Long-time SBN priority, the Business Owners’ Bill of Rights, released by the City of Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA– (October 30, 2019) After years of engagement with the City and local Philadelphia businesses, SBN is proud to see and support the Business Owner’s Bill of Rights released today by the City of Philadelphia. First recommended in 2011 in SBN’s Taking Care of Business report to address the needs of local businesses, the Business Owners’ Bill of Rights sets the foundation for a new era for customer service by the city of Philadelphia.
“SBN is proud to have worked closely with the Commerce Department, the Special Committee on Regulatory Review and Reform, and the Managing Director’s Office to create the strong set of principles outlined in the Business Owners’ Bill of Rights,” said Anna Shipp, Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia “We look forward to seeing this new focus on customer service, transparency, and consistency within City agencies, and to continuing to work with the City to support other improvements that further support local businesses, which are critical to the health of our economy.”
The Business Owners’ Bill of Rights is an important step to demonstrate how the City is prioritizing customer service for our local business community. Business owners often struggle with the complex processes to remain compliant, and they are often unaware of where they can go to offer feedback or ask for help. The Business Owners’ Bill of Rights alleviates some of these challenges by starting an important culture change toward business-oriented customer service and by aggregating resources available to business owners.
“I’m excited to see the City prioritizing customer service and responding with positive steps toward improving the experience of business owners,” said Jezabel Careaga, Owner of Jezabel’s Café & Studio in West Philadelphia. “Running a local business has enough challenges. The Business Owners’ Bill of Rights makes it easier for me to know what I can expect from City employees and where I can go if I have a problem.”
The Special Committee on Regulatory Review and Reform included the Business Owners’ Bill of Rights in its work as a necessary change to how the City does business. This process required finding a set of principles that works for both the City and business owners.
“The Business Owners’ Bill of Rights is essential for ensuring the treatment businesses deserve and need to thrive, but also for raising our expectations of ourselves as service providers,” said Councilmember Derek Green (At Large). “I am glad to see the administration continue the work we have made, including through the Special Committee on Regulatory Review & Reform, to make government more accessible to those who rely on us.”
The Business Owners’ Bill of Rights was also included as a priority of Mayor Kenney’s inclusive growth agenda. The Business Owners’ Bill of Rights makes it easier for current and prospective business owners to understand the process, which is especially beneficial for local, independent businesses who have limited time and resources to deal with compliance issues. The easier it is to start a compliant and run a business in the City of Philadelphia, the more opportunities there will be for all communities to flourish.
“The City of Philadelphia continually works to ensure that our government agencies provide quality and efficient customer service for residents and businesses,” said Commerce Director Harold T. Epps. “The Business Owners’ Bill of Rights represents the kind of positive developments that occur when government and business collaborate.”
Through the Special Committee on Regulatory Review and Reform, SBN also worked with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce to ensure the Business Owners’ Bill of Rights works for all businesses across the city.
“Through the Chamber’s PHL Neighborhood Growth Project, we are advocating for growth at the neighborhood level through business creation and expansion,” said Rob Wonderling, President & CEO of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “We applaud the City of Philadelphia for its adoption of the Business Owners’ Bill of Rights, and believe it represents some of the concerns we are hearing on the ground from small businesses across the city. We look forward to continuing to work through the Special Committee on Regulatory Reform & Review to reduce regulations serving as an impediment to business growth.”
The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) is building a just, green, and thriving economy in the region. We inspire, challenge, and support the local independent business community to be change agents in the movement towards social equity and climate resilience. SBN members are independent businesses based in Greater Philadelphia that practice – and measure success by – the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profitability. Since our founding in 2001, SBN has remained the region’s leading membership and advocacy organization serving the local triple bottom line business community.