Philadelphia, May 27, 2014 – Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, joined Councilman Bobby Henon and business and community leaders in Northeast Philadelphia today to unveil a series of investments in small businesses from the Department of Commerce and to launch a new partnership with Waste Management that will generate $850,000 for neighborhood improvements in the Tacony section of the city. Today’s event also celebrated the completion of 15 storefront renovations made possible by the Department of Commerce’s Storefront Improvement Program.
“The Department of Commerce works every day to support small businesses and to create strong, well-managed commercial corridors throughout Philadelphia and today we are seeing the results brought by this level of partnership,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “Across the city we work with great community organizations, such as Tacony CDC, to help grow businesses, create jobs, and build sustainable neighborhoods. Through a range of programs and initiatives we are supporting small business owners in Philadelphia.”
Tacony Community Development Corporation also announced a new partnership with Waste Management of Pennsylvania, Inc., through the City’s CDC Tax Credit Program which provides an $85,000 tax credit for a business in exchange for a 10-year, $85,000 per year contribution to a community development corporation. Alex Balloon, Manager of Tacony Community Development Corporation, said: “Our community has really come together around a common vision, and working together with these programs we have taken the steps to turn that vision into real action and results.”
Today’s press conference took place in the 6th Councilmanic District represented by Councilman Bobby Henon, who welcomed the support for small businesses in his district.
“This is another way we can grow stronger communities: through vibrant commercial corridors,” Councilman Henon said. “I made a commitment to Torresdale Ave. by opening my District office here. It’s exciting that we can keep growing Torresdale Ave. into a true destination with similar commitment from Tacony CDC, the Department of Commerce and Waste Management.”
Small businesses in Tacony participated in the Department of Commerce’s Storefront Improvement Program, which provides matching funding to business owners for storefront renovations. In partnership with Tacony CDC, almost $150,000 in funding has leveraged an additional almost $200,000 investment in that commercial corridor. To date the Storefront Improvement Program has reimbursed $539,776 for 75 completed projects on 34 corridors around Philadelphia generating a total project investment of $1.5M.
Local business owner Chris Psillos of the Athenian Diner commented, “We’re very excited with the results of our storefront project and our customers love it. Since the project began it has brought a whole new level of energy to our restaurant and our neighborhood.”
The unveiling of these latest investments comes as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that last month Philadelphia added 4,000 new jobs bringing the number of jobs in Philadelphia to the highest point for an April since 2003. In addition, earlier this month it was reported that the unemployment rate in Philadelphia had dropped to 8%, the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008.
To find out more about how the Philadelphia Department of Commerce is supporting small businesses and commercial corridors across the city visit http://www.phila.gov/commerce.