Is Pittsburgh more business-friendly than Philadelphia?

Discussion in 'Philadelphia Business' started by NickFromGtown, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. NickFromGtown

    NickFromGtown Well-Known Member

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    This article surely seems to be a puff piece (and ironically sponsored by Toyota), but it begs the questions: is Pittsburgh better situated than Philadelphia for technology job growth and, if so, why? Is there a way to accelerate our own growth given the number of universities in the area and relatively cheap cost of living?

    ToyotaVoice: The Surprising Rebirth Of America's Industrial Centers - Forbes
     
  2. Jayfar

    Jayfar Junior Old Fart

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  3. loveisnoise

    loveisnoise Well-Known Member

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    It's only about 10,000 times friendlier to business when compared to philly.
     
  4. Giavella Water

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    I've been hearing great things about Pittsburg for the last thirty yrs. There mustbe something in Delaware river water that makes our politicians act the way they do.
     
  5. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia, though, has a leg up on plenty of cities as well in terms of research and churning out smart grads. Pittsburgh has found a way to convince them its a good place to stay and start a business. I do think that part of the answer is that yes, unless you're a food truck, it's a much better place to do business. no BPT, no commuter tax, just a payroll tax. I don't know enough about their bureacracy to say if it's less anti-business than Philadelphia's.
     
  6. Tartan69

    Tartan69 Pawn in game of life

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    I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that as good as the tech startup environment is here in Philly, it was that way 10 years ago in Pittsburgh. I'm obviously biased, but CMU/Tepper had a lot to do with that. I'm sure Drexel/Penn could catch up if it wouldn't be for our politicians. Not only is there a less static mindset there, but there isn't the same "old boy's network" like we have here (it's a viable two-party town), and their tax/fee structure is way less onerous than ours. Their lower cost-of-living doesn't hurt either.
     
  7. OffenseTaken

    OffenseTaken Well-Known Member

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    Pittsburgh's political leaders understand why an impoverished old manufacturing town is a tough sell, and have pushed through actual reforms to strengthen their hand.*

    With a few admirable exceptions, Philadelphia's political leaders still have this puzzling belief that businesses will do anything, pay anything, and kiss any ass necessary, for the magic that is a 191-- zip code.


    *"We are pleased to inform you that the Business Privilege Tax has been eliminated for 2010 and forward. There is no Business Privilege Tax return due on April 15, 2010; the last Business Privilege Tax return was due in 2009."—INDIVIDUAL AND BUSINESS TAX FORMS – Pittsburgh Department of Finance
     
  8. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    it's not just tech though, penn churns out plenty of smart financial services people who work for or start companies elsewhere. it's ALL businesses (for the philadelphia area, plenty of biotechs decamped to the suburbs as soon as they had something to sell..and it has a top three research pediatric hospital in CHOP-this year it's number one, among other things). Pittsburgh indeed has an old boy network that dominates development in that town in a very detrimental way...of course, that shouldn't really affect your ability to start a small company.
     
  9. carloss

    carloss Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't beg the questions, it raises them. Begging the question refers to the logical fallacy known as circular reasoning: see Begging the question - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    To stay on topic, I'm a little surprised this is considered debatable. Pittsburgh has essentially maintained its jobs base even while losing half of its population, so the state of the local tech industry naturally follows from the general business climate. If more businesses are relocating to Philly it's in spite of the business climate here, not because of it (or at least, in hopes that it will improve as the tax base finally gets shifted from wages to property where it belongs -- and I have high hopes for N3rd Street).
     
  10. Tartan69

    Tartan69 Pawn in game of life

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    That may have something to do with the financial capital of the world being just 90 miles away (and it's no-tax younger sibling on our southern doorstep). Not a whole lot can be done to change that anytime soon beyond what is already being attempted.

    That I definitely chalk up to our political environment and higher cost-of-doing-business.
     
  11. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    I'd actually argue that the wage tax isn't the problem per se, it's the business taxes. If you live and work in pittsburgh (which seems likely for a lot of these new startups we're talking about) you pay 3% of your wages. what you don't pay is .14% of your gross receipts and 6.45% of your net income from your business.
    I don't buy the "property" argument. it will never happen and can't happen, there is too much tax exempt property in the city. the wage tax taxes non-profits to the extent they employ people. eliminating that so penn pays nothing while homeowners get bent over the barrel isn't a solution IMO. the problem, imo, is that the tax base is weak (28% poverty, not enough jobs) and rates too high. the other thing we're not talking about is that pittsburgh is under greater scrutiny than Philadelphia because of its near death experience in 2004 which was a sresult of demographic trends but also awful public spending decisions by an inbred political machine. for the last ten years they've been forced to pay down debt and limit grand new projects. interestingly, it's also been the time period its risen from the ashes.
     
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  12. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    The second largest sector in Pittsburgh isn't government but professional services and make up a larger share of regional jobs. Otoh, Pittsburgh is not a growing region and losing Westinghouse was devastating. It, like philadelphia, has a huge proportion of jobs in eds and meds. Murphy had way too much confidence in his abilities and overspent. Peduto reminds me a lot of nutter who absolutely wanted to turn the ship. For some reason philadelphia politicians like Kenney and Clarke don't seem to want to succeed
     
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