The 5,000-company Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce takes a long-term approach to civic recovery and improvement: its leaders talk reliably about improving education (including Philadelphia's underperforming city school system); and they press City Council members and other elected officials to reduce rules and fees business finds restrictive, like the city Business Privilege Taxes, which in chamber members' view amount to a surcharge for doing business in the city instead of somewhere else.
"There's not one business agenda and another civic agenda; is is one agenda," designed to make the region more desirable to employers, and thus workers and families, says the next Chamber chariman, Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, president and chief executive officer of Citizens Bank  (UK-owned successor to PSFS and Girard Bank) in PA, NJ and DE since 2007. He'll take office in October, succeeding Liberty Property Trust chief Bill Hankowsky in the chamber board post.
Before Citizens, Fitzpatrick held similar titles at Bank of America; he also worked at PNC and the former CoreStates Bank. A graduate of Father Judge, LaSalle (BS'86, business administration) and Drexel (MBA), he's also a CPA (worked at Ernst & Young) and a CFA. 
Unlike so many self-appointed business supporters, big-city chambers like Philadelphia's aren't anti-government.
The key word, for Fitzpatrick is balance; as in, "the chamber takes a very balanced veiw of tax policy that's favorable to job creation in the region." 

What about politicians? "There's good energy, collectively, on both sides of the aisle." Who face "fiscal challenges: How do you deliver a quality product in an efficient manner?" Recognition of that need, especially since the 2008 financial crisis, "is why you're seeing folks with a business background getting involved in politics," men like Steve Welch and Tom Smith, business founders battling for the GOP nomination to run for Pennsylvania's US Senate seat this fall. "And there's a greater openness by elected officials in using business leaders in an advisory role." 

Key Philadelphia industries like hospitals and colleges rely on government support; so, as Fitzpatrick says, "the chamber takes a view the government needs to make targeted investments in key industries like life science." 

I asked what he thought of proposals to make Philadelphia's powerful City Council district members the official arbiters of what city land gets sold and developed in each neighborhood. He stepped around that one; he praised the city's zoning and planning processes, said land-use decisions should be "inclusive," and added the most important thing is to make the city generally attractive to business so it can leverage Center City's strong amenities (arts, culture, restaurants, residential construction) to prospective new employers and residents. 

What about the public schools and their high dropout rates? Fitzpatrick says his Chamber colleagues support business-management principles applied to education: the public-school Academies, Chamber mentorship programs, "21st Century"  technical education, "accountability" for administrators, and above all focusing education spending "close to the students in the classroom," a refrain of the current state-appointed school board and its chair, Pedro Ramos. "We're getting there," he says, of the public schools, and Philadelphia generally.