Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the economy of any city. They create jobs, drive innovation, and contribute to the growth and development of the community. As such, the upcoming mayoral primaries are an opportunity for entrepreneurs to make their voices heard and have an impact on the future of our city.
According to data from the City of Philadelphia’s Election Commission, in the 2019 mayoral election, the voter turnout among Hispanic registered voters was approximately 28%. This was a slight increase from the 2015 mayoral election, where the estimated voter turnout among Hispanic registered voters was approximately 24% … but we can do better.
There are several reasons why entrepreneurs should prioritize voting in the May primaries. First and foremost, this year voters in Philadelphia will have an opportunity to re-shape the government in ways not possible before. Voters will not only be electing a new mayor, but they will also be electing a group of new councilmembers who will be replacing experienced ones who resigned to run for mayor. The policies and decisions of the mayor, coupled with legislation from City Council, have a major impact on small businesses. For example, the mayor’s economic policies can impact the cost of doing business, the ease of doing business, and the allocation of resources for small business support; and, while City Council does not run government, councilmembers have the power to introduce legislation that similarly affect the cost and ease of doing business, remember “streeteries”? City Council voted for that. By voting, entrepreneurs can help ensure that Philadelphia’s next mayor and councilmembers prioritize policies that support small businesses and create a favorable environment in which to thrive.
In addition to the direct impact on small businesses, the mayor also plays a critical role in shaping the overall economic landscape of the city. This includes charging the Commerce Department, L+I, Streets, and Revenue Departments with developing strategies for attracting and retaining businesses, creating jobs, and fostering innovation. Entrepreneurs can vote for a candidate that has a clear vision for the future of the city and a plan to create an environment that supports entrepreneurship and economic growth.
There are three actions Latino business owners can take to become involved in improving the city’s business climate:
• Become a member of our chamber (philahispanicchamber.org)
• Follow Every Voice, Every Vote (everyvoice-everyvote.org), a nonpartisan coalition of organizations involved in educating voters
• Sign on to the Inclusive Growth Coalition (inclusivegrowthphl.org), a group of business organizations standing together to advocate for an improved job and business climate, citywide
Entrepreneurs have a unique perspective and insight into the challenges and opportunities of running a small business. By voting during the May primaries, they can bring their perspective to the table and help shape policies that benefit their businesses.
Voting is a fundamental right and responsibility of every citizen in a democratic society. Entrepreneurs have a stake in the future of Philadelphia and should exercise their right to vote to ensure that their voices are heard, and their interests are represented.
This is a crucial moment for Hispanic entrepreneurs to make their voices heard and have an impact on our city. By voting for candidates that prioritize policies that support small businesses and foster economic growth, entrepreneurs can help create a favorable environment for their businesses to thrive. Ultimately, voting is a fundamental right and responsibility of every citizen, and entrepreneurs should exercise their right to vote to ensure that their voices are heard, and their interests are represented.
Jennifer Rodríguez , MCP, is the President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.