PHILADELPHIA – Immigrant Business Week in Philadelphia takes place March 25-29. Today, Mayor Kenney joined the Department of Commerce, Office of Immigrant Affairs, and local immigrant entrepreneurs to launch the third annual Immigrant Business Week (IBW). IBW celebrates the city’s immigrant entrepreneurs who have played a critical role in population growth, neighborhood revitalization, and economic development in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The week of events also connects business owners to important resources that will help them thrive in Philadelphia.
At the kickoff ceremony, Mayor Kenney honored several immigrant business owners from the Oxford Circle commercial corridor in Northeast Philadelphia, including:
- Bishara Kuttab, Bisho’s Cafe & Bakery — Bishara Kuttab spent much of his life going back-and-forth between Jerusalem and Philadelphia. Nearly six years ago, he made the move to Philadelphia permanent. In 2017, Bishara opened Bisho’s Cafe & Bakery, a Middle Eastern eatery that serves up traditional dishes.
- Chuong Le, Pho Saigon — Choung Le came to Philadelphia 15 years ago. He is part of an entrepreneurial family and has opened multiple Vietnamese restaurants in the city. Pho Saigon, Chuong’s chain of restaurants in Philadelphia, serves Vietnamese food with a French influence. In addition to the Oxford Circle location in Northeast Philadelphia, Chuong also owns Pho Saigon locations in South Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill and more.
- Sal Nunez, Buccann — Sal Nunez was born in the Dominican Republic, and spent years in New York and Boston before settling in Philadelphia — his home for 20 years now. Two years ago, he opened Buccann, a Latin Caribbean restaurant that is a merger of Sal’s two passions: construction and food. To create the restaurant he’s always dreamed of, Sal and his son Jeff built handcrafted elements together.
Mingchu Pearl Huynh, President of the Northeast Philadelphia Chinese Association, was also recognized for her efforts to support immigrant business owners in her Northeast neighborhood.
“Immigrant entrepreneurs are driving revitalization along our commercial corridors and contributing greatly to Philadelphia’s economy,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The immigrants and their families who have chosen to call Philadelphia home enhance the fabric of our city. They have been essential to the growth and success Philadelphia has experienced in recent years, and I am proud that we are able to celebrate these individuals during Immigrant Business Week for the third year in a row.”
Philadelphians are encouraged to participate in Immigrant Business Week by registering for one of the events below, patronizing immigrant-owned businesses, and posting about their favorite businesses on social media using #PHLImmigrantBiz. Immigrant Business Week events include:
Immigrant Business Week Kickoff: Office of Business Services Overview & One-on-One Multilingual Assistance
Monday, March 25 | 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Exchange at Oxford Circle, 6434 Castor Ave.
Following a recognition ceremony for Oxford Circle businesses with Mayor Kenney, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Business Services hosts a workshop for immigrant entrepreneurs. The presentation will focus on ways the City can help businesses start and grow in Philadelphia. After the short presentation, multilingual business service managers will be available to answer questions in Arabic, French, Mandarin, Spanish and English.
Cómo Adquirir una Vivienda en Estados Unidos
Tuesday, March 26 | 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
111 S. Independence Mall East, Suite 320
The Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia will host a workshop on the process of buying a home in the United States. This session will be conducted entirely in Spanish.
Employer Know Your Rights
Tuesday, March 26 | 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Chinese Christian Church & Center, Spring Street Campus, 225 N. 10th St.
The Office of Immigrant Affairs invites employers to learn about I-9 compliance and what to do if immigration officials come to their workplace. Assistance will be available in English and Mandarin.
Introduction to Lending & Community Advantage Programs
Tuesday, March 26 | 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
2010 Chestnut St.
Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (WORC) offers small business loans up to $50,000 for equipment, working capital, inventory and more. In addition, WORC was recently approved to extend up to $250,000 for business owners to purchase the building they operate out of. Learn more about how to become “ready” for these loan products. Assistance will be available in English and Arabic.
Pre-Launch of the Lancaster Avenue Entrepreneurship Referral & Information Center (LA-ERIC)
Wednesday, March 27 | 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
3500 Lancaster Ave.
Lancaster Avenue Entrepreneurship Referral & Information Center (LA-ERIC) is hosting an information and networking chat and chew about the launching of a community business hub. This will be the first facility of its kind in West Philadelphia to act as a referral, information, and training center. Business owners will get a chance to network and learn about our business basics curriculum. LA-ERIC is in partnership with SCORE Philadelphia and The Community College of Philadelphia. Assistance will be available in English, French and Spanish.
Savings Planning for Retirement
Wednesday, March 27 | 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
1160 S. 9th St.
Join the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians to learn about spending and saving habits, and how to save and invest for the future. The workshop will be hosted in English and Spanish.
Journeys: Conversation with Successful Asian American Women Business Leaders
Thursday, March 28 | 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
IBX Live, 1919 Market St.
Celebrate Women’s History Month and Immigrant Business Week with this panel discussion highlighting the achievements of Asian-American women who are immigrants themselves or who were raised in immigrant households. Panelists will share their own histories, with special emphasis on their professional challenges and successes.
Social Media Strategy
Thursday, March 28 | 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
6328 Paschall Ave.
Join the Community College of Philadelphia’s Power up Your Business program for a workshop on social media strategy. Learn how to develop an effective social media strategy that will engage customers. The workshop will include instruction in English and Spanish.
Qué es Una Cooperativa de Trabajadores? Taller de Cooperativas Lideradas por Inmigrantes en Filadelfia / What is a Worker Cooperative? Workshop on Immigrant-led Cooperatives in Philadelphia
Thursday, March 28 | 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
1149 S. 9th St.
Immigrant-led worker cooperatives are being developed across the country and creating stable and safe work owned by the workers. Join the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance and PWA Handymen Association, a worker co-op established in 2015, as they address what co-ops are and the benefits of them in immigrant communities. Spanish-English translation will be provided.
Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium
Friday, March 29 | 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Enterprise Center, 4548 Market St.
A two-panel symposium for women entrepreneurs. The first panel will feature six highly successful women entrepreneurs from the Philadelphia area African and Caribbean community. The second panel will include agencies such as the City of Philadelphia, Small Business Development Center, and The Enterprise Center, as well as a local legal experts who will arm attendees with the necessary information and tools to run a business. Additionally, a local Health and Wellness expert, Dr. Ngozi will address work-life balance issues that are unique to women entrepreneurs.
Additional event information and registration details can be found online at phila.gov/spotlight/immigrant-business-week.