Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin Technology Partners to Appear Before PA Senate Appropriations Committee

3:00 PM, Wednesday, March 6, live-streamed:

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners (Ben Franklin) Pennsylvania statewide network will present before the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee regarding the proposed 2019-2020 Pennsylvania budget at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, March 6, live-streamed here: The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania is one of four Ben Franklins in the Pennsylvania network that together support technology-based start-ups, innovative manufacturers, and a technology-based ecosystem throughout the state.

Since 2007-08, funding for Ben Franklin has dropped approximately 50 percent, from $28 million to $14.5 million per year. The proposed 2019-20 budget draft would perpetuate that reduced funding level. That is simply not sustainable to foster the economic growth our Commonwealth needs.

Since its inception, Ben Franklin has invested in more than 4,500 technology-based companies and boosted the state economy by more than $25 billion, helping to generate 148,000 jobs through investments in client firms and spinoff companies in Pennsylvania. In fact, the most recent independent economic analysis shows that every dollar invested by the state into Ben Franklin generates $3.90 in additional state taxes. As our state seeks new streams of revenue to meet fiscal challenges, investing in Ben Franklin makes sense.

Chronic underfunding over the years puts at risk many of the services that support desirable companies, which provide highly paid, sustainable jobs to Pennsylvanians. Ben Franklin surrounds entrepreneurs and established manufacturers with experts in accounting, finance, marketing, supply chain management, intellectual property protection, product and process improvements, and countless other disciplines. These high-value services accelerate clients’ growth and international competitiveness, and help them to identify and establish new markets.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners is widely known and emulated as the gold standard in technology based economic development programs in the nation. But now other states are investing heavily in innovation and high-tech economic development. A recent analysis of support for technology-led economic development programs found average state spending per capita is nearly triple Pennsylvania’s level. What we underfund now could be lost forever; the Commonwealth must fund this job creation engine to retain its leadership position.