Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, along with Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez, addressed the media today in Philadelphia in conjunction with a meeting of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) to discuss federal support for area entrepreneurs and small businesses, research and commercialization efforts in the private sector, and the President’s American Jobs Act.
The event was held before a crowd of local business leaders at The Navy Yard - a business incubator and home to the new Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings.
"The Navy Yard is a prime example of both a growing regional innovation cluster and the value of public-private partnerships that support innovation and entrepreneurship," Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Blank said. "It is part of the rebuilding of America's very economic foundation with investments in the building-block priorities that will help ensure the U.S. is home to the industries of the 21st century and the jobs they support."
Blank called for swift passage of the President’s American Jobs Act to help put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. The plan calls for cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of every worker's paycheck, saving families an average of $1,500 a year. It also provides a payroll tax cut to 98 percent of businesses and eliminates the payroll tax on a firms’ new hires or employees to whom they give a raise.
Mills recognized two Pennsylvania winners, out of 20 across the country, of the SBA’s new competitive Intermediary Lending Pilot (ILP) Program. Philadelphia was the only city in the nation with two organizations to receive funds through the ILP. The award provides $1 million each to Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation to invest in regional startups and grow small businesses. The funding will provide a new source of financing to drive economic growth and job creation.
First announced in 2009 and authorized in the 2011 America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, NACIE advises the Commerce Secretary and the administration on key innovation and entrepreneurship issues and engages with the public and stakeholders to promote effective public policies that enhance U.S. global competitiveness.