Pa. site aims to ease way for entrepreneurs

Gov. Tom Ridge announced Thursday that Pennsylvania would soon launch a World Wide Web site with the goal of making the commonwealth the easiest place in the nation for entrepreneurs to start a business.

Ridge said when the Web site is complete, businesses will no longer have to visit government agencies and fill out separate forms at each one to get off the ground. Rather, as part of the new plan for "friction-free" government, the site will be an Internet portal that provides the entrepreneurs with access to all the state forms and applications necessary for starting a business.

The site will be rolled out in phases and will become completely interactive, eliminating the need to send the same paper forms repeatedly to separate agencies, said Kevin Dellicker, senior policy manager for economic development at Gov. Ridge's office.

"Rather than going to five separate agencies and filling out 10 forms at each, the entrepreneur will essentially enter the information on a template, rather than filling out any forms," he said. "The agencies then pull that information off the portal, so the user doesn't have to go them."

Ridge has a budget request for next year for the program, and specific allocations from the various state agencies should be complete by the first week of October, Dellicker said.

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