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Fifth StartupPHL Call for Ideas Announced
Oct 13, 2016
The City’s platform to fund projects that grow Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, StartupPHL Call for Ideas, is looking for your good ideas.

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney and Commerce Director Harold T. Epps announced that StartupPHL is now accepting applications for the fifth round of Call for Ideas, a grant program to fund innovative proposals that support Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem. The application is available online.

“Call for Ideas is a fantastic example of how public-private partnerships can help Philadelphia companies and residents,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This program allows the City of Philadelphia to access some our greatest talents and have them come up with creative solutions to the ongoing issues facing our city. Call for Ideas provides local startups with the chance to show off their expertise, and the resulting projects directly benefit Philadelphia residents.”

Read the Press Release and Get Details to Submit
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Commerce seeks Director, Marketing & Communications
Oct 13, 2016
Commerce is looking for resourceful candidates to lead our Marketing efforts. The ideal candidate will have excellent graphic design and writing/copy-editing skills.

The Director for Marketing & Communications is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to communicate the City’s business services and information to the public, as well as enhance the public’s perception of the role of the Department of Commerce and the value we bring to businesses in Philadelphia.

Get full application details.
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2016 MEDWeekPHL is Oct 3 – Oct 7
Sep 26, 2016
Philadelphia Minority Enterprise Development week has celebrated minority enterprises in the region and efforts to grow minority businesses since 1984. Join us for more than 40 events across the city that will help you grow your business, including opportunities to learn about government and university procurement, networking, and how to better market your services.

This year’s MED Week theme is: Philadelphia the Center of Opportunity: Building Capacity for Prosperity.

Get the full calendar, including Pre-MEDWeek events!
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Latest economic news: City of Philadelphia Announces Decrease in Unemployment
Aug 08, 2016
PRESS RELEASE, Philadelphia, August 5, 2016 – Mayor Jim Kenney and Commerce Director Harold T. Epps announced today that Philadelphia’s unemployment rate decreased to 6.9%, the lowest unemployment rate for the month of June since 2007.

“During the first six months of my Administration, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that Philadelphians in all neighborhoods can be part of the amazing growth and prosperity taking place in our city,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I am thrilled that more than 5,000 additional Philadelphians are at work now as compared to January, and I am confident that we can keep that trend going.”

Get the details and data
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Philadelphia’s Winning Formula for Small-Business Growth
Jul 28, 2016
On Monday, Mayor Kenney penned a guest-post titled “Philadelphia’s Winning Formula for Small-Business Growth,” for the Huffington Post’s “Whats Working: Small Business” blog. The article highlights many Commerce initiatives and strategies to foster small business growth, including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, the optimization of the Business Services Website, the Storefront Improvement Program, and more.

“As Mayor, I will work tirelessly to ensure that more businesses start and grow throughout the city. At the end of the day, stronger businesses means more jobs and better neighborhoods for all of Philadelphia.”

Read the full Article
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FAQs about conducting business during the DNC
Jul 08, 2016
The Democratic National Convention will bring 50,000 visitors to Philadelphia. Is your business ready?

Check out these Frequently Asked Questions about conducting business during the DNC.
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Office of Economic Opportunity Releases Disparity Study; Increases participation goal to 35%
Jun 29, 2016
June 28, 2016 – The City’s Office of Economic Opportunity released the Annual Disparity Study for Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15). This Study analyzes the availability and utilization of Minority, Women, and Disabled Owned Enterprises (M/W/DSBEs) on City contracts, ranks contractors based on payments made to M/W/DSBEs engaged on projects with Economic Opportunity Plans (EOPs), and recommends workforce diversity goals on construction projects.

The Study determined that 30.6% of this spending went to M/W/DSBEs, up from 29.4% in FY14.

In addition to an overall increase of 1.2 percent in City and Quasi-Public contracts awarded to M/W/DSBEs, there was an increase in dollars awarded to M/W/DSBEs based in the City. In FY14, 13.6% of contracts were awarded to City-based firms, increasing to 13.8% in FY15.

The study also identified a positive trend in the value of contracts with M/W/DSBEs serving in the primary, lead position, 11.1% in FY15 up from 9.5% in FY14. Another notable trend, the average contract size for M/W/DSBEs primes rose from $170,000 to $210,000, a 4 percent increase compared with a 2 percent increase for non-minorities.

“The vast majority of the findings from the FY15 Disparity Study point to positive indicators in the M/W/DSBE community,” said Harold T. Epps, Commerce Director. “Although the progress is incremental, and we’d certainly like to see it go faster, we are pleased to see that we are headed in the right direction.”
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Mayor Kenney and Councilman Henon Release 2016 Manufacturing Annual Report
Jun 27, 2016
Today Mayor Jim Kenney and Councilman Bobby Henon joined the members of the Mayor’s Manufacturing Task Force, a group of prominent leaders with ties to the manufacturing and industry sectors, at the Navy Yard to discuss recent accomplishments and future goals to advance manufacturing in Philadelphia. At the meeting, Mayor James Kenny released the Manufacturing Task Force 2016 Annual Progress Report with CEOs of manufacturing companies, such as AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation and Penn Scale Manufacturing, leaders of organizations including Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, PIDC and Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners, and government officials from the City and State.

“The manufacturing sector offers numerous opportunities for Philadelphia,” said Mayor Kenney. “While many believe that manufacturing is on its way out, the truth is that the sector has evolved to meet the needs of present economy and is very much alive. Moreover, the manufacturing sector offers jobs with family-sustaining wages, something we very much need in Philadelphia.”

Job-readiness and skills development is a key priority highlighted in the annual report, along with innovation, energy and legislative initiatives. The report featured myriad initiatives to expose young people to manufacturing in order to build a viable talent pool.

READ THE COMPLETE REPORT
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We're looking for a VISTA!
May 06, 2016
We're looking for a Business Coaching for Financial Literacy and Access to Capital (BCFLAC) Coordinator to help implement financial literacy program initiatives. Independently owned businesses in low-income neighborhoods are often unable to access grants, loans, or other resources to help their business grow.

The Business Coaching for Financial Literacy and Access to Capital aims to profile 50 entrepreneurs in these locals requesting funding from or partnership with the Commerce Department and assess their business practices to determine the technical assistance needed. The Business Coaching for Financial Literacy and Access to Capital Coordinator will work with entrepreneurs to carry out these initiatives and provide the assistance needed for them to operate more efficiently before seeking outside resources.

The Coordinator will be responsible for spearheading the planning, implementation and management stage of the BCFLAC project and engage Commerce staff as well as partners (i.e. funders, Community Development Corporations) to manage the intake and profiling process for businesses applying for related funds and services.

Applicants can apply at: https://servephillyvistas.org/apply/
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We're Hiring! Data & Policy Manager
Apr 08, 2016
The Data and Policy Manager plays a lead role in developing performance measurement systems, researching and monitoring legislation and supporting the Department of Commerce with research and data analysis. In addition to these tasks, the Data and Policy Manager is a key GIS resource for the Department. The Manager reports to the Chief of Staff, while also providing support to all of the Deputies within Commerce.

Deadline to apply is April 22nd.

Get full details!
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Empowerment Zone RFP released.
Apr 06, 2016
Commercial Developments in Philadelphia's Empowerment Zones may be eligible for grants.

The Philadelphia Empowerment Zone has released a Request for Proposal for Neighborhood Economic Development Impact Grants in the American Street and North Central Empowerment Zones. This is a rolling application.

GET A BRIEFING
Tuesday, April 26th, 1515 Arch Street, Room 18-029. No RSVP necessary.

SEE THE RFP
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We're hiring a part-time Kiva City fellow!
Mar 03, 2016
Kiva City Philadelphia is a partnership between the non-profit Kiva.org, and City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce. The fellow will be focused on the growth and development of the program within Philadelphia with a particular focus on the Latino Community. Must speak Spanish fluently.

This is a paid part-time position. 

GET THE FULL DETAILS
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Commerce is Hiring: Senior Director of Talent Development
Feb 18, 2016
The Senior Director of Talent Development is a management role which heads the Office of Talent Development and reports to the Senior Deputy Commerce Director. The Senior Director supervises partnerships and efforts with public and private partners, academic institutions, employers and workforce training agencies to provide a tangible pipeline to sustainable employment along a career pathway while decreasing unemployment and poverty rates in Philadelphia. The Senior Director of Talent Development will directly supervise one staff member and have additional oversight of six staff members within the Talent Development Collaborative.

Deadline to apply is March 4, 2016. 

Get FULL DETAILS
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Commerce Director Launches Commercial Corridor Outreach Initiative
Feb 12, 2016
PRESS RELEASE - February 4, 2016 

Director of Commerce Harold T. Epps met with local business owners from the central Germantown business district of Germantown and Chelten Avenues on Wednesday as part of a commercial corridor outreach initiative. Over the next several months, the Commerce Director will personally travel across Philadelphia to meet with neighborhood business owners and to learn how the City can increase commercial corridor growth.

“The Mayor and I believe firmly that the key to Philadelphia’s future economic success lies not only in continuing to support Center City development, but also in supporting our neighborhood employers,” Epps said. “Thriving commercial corridors make our neighborhoods safer, increase employment and diversifies our economy. Opportunity starts in places like the intersection of Germantown and Chelten Avenue.”

READ MORE
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Lonely Planet Ranks Philadelphia #1 Places to Visit
Feb 12, 2016
PRESS RELEASE: February 9, 2016

Today, Lonely Planet ranked Philadelphia #1 on its 2016 list of “10 Best Places to Visit in the United States.” In addition to being the country’s first and only World Heritage City, Philadelphia was also recognized for its craft beer and dining scene, and for hosting global events, including the World Meeting of Families and the upcoming Democratic National Convention in July 2016.

“This is an exciting and well deserved honor for the people of Philadelphia,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Our city is unique, fun and appealing to a broad range of tourists and visitors, while at the same time providing a homegrown sense of culture that many of us lifelong Philadelphians cherish.”

READ MORE
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Commerce is hiring! Can you be our next Director, International Business Investment?
Jan 22, 2016
City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce Seeks a Director, International Business Investment!

This position is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to enhance Philadelphia’s international business activities, primarily through working to attract international companies to Philadelphia and by supporting local companies in doing business internationally.

GET THE DETAILS
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Commerce is hiring! Spanish or Korean speakers needed!
Jan 14, 2016
The Department of Commerce is looking to add two new bilingual Business Service Managers to the team, one Spanish speaking and one Korean speaking, in order to meet the needs of businesses in our community.

The role of the Business Service Manager is to support and provide customer friendly service to businesses that operate within the City of Philadelphia. Each business manager is expected to take a proactive stance in the territories they service by closely examining and analyzing the current business culture that exist in their assigned areas.

GET THE DETAILS
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Don't miss this RFP to become a Business Technical Assistance Provider!
Jan 11, 2016
The Department of Commerce is pleased to support Philadelphia’s small business and entrepreneurial community by providing access to training and lending activities. We are currently seeking proposals for the City’s Business Technical Assistance Program (BTAP). BTAP provides funding to nonprofit organizations, with successful track records, to provide technical assistance to microenterprises in the City of Philadelphia in the areas of Business Plan development, Operations, Licensing & Certifications, Education on Marketing and Merchandising, Financial Counseling, and Access to Capital. Assistance should be targeted to entrepreneurs and microenterprises (defined here as businesses with 1-5 employees, including the owner) representing emerging industries and/or underserved populations.

A briefing will be held on Thursday, January 21st at 11am at 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor, City Planning Commission Conference Room.

All Proposals must submitted electronically through eContract Philly no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, February 19th. (In addition, seven hardcopies are to be delivered to the Department of Commerce by 5:00 PM, Tuesday, February 23rd).

To review and apply, the Business Technical Assistance Program (BTAP) Request for Proposals can be accessed as follows:
  1. Go to: https://secure.phila.gov/eContract/
  2. From the inside of the box in the middle of the screen, select Contract Opportunities
  3. From the dropdown under Departments, select Commerce and search.
  4. From the list on the screen, select 21151229150951 Business Technical Assistance Program.
  5. You will see under the Opportunity Details all the attachments needed for that specific RFP. Please note that you will have to select each appendix.
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OEO Releases FY15 Annual Participation and EOP Reports
Jan 11, 2016
The Office of Economic Opportunity was established in 2008 and in 2010 we launched Inclusion Works – a strategic plan for economic inclusion – which has resulted in over $2 billion in contracts being awarded to M/ W/DSBEs during my tenure. In Fiscal Year 2015 alone, $302.8 million was awarded to these businesses, breaking a fiscal record for the City of Philadelphia. OEO released its full report early this year. 

READ THE OEO ANNUAL REPORT

READ THE EOP REPORT
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Don't Miss These Corridor Management & Cleaning RFPs!
Dec 09, 2015
The Targeted Corridor Management Program and Commercial Corridor Cleaning Assistance RFPs are now posted online! The question and answer period is happening right now.

Find the full description and submission requirements on the City's eContract website:
  1. Visit www.phila.gov/contracts
  2. Click "eContract Philly"
  3. In the upper-left corner, click "New Contract Opportunities"
  4. Search Departments: "Commerce"

Targeted Corridor Revitalization Management Program (TCMP)
This RFP seeks proposals for Community-based development organizations (CBDOs) that are engaged in outcomes-based community economic development, business assistance and business association support activities. Contracts are $75,000 which typically provides funding for a full-time corridor manager of a four block commercial corridor of at least 100 commercial spaces, vacant and occupied.

Online submissions for this opportunity are due by January 19, 2016.
Hard copies of the proposal are due by January 20, 2016.

Corridor Cleaning Program (CCP)
This RFP seeks proposals for effective cleaning, safety or public space maintenance services in commercial areas in low and moderate-income census tracts, including the City's Targeted Neighborhood Commercial Areas. The proposed services must be part of a commercial corridor strategy that includes activities such as assistance to existing businesses, business recruitment, beautification, storefront improvements, and corridor promotions. Commerce will select a limited number of organizations based on the selection criteria in this RFP and typical contract amounts will range from $20,000 to $50,000.

Online submissions for this opportunity are due January 15, 2016
Hard copies of the proposal are due on January 20, 2016
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