Image via: Mr. Biggs on Flickr.com
Just this week, the City Council of Philadelphia unanimously decided to offer tax breaks to all B Corps located in the city. Turns out, its a bit of help you help me as they found that most B Corps are also contributing to the improvement of the city and the overall reduction of greenhouse gases. If that's what B Corps are doing, what are they getting in the process? How can you get in on the benefits of the Sustainable Business Tax Credit if you're a B Corp owners? First, your business has to be located in the City of Philadelphia. Next, "For tax years 2012 through 2017, 25 eligible sustainable businesses shall receive a tax credit of $4,000 to be used against the gross receipts portion of the Business Privilege Tax." That means you've got to hurry up and get your B Corp certified as a sustainable business to get one of those 25 spots.
When the City Council of Philadelphia began looking at the B Corps already located within the city, they found a group that is already heavy into green energy, giving back to the community and promoting "practice what you preach." Here's what they found:
- 72% of B Corps use renewable energy
- 51% percent have public transit or carpooling incentives
- They are 30 times more likely to be located in green buildings
- 82% have programs for community volunteering
- 74% are affiliated with a local charity and are 30 times more likely to donate at least 10% of their income to charity
- 9 out of 10 are locally owned and are 3 times more likely to be owned by women or minorities
- 44% offer some form of employee ownership
- Twice as likely to offer health insurance and retirement plans
- 25% are saving money thanks to their B Certification
Essentially, the city found that green businesses provide more than just economic benefits. Yet, some in the green community are upset at the 25 business cap as it means that green businesses will have to compete against each other in order to earn the tax break. Of the USD$369 million the city gets from business privilege tax revenue each year, essentially they will only be forgiving USD$100,000 to B Corps. The city, for their part, said they would have considered expanding to more businesses except for the tight financial situation they are in right now.
Businesses interested in becoming B Corps must be certified by B Lab, an independent certification organization based in Berwyn. Applicants must fill out a 200 question form covering everything from employees, environment, consumers and the community. If you don't get one of the 25 tax breaks, you could always consider moving to Braddock, PA - a town that is looking to attract new (green) businesses and for really cheap.
Currently, the Pennsylvania cities of Yonkers and Media are also considering implementing tax breaks for B Corps located within the city.
More on Sustainable Business
Jay Coen Gilbert and the Search for the Beneficial Corporation
New Idiot's Guide Simplifies the Equation: Green Business = Sustainable Planet
SustainableBusiness.com's List of Sustainable Stocks
Go Green to Save Green: Sustainable Ideas for Every Business