Zg] Ngbm^] ;Zgd h_ IabeZ]^eiabZ% ,) Lhnma *.ma

ROUGH ROAD FOR SMALL

BUSINESSES

Lancaster Avenue OZee^r@k^^g;Zgd%0++/@^kfZgtown Avenue OZee^r@k^^g;Zgd%+,P^lmAb`aland Avenue OZee^r@k^^g;Zgd%+)))FZkd^m Street, Suite 700 IhkmKb\afhg]LZobg`l%+.++>Zlm Allegheny Avenue As for failing grades, the big banks dominated that category. Those with the worst ratings include Bank of America, Citizens Bank, JP Morgan, Citibank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs. Despite the Goldman Sachs Group’s lackluster score on Banking Grades, they are giving back to Philadelphia bg Z [b` pZr' ObZ bml *)%))) LfZee Businesses program, the financial titan is partnering with community colleges and nonprofit lenders to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity through education, capital and business support services. Philadelphia has become the 11th location to participate in the three-year-old program, and Goldman Sachs has pledged to commit $20 million locally. One of the highlights of the program is the $10 million that will be funneled through the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp (PIDC) for loans to small businesses. Another $5 million is heading to the suburbs through Community First Fund in Lancaster. It will create small business loans in each of the 13 counties it serves in central and eastern Pennsylvania, notably Chester and Montgomery Counties. There will be an additional $5 million dispersed through the Community College of Philadelphia for free classes to business owners. “Philadelphia is a city of vibrant neighborhoods, where small companies and firms serve as an important economic engine,” said Community College of Philadelphia President Stephen M. Curtis. “Since small businesses today employ half of all private sector workers, they are a strategic partner for us as well as a potential employer for students.”

Learn about SBA loans The Small Business Administration offers a variety of loans. More information at: www.sba.gov/loanprograms


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CHECKLIST

!

How to secure your next loan Review Your Credit Report: When it comes to small businesses, lenders will start by looking at the owner’s personal credit history. Do the research through one of the three major reporting bureaus – Transunion, Experian and Equifax – to make sure everything is in order before applying for a loan. Map Out A Stellar Business Plan: Lenders will want to see you understand your industry and product, as well as how that relates to the current economic climate. What does your company stand for? How is it different from its competitors? Effective detailing your plans for the road ahead will go a long way in helping you secure a loan. Make a Personal Investment: If you can show how much of your own money you’ve already invested into the business, lenders will see your true level of commitment to your project. Without having any of your own money on the line, you run the risk of looking unstable – and why should they gamble more than you? Prioritize Your Bookkeeping: Life can be hectic, but that should never show in your company’s books. The lending climate is already brutal for small businesses, so don’t put yourself at a disadvantage with outdated or disorganized bookkeeping. With your finances in perfect order, you’re far more likely to secure a quality loan. Create a Detailed Payback Plan: If you can outline how much money your business needs to make to stay afloat, how obtaining this loan will achieve that, and how quickly you can pay it all back, you’ll be able to make great strides through the lending process. It also helps to show you have collateral in case anything goes awry. AMI KASSAR, MULTIFUNDING.COM

With venture capital appearing increasingly unstable, resulting in less investors, area startups are now looking to more unconventional means to fund their businesses. Crowdfunding is one of those routes, mainly because it provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their potential businesses to people around the world. Crowdfunding came into being when President Barack Obama signed the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act on April 5, 2012. Prior to that, it had been illegal for private businesses to provide equity in exchange for funding to anyone other than accredited investors. A new wave of businesses was formed, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, and Rock The Post, but crowdfunding is still not technically legal. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was expected to issue final regulations on crowdfunding by December 31, 2012, but it unsurprisingly missed the deadline and has yet to stipulate those final regulations. Because of that, equity crowdfunding remains illegal. There’s no denying the power of crowdfunding. While it remains a lesser scale option for funding, many startups receive about 25-40% of their revenue from first, second and third degree connections such as friends, family and work acquaintances. It’s a powerful source of early stage capital for companies, which is the hardest to raise. With a strong base of initial capital, startups increase their chances of attracting grants, angel investors and venture capitalists. Bootstrapping is another option for startups in need of cash, and it is another crucial factor to early stage funding. Bootstrapping generally refers to funding a business without external help or capital. They instead operate through internal cash flow and closely resemble the lean startup model. This route is most successful when the startup’s costs are low and the return on investment is high. Running a bootstrapped-funded business relies on a small staff, in-house marketing and public relations, as well as outsourcing other roles. For technology companies, bootstrapping is a huge challenge when the entrepreneur doesn’t already possess the necessary skills – such as programming and coding. It’s also heavily reliant on the potential customer base, which can be fickle and unpre-

its operations to other cities in search of financing. The Startup PHL Seed Fund should help combat this issue, but funding will still remain a challenge for infant companies. Gene Marks of Philadelphia Magazine’s The Philly Post expressed his doubts about the prospect of Philadelphia becoming a major start-up hub. He said: "Start-ups that change the world and create billions of dollars of wealth are created by young, hyper, edgy, manic geniuses who stay up all night hacking into computers at the Department of Defense, or developing new drugs to make themselves even more hyper and manic. These people want to flock to a city with the same personality and be around others with the same personality. They find them in New York and San Francisco. And then the money finds them. Philadelphia is not a city like that." Perhaps that’s the key to unlocking Philadelphia’s potential – knowing what the city is, and what it never will be. Or that could just be a discussion for another day.

dictable. However, when executed correctly, bootstrapping can lead to a self-sustained business or possibly more substantial funding from outside investors. Philadelphia remains a fairly young city in terms of courting startups. Silicon Valley and New York have long perfected their funding models, especially when it comes to tech and business, and Philadelphia is still figuring out how to operate in a highly competitive system. But what it lacks in experience, it makes up for in affordability and accessibility. With the cost of living in the city much lower than New York and Washington, DC, the city offers a much higher quality of life to its residents and businesses. That can go a long way in attracting businesses. However, like the often lamented brain drain, Philadelphia has a retention problem. The region’s talent pool is one of the best in the world, but a variety of factors results in a mass exodus problem. In the past five years, $1 billion worth of companies moved

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Q&A

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AMI KASSAR’S

SMALL FOCUS

He’s in the business of getting loans for small businesses and he sees ways those businesses can improve their terms, as well as ways that could get big banks more involved in the game.

What is your take on the funding environment in Philadelphia? It’s important to put it into two areas. One is the company who is more of a start-up looking for venture capital and angel investors, and another is bread and butter business. Dry cleaners, restaurants, wholesalers, service businesses, consulting businesses. The day-to-day businesses, and there are a lot more of those than there are the venture capital/ technology type. In my world, I don’t deal with the technology type. I deal with the Main Street businesses. I think that clarification is important because they can be very different. The truth of the matter is, there are 98 or 99 of my type of businesses for every one of the other types of businesses. At the Philly Think Tank, you said you didn’t work with the big banks for small business loans. Not that you wouldn’t like to, but that you don’t. Can you elaborate more on this situation? Our experience is that the larger the bank, the less authority the folks on the street have to make decisions. Small business lending is hard, and we find the smaller community banks where the business loan officer, the credit man-

ager and the underwriter work together closely, where they go to credit committee together, and where they work in the same office – that lending environment is much more conducive to getting a small business loan done. With a larger bank, the loan officer could be in Philadelphia and the underwriter could be in Wyoming or North Carolina. You never know who you’re going to get. And the guy who makes the decision could be in Phoenix, and a lot gets lost in translation in the process. Small business lending is not easy. It requires nuance and thought. Our feeling is that means much more work. With the funding environment being so tough, what do you think can be done to remedy this situation? I think there are many things that can be done, but a lot of it is education – tools for small businesses to start at the right places. We have a website called Banking Grades that recommends small businessfriendly banks around the country. I think a concerted effort by small business owners to keep up on their bookkeeping and their accounting would be very useful. A lot of the times we see small businesses get stuck with high interest loans for reasons that they’re a month behind in

their bookkeeping. Therefore, when they need the money, they’re not ready to borrow it. And a concerted effort from larger businesses to pay their small business suppliers faster can make a huge difference because often what we see the small businesses struggling with are working capital problems. You often stress the importance of bookkeeping for small business owners. Why do you think this is such an issue? You’re in your trade, you’re going about your job, and you get lost in your books. You don’t keep up on your bookkeeping, and then when the unexpected happens and you need a loan, you’re not ready for it. Do you have any great resources you recommend to help people through this funding process? You can talk to your accountant, your attorney, loan advisors like us. You can go to SCORE or the SBA. Go to seminars. There are a lot of resources out there, but definitely find an advisor you can trust and go to them. For the complete Q&A with Ami Kassar, go to RegionsBusiness.com.

REGION’S BUSINESS STAFF

@akassar @multifunding

Multifunding.com

Multifunding

info@multifunding.com

800.276.0690


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verybody knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is the power breakfast becoming the most important meal of the day for business meetings as well? “The purpose of the business breakfast, like the business lunch, is to build relationships,” says Robin Jay, author of “The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2.” “The problem today is that, even though we have all this additional technology help, work hours are more precious than ever.” Mr. Jay observes that the power breakfast is increasingly valuable for several sets of businesspeople. At the top of that list is anyone working on billable hours; meeting at breakfast leaves more hours during the day to bill clients. It’s also a good time for people who have a hard stop at the end of their day because of other commitments like family events. And, of course, it benefits anyone who wants to avoid alcohol — either drinking it, or the cost of alcohol on your final bill — while conducting business over a meal. Linda Lipsky of the Linda Lipsky Restaurant Consultants, Inc., in Broomall, concurs that business breakfasts play an important role, specifically pointing to the increasing value of time and money in our current economy. “Obviously breakfast is cheaper [than lunch]—and it’s faster,” she says. “Breakfast is a one-course meal, and those are faster dishes —they cook quickly.A lot of times the eggs are cracked and ready to go.” Both Ms. Lipsky and Mr. Jay say the breakfast meeting should top out at between 45 minutes to an hour. In this context, business breakfasts offer a fast way to make a strong connection with an important business contact without taking away from the work that needs to be done during regular business hours. In Center City, Davio’s, an upscale Italian Steakhouse on 17th Street, has been offering business breakfast fare for 14 years; currently the breakfast menu includes a variety of omelets and grilled prime skirt steak with eggs. They report seasonal swings in the popularity of business breakfasts. And as part of this cycle, they say they’ve seen an uptick in business clientele in recent months (since January 2013). “Breakfast is a quieter time to sit down and have a [business] conversation,” observes Ettore Ceraso, Director of Operations at Davio’s. Early in the day, the restaurant has “more business people having smaller meetings. People want privacy – and breakfast is a good time of day for it.” While not all fine dining establishments acknowledge an increase in business breakfast traffic, all recognize the obvious benefits to the business set — and there are many. “It’s the start of the business day,” offers Elizabeth from 10 Arts at the Ritz Carlton on the Avenue of the Arts. “People still come in to lunch here, but they come in for breakfast to plan out what’s going to happen during the rest of the day, to get prepared.” To that end, 10 Arts offers a private dining room and guests selecting the “Power Breakfast” menu item get a hearty spread including fresh fruit, a bakery basket, and two sides — plus free WiFi. Carving out time for face-to-face meetings outside the office is important at every echelon of the business world. And the business breakfast meeting offers a good opportunity to start the day off strong — physically and mentally setting the stage for a successful day. “Meeting clients for breakfast puts the ball in your court, in terms of time, money,” Mr. Jay says. “There are so many advantages to making breakfast the new lunch.”

WHAT TO DO, NOT DO Choose a location that suits the business need. Many upscale hotels offer great breakfast menus and the kind of setting and environment that is conducive to business conversations. Even if you have a set agenda, be prepared for casual conversation. Be up to date on current events and the industry. And make the conversation about your guest; make them feel special. Whoever is hosting: Hand your credit card to the server, so you are designated as the head of the party and in control. Coffee drinker? Have one cup beforehand, so you’re alert and ready to start the meeting. Stay away from ordering any food that is challenging, like bagels or runny eggs. Omelets are a good choice! Take small bites and go slowly.

CUTTING YOUR NEXT BIG DEAL OVER

!"#$%&$'( Like any other business meeting, gathering over breakfast is about building relationships. But the day’s first meal offers distinct advantages over the traditonal power lunch or even dinner at a swank bistro. !"#$%&'%()*+%&)$$*",% -./$/%01123$,+$)/*%&'%4)5+%6+1"*$)*"

Stop eating when everyone else is done; don’t let the server take dishes until everyone is finished, and be aware of the pace of the meal. Have back-up clothes and hair products available so you can freshen up afterwards. NEW POWER LUNCH

Del Frisco’s adds $20 lunch Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse (1426 Chestnut Street) may not offer breakfast, but it’s now offering a two-course prix fixe lunch menu for $20 that’s designed to get business people in and out in under 30 minutes. More info at DelFriscos.com or 215.246.0533.


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14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

REAL ESTATE

Buyers May Be Eligible for Transfer Tax Refunds BY SANDY SMITH If you purchased a home in Philadelphia after June 30, 2012, you could be eligible for a refund of some of your real estate transfer taxes. Like property taxes (up until the implementation of the Actual Value Initiative), Philadelphia’s real estate transfer tax rate relies on a figure set by the Commonwealth known as the Common Level Ratio Factor (CLRF), a percentage of the assessed property value. That figure for 2012-13 was released only recently. The CRLF set by the State Tax Equalization Board for the 2013 tax year, which began last July 1 and ends on June 30, is 3.27, which is lower than the estimated figure of 3.97 the city used to set the tax rate.

This means that anyone who has purchased a home from July 1 forward is entitled to a refund of the excess tax paid. If this describes you, you may obtain that refund by filing a claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (for the state’s portion of the tax) and the Philadelphia Revenue Department. Claims must be filed within three years of the date you paid the tax. State refund application forms are available online at the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s website forms page (revenue.state.pa.us). Use the refund petition found on the Philadelphia Revenue Department website to obtain a refund of the city tax. This post was originally published on the Philadelphia Real Estate blog at www.PhillyLiving.com.

Find more Fine Estates Preview at RegionsBusiness.com

REGION’S BUSINESS A JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & POLITICS


14 MARCH 2013

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REAL ESTATE

27

Deadline Nears for Property Assessment Review BY SANDY SMITH

PHILADELPHIAREALESTATE.COM

!

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If you believe the new assessed property value you received from the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessment (OPA) as part of the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) is inaccurate, you can do something about it. The easiest route to resolution is to request a first-level review of your assessment from the OPA. This is an expedited process that allows you to submit to the city information that may not have been taken into account in determining your property’s value. The deadline for requesting a first-level review is March 31; as the OPA expects to receive a large number of requests, you should gather your supporting materials and submit your request sooner rather than later in order to

receive a timely review. If you cannot reach a satisfactory agreement with the OPA, you still have the right to formally appeal your assessment to the Board of Revision of Taxes. The deadline for filing appeals is October 7. It is not necessary to request a first-level review before filing an appeal. More information about the appeal process is available on the OPA website. If you’re still unsure whether you have a good case for a lower assessment, consult an attorney and have him or her make your case for you. Be sure to include all materials you have that support your case when submitting your request. This post was originally published on the Philadelphia Real Estate blog at www.PhillyLiving. com.

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28

14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

OPINION OTHER VOICES

Internships not only give kids workplace experience, they greatly increase the chances that a student will gain full time employment after graduation.

Spending cuts, done intelligently, can help get our budget, and our economy, get back on track. It’s time President Obama climbed aboard. LIZ PEEK ON FOXNEWS.COM, 11 MARCH

FLICKR.COM / NASA GODDARD PHOTO AND VIDEO

Summer Internships Can Change Someone’s Life Rob Wonderling is President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 215.545.1234 or rwonderling@ greaterphilachamber.com.

CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.

I

n 2007, Dante Woodward was a 16-year-old junior at Franklin Learning Center. That summer, Dante was given the opportunity to participate in an internship program through WorkReady Philadelphia. As a greeter at a bank, Dante learned many important lessons, connected with professionals, and developed valuable skills that would help him throughout the rest of his life. Today, he is supervisor at a local TD Bank branch. He credits his success to that first summer job opportunity. Dante’s story is not unique. This summer, young people like Dante from Philadelphia and Chester will begin working at companies located throughout the Greater Philadelphia region as part of an initiative to create paid workplace opportunities. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, now in its sixth year supporting WorkReady’s Summer Internships initiative, is partnering with TD Bank, Pentec Health and others to encourage regional companies of all sizes to change the life of a young person by providing a paid summer internship. For far too many of our region’s ambitious and talented young people, promising careers simply seem out of reach. A summer internship gives our youth the chance to experience a professional environment, exposes them to potential career opportuni-

ties, and often helps spark their interest in pursuing higher education. Each summer, hundreds of kids experience what it’s like to have a job. Since 2007, more than 6,700 students have taken part in this important initiative thanks to the support of over 340 companies and organizations. For participating organizations, the costs are minimal. Each position costs the employer roughly $1,670, which includes intern salary and program administration. For six weeks, the interns work for at least 20 hours per week Monday through Thursday and attend professional development programs on Fridays. Internships not only give kids workplace experience, they greatly increase the chances that a student will gain full time employment after graduation. They also give young people a taste of the working world, exposure to career opportunities, and an understanding of how school is connected to economic success. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is looking for companies who are willing to participate in this important effort to help get our kids ready for the 21st century workforce.

[...] whacking Medicare, either to pay for the sins of the rest of the healthindustrial complex or to compensate for the Republican refusal to tax the rich, it is utterly perverse. ROBERT KUTTNER ON HUFFINGTONPOST.COM, 10 MARCH

Our anti-trust laws are supposed to protect the country against companies whose size allows them inordinate market power. In principle, we would use anti-trust law to break up a phone company because its market dominance allowed it to charge us $10 a month too much on our cable. How could we not use anti-trust policy to break up a bank whose size allows it to profit from dealing with drug dealers and murderers with impunity? DEAN BAKER ON HUFFINGTONPOST.COM, 11 MARCH

Opportunism follows influence, and creates it — and right now [Sen. Rand] Paul has more influence within his party than every other realist, paleoconservative and libertarian Republican of the last decade put together. ROSS DOUTHAT ON NYTIMES.COM, 11 MARCH


14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

OPINION

29

All Hands on Deck When it Comes to Business Funding

T

he economy, both nationally and regionally, continues to sputter along at an anemic pace, showing no signs of finally shaking off the remnants of The Great Recession. The federal government played out its two biggest levers, flooding the economy with billions of dollars of stimulus money and keeping interest rates near zero. So, as is usually the case, the government will not be able to solve this problem. This leaves it in the hands of the private sector, of course, and as America looks to an economic savior, it has turned to small businesses and entrepreneurs. They create - and will create - most of the jobs. In order to unleash the true potential of both existing small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, we need more of a key ingredient - capital. Money may (or may not) make the world go around, but it is certainly the fuel for the creation and expansion of small businesses. For startups, that means funding to get off the ground. The infrastructure for aspiring entrepreneurs has blossomed over the past few years, especially in the Delaware Valley. Support systems are sprouting up and strengthening. Likewise, funding options have mushroomed. Most startups rely on the out-of-pocket cash to get off the ground, but the number of angel investors and equity investors to get them to the next level has increased geometrically. The advent of crowdfunding provides a way to go small, appealing directly to the public.

All of this is great, but more is needed. Not only more capital behind all of this, but also an increased awareness so that more people know where to go for funding. More ideas means more businesses and more businesses mean more jobs. Funding needs are different for established small businesses, most of whom no longer need investors, but instead require loans, whether for unexpected short-term needs or expansion. This is, perhaps, where the biggest change needs to occur. Ami Kassar of Multifunding.com, a company that specializes in helping small businesses secure loans, said that his company does not work with the nation’s biggest banks. They just don’t get it when it comes to small business loans, unable, or perhaps unwilling, to take the time to understand the details of each request. This simply cannot stand. Taxpayers bailed out the largest banks in an unprecedented manner and the reconciliation must go beyond simple principal and interest. Large banks must retool their small business loan programs to not only push more control to the local level, but to understand that each application will “be a little hairy” as Kassar put it in a visit to Philadelphia last month. If small business is the engine that’s going to drive the economic recovery, funding will be the fuel and lubricant that makes it run faster and smoother. It’s time to put all hands on deck to get this recovery kicked into high gear.

REGION’S BUSINESS A JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND POLITICS !"#$%&'()*+",-.,""(/01%1/01/#1"210(3 4--")1'23/+$5/"%(617"89(+1":--" %;&2$9+*"211+(/)7"%3".<:4, 4.-=<:-=.4>4""""?""""555='1)($/8@98(/188=#$2

COMMENTARY FROM ACROSS THE WEB

Improved Salesmanship Need for City Tax Reform If Mayor Nutter wants a happy ending to his effort to transform Philadelphia’s property tax system, he should do a better job of selling it. Or to be more precise, the people running it should. ... The city says a sampling shows its new assessments are pretty good, on average within 14 percent of actual sale prices for the past five years. But stories are popping up here and there about assessments that seem out of whack. DAVE DAVIES ON NEWSWORKS.ORG, 1 MARCH 2013

Obama the Hypocrite President Obama has committed a blatant act of hypocrisy. Let’s call him on it. ... There once was a time when Obama routinely assailed the influence of big money in politics - as he said in 2010, “You can’t stand by and let the special interests drown out the voices of the American people” - and routinely denounced secret donations, which he called “a threat to democracy.” But not anymore. Today, he openly favors what he once fervently opposed. Charles Spies, a Republican lawyer who advised

EDITORIAL BOARD #1$"ABC"%DEFGCEBH"IAJEF"0="2K0LBAMC 1CGHLDGAM"0GDEKHLD"6ADM"8JGHN 3FFLKGAHE"1CGHLD"+EDDEBKE"#AFEO

@donnaserdula

The #resume is not dead. If you intend to find a #job, a resume coupled with a compelling #LinkedIn profile is a must! 9 MARCH 2013

Mitt Romney’s super PAC, is correct when he describes Obama’s flip flop as “breathtaking hypocritical.” DICK POLMAN ON NEWSWORKS.ORG, 5 MARCH, 2013

Government Rewards Union Shakedown The next question: What can the [School Reform Commission] and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. do to prevent more closings in the future? More to the point, what can parents, teachers and public-education advocates do to prevent them? ... The reality is that in 2013, district schools are losing the competition for students to a variety of other providers, especially charter schools. EDITORIAL ON PHILLY.COM, 11 MARCH, 2013

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE To contribute, send comments, letters and essays to feedback@regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business. We reserve the right to edit all submissions for content, style and length.


30

14 MARCH 2013

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

BY THE NUMBERS

3

Washington, D.C.’s rating in NerdWallet.com’s list of Top Cities for Female Entrepreneurs. It was the only city in the Northeast to make the list, which was topped by San Francisco and Seattle in a virtual dead heat. Four of the top 10 were on the West Coast.

88

1,000,000,000

Number of Peeps to be produced this Easter Season by Just Born Inc. PlanPhilly.com recently released a report about its action plan for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Some numbers:

10

70,000

Philadelphia’s ranking in NerdWallet.com’s Worst Cities for Drivers list. New York topped the list, which also included Honolulu, Hawaii and Portland, Oregon.

Number of residents within a 10-minute walk of the Parkway.

Homicides in Washington, D.C. in 2012, the first time since 1963 the city has had fewer than 95. Philadelphia recorded 334 homicides in 2012, the highest total since 2008.

60%

Percent of residents within a 10-minute walk of the parkway who commute by walking, bicycle or public transportation.

$100M

Amount PennDOT will spend replacing bridges from 18th to 22nd streets over the next five years.

17

According to the report, number of “underutilized” acres on the Parkway.

FLICKR.COM / BEAU B

8

Number of Final Four appearances by Philadelphia universities, led by Villanova’s three (the school vacated its 1971 victories). March Madness begins March 19. North Carolina has more Final Four apperances (18) than any other school.

2

Number of times since 1996 that a team west of the Mississippi River has won the men’s basketball championship.

33.2

24.9

25.1

The average commute time, in minutes for residents of Doylestown in Bucks County.

The average commute time, in minutes for residents of Radnor in Delaware County.

The average commute time, in minutes for residents of Malvern in Chester County.

38.5

13

27.6

The average commute time, in minutes for residents of Philadelphia’s Fairhill section.

The average commute time, in minutes for residents of Bryn Athyn in Montgomery County.

0

Net number of parking spaces lost on Pennsylvania Avenue through the plan.

The average commute time, in minutes for residents of Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts.

PHOTO BY B. KRIST FOR GPTMC


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Region's Business – 14 March 2013  

Region's Business, a journal at the intersection of business and politics.

Region's Business – 14 March 2013  

Region's Business, a journal at the intersection of business and politics.

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