Yesterday, we reported that because of a State budget crunch, Ben Franklin Technology Partners faces the possibility of funding cuts. As the July 1 budget deadline looms, the organization might see a $10 million cut proposed by Governor Rendell or a 60 percent cut in funding proposed by Senate Bill 840.
We asked you, the reader, if any Philadelphia organizations were drumming up support, and we heard your call.
Thanks to a tip from a reader, Technically Philly has learned that the Southeastern branch of Ben Franklin Technology Partners has streamlined ways to contact legislators to tell them how important the organization has been to the region and the state.
Last month, both Allentown’s Morning Call and Harrisburg’s Patriot-News ran op-eds written by top BFTP execs that cite the tech incubator’s influence.
Ben Franklin Tech Partners have appeared often on this site. In our short 4 month existence, the company has invested $3.4 million in 19 regional companies in two deals. That’s only a small chunk of the $130 million invested in the region during the last 25 years, and that’s not including state-wide investment.
In March, an independent study showed that tech companies funded by the network generate 5 more jobs each year and paid 33 percent better than companies not funded. Since 1989, the organization claims to have boosted the economy by more than $17 billion and created 125,000 job-years of full-time work.
For every $1 invested in Ben Franklin Technology Partners, $3.50 is returned to the state treasury.
Though no budget has passed on time since Rendell took office, he warned state workers last month that if the budget is late, they would not be paid on time until the budget is cleared.
Staff reporter Christopher Wink contributed to this story.
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