HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Gov. Josh Shapiro on Tuesday signed an executive order creating a new office that he says will be a “one-stop shop” for businesses looking to expand or set-up in Pennsylvania.
Shapiro says the goal of the Office of Transformation and Opportunity is to encourage economic development and to expand the workforce, while protecting the environment and residents.
“If you want to grow your business or invest in Pennsylvania, you're not going to need to go to five different agencies anymore to get all your permits, your approvals, or your funding. The Office of Transformation and Opportunity … will be your point person in that endeavor.”
Shapiro said the department is meant to help all businesses, from small Main Street storefronts to large corporations.
The office will not change rules or cut corners — the same regulations will hold. But if a permit is declined, businesses still need to know as quickly as possible.
Labor and business leaders joined the governor for the signing.
“Pennsylvania needs to be competitive. We know this. Gov. Shapiro recognizes this. And today's executive order takes that important step of bringing together people and creating a long term sustaining futuristic strategy,” said Luke Bernstein, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
The executive order also creates the new Economic Development Strategy Group to advise the governor on projects in the state that attract and retain employees, support innovation and economic development, and create good-paying jobs, particularly in underserved communities.
Shapiro named entrepreneur Ben Kirshner to drive the group as the state’s chief transformation and opportunity officer, and the governor will serve as chair.