The Tacony Community Development Corporation was pleased to welcome Commerce Director Harold Epps to Tacony the morning of Friday, August 19th 2016. Puddin's Cake Corner, located at 4814 Princeton Ave, hosted the event. Tacony marked Mr. Epps' 23rd neighborhood visit. He was greeted by Tacony Board Members Scott DeGiralomo, Joseph Sannutti, and former board member Mike Scotese. Alex Balloon, CDC Director, gave an introduction to all guests and highlighted recent CDC achievements and accomplishments. Mr. Epps spoke directly with business owners to identify ways the City of Philadelphia can improve its small business climate. Two areas identified for immediate improvement were:
Simplified and Streamlined Permitting for Small Business Signage
- Permitting for simple small business signage has routinely taken months for approval. The process is so complex that many general contractors, fabricators and small business owners do not have the capacity to apply for these permits.
- The cost of permitting and expediting for a simple routine sign has often exceed 50% of the cost of the sign. Typical projects have cost anywhere from $1,000-$1,400 in fees for signs and awnings that range in cost from $1,200-$2,300.
Payment Modernization for City Fees & Licenses
- There is currently no uniform payment policy for routine city fees. Some taxes and permits allow payment by check, while others such as health department licenses require a money order. This system is antiquated and needs to be updated to reduce both the transaction time and transaction cost to open a business.
After the meeting at Puddin's, Mr. Epps joined local business people for a walk along Torresdale Ave to visit with small business owners. Mr. Epps concluded the tour at the Tacony Library & Arts Building.