COUNCIL MEMBERS INTRODUCE BILL TO INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL BUSINESS ENTITIES

In Blondell Reynolds Brown, Council News, Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, News by Blondell Reynolds-Brown

PHILADELPHIA – September 8, 2016 – Council members Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large) and Maria Quiñones-Sanchez (7th District) introduced legislation that amends the Local Bidding Preference by changing how the city certifies Local Business Entities (LBEs).  The goal of this legislation is to ensure businesses that become certified as LBEs, and therefore become eligible for a local bidding price preference, have a stronger connection to the city, either through location or employment, than the current code requires.

“Here is what we know.  Philadelphia suffers from a 25% poverty rate and 6.9% unemployment rate,” said Reynolds Brown.  “Less than 15% of the city’s certified LBEs have their principal place of business in Philadelphia. When the city provides price discounts on city procurement contracts, then that discount should be directed to those local businesses that employ majority Philadelphia residents.”

Under the current code, a LBE is certified if during the preceding (18) months the Business Entity has continuously occupied an office within the City, where business is conducted and satisfies at least one of the following requirements: (1)  More than half of the Business Entity’s full-time employees work in the City at least sixty percent of the time; (2) More than fifty of the Business Entity’s full-time employees work in the City at least sixty percent of the time; or (3) The Business Entity’s principal place of business is located in the City.
Under the proposed legislation, in order for a local business to qualify as a LBE (1)The Business Entity’s principal place of business must be located in the City; or (2) the Business Entity satisfies at least two of the three following requirements: (.i) More than sixty percent of the Business Entity’s full-time employees are reported as Philadelphia Residents on the City of Philadelphia Annual Reconciliation of Employer Wage Tax (.ii) More than one hundred (100) of the Business Entity’s full-time employees work in the City according to the City of Philadelphia Annual Reconciliation of Employer Wage Tax; or (.iii) More than three quarters of the Business Entity’s sales are reported as sales in Philadelphia.

“This legislation underscores the City of Philadelphia’s commitment to rewarding businesses that buy local, sell local, and hire local,” Quiñones-Sanchez said.

“It is difficult to argue with an effort that is intended to have more of the city of Philadelphia’s contracts…to businesses that are actually located in the City, itself,” said A. Bruce Crawley, founder of the African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC).

“The (AACC) Board and membership fully supports the Local Bidding Preference Legislation introduced by Councilmembers Reynolds-Brown and Quiñones-Sanchez,”  said Steven Scott Bradley, Chairman of  the AACC.  “Our hope is that this initiative will result in growth and prosperity of Philadelphia based companies. We are confident that new jobs and employment opportunities for citizens of Philadelphia will be the outcome.”

For additional information please contact Communications Manager Haniyyah Sharpe-Brown at 215-686-3438.

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