GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 6

a message from GRCA CEO & President
Infrastructure
Connects
By Jim Gerlach, President & CEO, GRCA
" All roads lead to Rome, " but if the road is in disrepair, you won't
be able to get to Rome, Carthage, Sparta, Muhlenburg, Reading,
Hamburg, Sinking Spring and so on. The Berks business community
understands that the key to the success of existing industries, as well
as the ability to attract new businesses, hinges upon the strength of
our infrastructure system. Business leaders have been beating the
drum for years and the stars finally seem to be aligning at the federal
level to significantly increase infrastructure investment.
The COVID-19 pandemic
threw the adequacy of critical
infrastructure into the spotlight.
The majority of businesses were
forced to trade the watercooler
for the Zoom breakout room in
March of 2020, and suddenly
the success of a meeting was
dependent upon the strength
of your Wi-Fi. We swapped
cars commuting to work with
delivery trucks bringing goods
directly to our front doors. We
experienced the frustrations of
supply-chain disruptions at the
grocery store that led to looking to our local farmers to fill the void.
The pandemic offered us a teachable moment to pause and reflect on
many of the things and processes that we took for granted, and now
is the time to rebuild and revitalize our roads, bridges, water, sewer,
transit, and broadband connections and grow our way out of this
downturn.
The key to the proposals currently being discussed is that they
are being shaped in a bipartisan manner and the calls to increase tax
burdens on the business community, still reeling from the pandemic,
are being rejected. Twenty-two Democratic and Republican Senators,
the White House, and the House Problem Solvers Caucus are all
in agreement on the proposed path forward, and we need to tell
federal officials we stand behind them in this effort. The business
community must also make it clear that increasing business taxes
is never the answer. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that reduced
6 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2021
the federal Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) to 21%, led to a
historically robust economy. Nonetheless Pennsylvania businesses are
still saddled with one of the highest CNITs at 9.99%. An increase of
the federal CNIT to 28% would translate to an over 35% combined
CNIT, putting Pennsylvania businesses at a huge tax disadvantage to
most countries across the globe.
The other key to the current bipartisan proposals is that they
focus not only on the traditional definition of infrastructure, but also
on addressing climate change
and electricity grid resiliency.
The last comprehensive
federal infrastructure package
was passed in 1993 while
Pennsylvania passed Act 89 in
2013. However, neither have
been able to keep up with
the investment demands for
traditional infrastructure. The
business community must
advocate that Congress address
these basic infrastructure needs
before deeper discussions can be
had on any massive expansions
of government programs and spending in other areas. Infrastructure
is literally the base from which all human activity happens and, if that
is not addressed and fortified, all functions become impossible.
Business leaders also need to convey the importance of robust yet
targeted infrastructure spending to their employees. These policies,
and how they are paid for, directly affect the success of your business
and, in turn, the success of your employees. Initiating a program to
communicate these issues to your employees is much easier than it
seems, and GRCA is here to help with issues, messaging and graphics.
Infrastructure has been the lead federal issue for the business
community for several legislative sessions, and we are closer to a deal
than we have been in quite some time. So please keep your foot on
the gas (or electric) and don't let up now. The ability to attract and
retain businesses in Berks County depends on it.

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 1
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 2
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 3
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 4
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 5
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 6
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
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