At an event held on Monday, June 3, 2013 at 10:00 am. in the East Wing Rotunda of the Harrisburg State Capitol Building, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) announced the results of an independent, third-party evaluation of its impact on the state’s economy. Conducted by the Pennsylvania Economy League and KLIOS Consulting, the report covers the five-year timeframe from 2007 through 2011. The report found:
• BFTP boosted the Pennsylvania economy (Gross State Product) by $6.6 Billion from 2007 through 2011.
• Since 1989, BFTP has boosted the state’s economy by more than $23.5 billion.
• From 2007 through 2011, the Commonwealth received $358 million in additional state tax receipts as a direct result of BFTP investments in client firms. Another $144 million in state tax receipts flowed from related BFTP client services, for a total increase of $502 million in state revenue due to BFTP.
• New state tax revenue generated because of BFTP represents a 3.6 to 1 payback to the Commonwealth on its $137.7 million investment during that period.
• From 2007 through 2011, The BFTPs generated 7,485 additional jobs in client firms.
• Client revenues, purchasing and investments rippled throughout the Pennsylvania economy, giving rise to higher employment across the state. From 2007 through 2011, BFTP generated an additional 12,715 jobs beyond those in client firms.
• BFTP produced a total of 20,200 jobs in the Commonwealth between 2007 through 2011 that otherwise would not have existed.
• Since 1989, BFTP has generated 51,000 additional jobs in client firms.
• Since 1989, BFTP generated 89,000 additional jobs as a result of increased purchasing and investment by client firms, yielding a total of 140,000 new jobs attributable to BFTP’s work.
BFTP, which is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, is a statewide program that provides investment capital, business support services, incubation programs, and entrepreneurial training in the Commonwealth. Originally chartered on December 6, 1982 by then-Governor Dick Thornburgh, the program is frequently cited as the gold standard for technology-based economic development.
Opening remarks about the impressive results of the evaluation, as well as the Ben Franklin Program’s 30-Year anniversary celebration were delivered by Carolyn Boser Newhouse, Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
Deputy Secretary Newhouse commented,“Thirty years ago, Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh and the Pennsylvania Legislature launched an exciting, innovative, and game-changing initiative that continues to evolve and have a tremendous economic impact in the commonwealth. The Department of Community and Economic Development will continue to collaborate with the Ben Franklin Partners to make Pennsylvania a top U.S. location for entrepreneurs to start here, grow here, and thrive here.”
Steve Wray, Managing Director of the PA Economy League, an organization that works in partnership with government, business, and civic groups to present fact-based insights, and Rich Stein of KLIOS Inc., a management and economic consulting firm that specializes in technology-based economic development, presented the results and answered questions about how the study was conducted and the results evaluated.
Wray commented,“The Pennsylvania Economy League was glad to partner with BFTP for the second time on an economic impact report. We believe it is valuable for the Pennsylvania taxpayers to have the economic development organizations they support undertake this type of analysis. BFTP is to be credited for the special rigor and objectivity of this report.”
Stein noted,“These results are impressive. This report clearly shows that in a time of severe economic strain, BFTP consistently added jobs and tax revenue to the PA economy. I think this performance illustrates the BFTP’s deep institutional knowledge in action.”
Kevin Harter, President and CEO of Saladax Biomedical, Bethlehem, described his company’s experience with BFTP. “Saladax would not exist in Pennsylvania, if at all, without the nurturing and financial support from BFTP. Saladax’s founders originally planned to launch in New Jersey, but BFTP invested seed capital and offered far more comprehensive support, as well as hard-to-find wet lab space in its Ben Franklin TechVentures® business technology incubator.” Saladax, which produces tests that allow oncologists to more accurately administer chemotherapy, started with two original founders and now employs more than 35.
“Our impact numbers show that we have created and retained tens of thousands of highly paid, sustainable jobs,” added Chad Paul, President and CEO of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Our efforts have accelerated the success of start-up technology firms and utilized technology to increase the competitiveness of our state’s established manufacturers. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners is a proven model of successful technology-based economic development.”
About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Statewide
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, provides investment capital, operational assistance, and entrepreneurial support to emerging technology-based companies and established manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.
About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by linking companies with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. The Center strategy encompasses three key areas:
1. developing early-stage technology-oriented companies,
2. helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.
Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has created 15,820 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and retained 21,645 existing jobs, started 442 new companies, and developed 1,189 new products and processes. The northeastern center is headquartered in and owns and manages Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning incubator/post-incubator facility located on Lehigh University’s campus, Bethlehem.