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Biden returns to Pennsylvania to tout economic gains in Allentown

President Joe Biden will return to Pennsylvania Friday to tout an economic rebound in Allentown after opening his campaign there last week. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 12 (UPI) — President Joe Biden will travel to Pennsylvania Friday to highlight economic recovery in Allentown as jobs, public and private investments, and small business creation were experiencing a rebound under his administration. Biden will arrive in Allentown shortly after 1 p.m. before visiting several small businesses in the city, which the White House said lost 23,000 manufacturing jobs as many of its steel factories known for supplying metal structural materials to build iconic American institutions such as West Point and the White House, relocated overseas during the Trump administration. Advertisement
The visit is intended to spotlight Biden’s legislative achievements which have boosted manufacturing and infrastructure in Pennsylvania, while paving the way for job growth in disadvantaged communities throughout the state, the White House said in a statement.
Allentown is now on the upswing, thanks to efforts from local leaders, small businesses and workers who’ve struggled for years in a sluggish local economy, the White House said.
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Since Biden took office, the city has seen significant improvements in job growth, new business launches, and increased public and private investments as 16 million new business applications were filed across the nation since Biden took office three years ago, according to Census data cited by the White House.
The unemployment rate in Allentown is now at a 20-year low of 3.9%.
Biden will also tout $14.2 billion in public infrastructure and clean energy investments, alongside $3 billion in private contributions that helped Pennsylvania businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing relief to 3,500 restaurants and bars, and 6,850 child care programs; plus an additional $268 million from the State Small Business Credit Initiative.
More people in Allentown are employed now compared to pre-pandemic levels, with nearly 32,000 additional workers in the area getting jobs under Biden’s term, the White House said.
Additionally, workers are taking home higher pay, with personal income in Allentown up more than 3% since before the pandemic.
Companies are injecting fresh capital into new projects, such as Pratt Industries’ $500 million investment in sustainable packaging facilities; and Schless Bottles’ investment of $7.5 million in a new factory.
Factory construction investment has also surged more than 100% since Biden took office, a stark contrast to 2% growth in the previous four years, while new investments were serving to create jobs, boost incomes and drive more customers to local small businesses, the White House said.
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Last year, the Small Business Administration provided nearly $910 million to small businesses in Pennsylvania, with emphasis on supporting minority-owned enterprises.
Black business ownership is experiencing the fastest growth rate in three decades, while Hispanic ownership is up nearly 40% compared to 2019, the White House said.
Small businesses in Pennsylvania also secured a noteworthy share of federal opportunities, with a total of $2.8 billion in federal contracting opportunities distributed across various sectors.
Biden returns to the Keystone State seven days after he kicked off his 2024 campaign in Pennsylvania one week ago during an impassioned speech near Valley Forge that assailed former President Donald Trump as

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