Last week's question: Do you see business opportunities in Harrisburg?
Yes —53 percent
No — 47 percent
From our LinkedIn group:
Yes and No.No because I see that it is hard to keep business in this area for how much it costs them to stay and the only way to do that is by not taxing the hell out of them. Yes because I see that if we get strong leadership at the head office in the capitol, we really could pull ourselves out of this rut. I mean last time I checks isnt this the Capitol? Shouldnt we be the example or model for the other cities in the state???
—Focus Dynamics Consulting
More culture will help attract and keep the young but it's almost Catch 22 (TM) at this point. This area needs more jobs and more good jobs.
Government also needs to keep its costs contained. The question in Cumberland County about do we raise property taxes or add 1% to the sales tax? Adding to the sales taxes IMHO is likely worse--it would negatively affect every business which charges sales taxes and would be especially hard on the many auto dealers.
No, I don't see business opportunities in Harrisburg. The reason I say this is from the perspective of someone who has been unemployed from a full-time job since November 21, 2008. I am continually applying for jobs and have yet to be hired. This is becoming very frustrating for me and if I was the type of person to give up, I would have done so long ago. However, since my character is that of someone who never gives up, I continue on with the hopes that eventually I will gain employment.
I believe that all of South Central Pennsylvania provides opportunities. The entire state of Pennsylvania is so income tax friendly to retirees compared to the surrounding states of both Maryland and New York that more and more people will be moving into Pennsylvania from both states. As a tax preparation company, I see opportunities for my firm because the rates for tax preparation are so much lower than those of the major chains and retired seniors especially need to watch their expenses.
—Arthur Ballant Jr.
Pennsylvania does not tax elder income, including social security and pension income. Economic development benefits derived from this may be compensated, however, by high property taxes. In Maryland counties provide services on a countywide basis, including education. Maryland schools are ranked the best in the USA! In Pennsylvania counties are fragmented into numerous, operationally expensive school districts. Fiscal overlap and inefficiency is endemic to our system. So the tax benefit is not as great as many believe it to be. Beyond this, relying on attracting more elders may not save the economic day. Pennsylvania is already known as the "St Petersburg of the North" in many quarters. Newly arriving elders will age in place ultimately providing added stress on an already stressed social service delivery system. They will attempt to preserve the status quo and avoid innnovation. Also, well paid pundits of the main stream media seem to be fully supportive of reducing social security and medicare benefits.This is occuring as medical costs rise through the roof. So the amount of expendable incomes that elders are likely to have at their disposal is likely to decline.
Answers to South Central's Economic challeges most likely lie in an ability to attract highly skilled and educated members of America's largest generation, the Millenials and the companies or institutions that employ them . The Boomers lost this honor about three yearas ago and are now in a decline mode (demographically speaking) .
Skilled, creative upwardly mobile Millenials are clustering in certain amenity laden regions and in select urban centers, Central Philadelphia and Pittsburgh's eastern neighborhoods are beneficiaries of this trend. Not so much South Central Pennsylvania. What attracts them? Other Millenials, a spirit of openess and tolerance, Millenial oriented media, cultural diversity, access to education and opportunites for fun for young people. Central Pa has a wonderful outdoor recreation capabilites, If only more Millenials would recognize those resources that are here. If only older residents would view them positive additions to a community rather than as impending "tax drains" what with potential parenthod and public school enrollments on the horizon .
—Richard Schmoyer AICP
As a career development specialist (executive coach), I see a wide variety of opportunities for me and my business in the Harrisburg area. I work with managers and executives who are interested in any of the following: upgrading their job performance where they are; seeking a job promotion; planning/navigating a career transition. My clientele ranges from corporate folks to sales execs to nonprofit executive staff to small business owners in many industries. The possibilities are essentially endless!
Yes. My business is mobile and has the potential to provide service to Harrisburg destinations. Hotels, Museums, and Theaters are all types of opportunities found in the area. I look forward to partnering with them to build smart marketing solutions (apps, mobile web sites and cross promotional marketing) in 2013.
All you have to do is look around if someone is prospering then there are opportunities, I am comming back after working in Asia/FL for 17 years. I will set up a business because I believe there are opportunities in Harrisburg/Central PA, then I will see if I can make an opportunity for myself.
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