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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 21, 2021 12:21 PM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Small Business Fee Exemption
In the near future, we plan on reintroducing Senate Bill 671 from last session. This legislation known as the “Small Business Fee Exemption Act” would reduce or eliminate business startup fees for small businesses.

The week of May 3 through 9 is “Small Business Week” in Pennsylvania. Small businesses are the economic backbones of our communities and have been some of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers, there are nearly one million small businesses in Pennsylvania. Small businesses across the Commonwealth account for nearly 50% of the private sector workforce.

Our proposal expands on action previously taken by the General Assembly in Act 35 of 2016. Act 35 provided a 100% exemption for veteran-owned and reservist-owned small businesses from certain state and local business startup fees.
Our bill would expand the exemption to include women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, minority-owned, and disadvantaged businesses. “Microenterprises,” defined as a business with five employees or less would also qualify for a 100% exemption. In addition, all other small businesses would receive a partial exemption equal to 50% of the fee. The Department of State will be responsible for reporting to the Senate and House of Representatives the number of small businesses which have benefited from the elimination or reduction of business fees.

Eliminating or reducing startup fees is a simple tool we can use to spur the creation of more small businesses in the Commonwealth and create a new class of entrepreneurs.

Please join us in sponsoring this legislation.

If you have any questions please contact our offices.

Introduced as SB778