How Small Businesses Fare in Pennsylvania

By Christian Heilman

Published 08/02 2014 06:27PM

Updated 08/02 2014 06:29PM

  ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY -- This survey is not too flattering for our state. The website spoke with thousands of small business owners across the country to find out how friendly states are to small business, and Pennsylvania was given a “D” grade.
Andrea Hammel has worked at Peterman's Flower Shop for 20 years, and three years ago, she took over the reigns.
Hammel said, "It's crazy what you have to pay in taxes as a business owner."
Pennsylvania ranked poorly in every category of the survey. In fact, it was one of the worst in the country, which doesn't come as a surprise to some.
Joe Hurd, President of Blair County Chamber of Commerce, said "Pennsylvania doesn't have a reputation for being too friendly to business in general."
Hurd said red tape in the state frustrate a lot of the businesses he works with.
"It is discouraging. It is time consuming for them and it's very much a deterrent I believe for them to you know continue to operate in many cases,” said Hurd.
Hammel said, "Yeah, the penalties, the fees, they're outrageous. I mean outrageous."
But Andrea says half of the battle is learning to navigate the maze that is small business.
Hammel said, "It's a whole different ballgame as the business owner."
She doesn't understand exactly where the low rating comes from because she knows the government wants her business to succeed.
Hammel said, "They don't want you to lose your business because if you lose your business, you're not going to have any revenue and you're not going to pay any more taxes."
Even though she's hit some rough patches as a business owner, she just wants her shop to keep growing.
This is the third year the website conducted the survey. Pennsylvania originally received a C rating, but has slipped in the last two years.

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