Mayor Kenney joined Council members Blackwell and Green to announce “Rebuild Ready” and the “Emerging Vendors Program”, aimed at increasing opportunities for diverse local businesses to get contracts on Rebuild projects

PHILADELPHIA — Today City officials, Rebuild, and the Department of Commerce joined local businesses to announce two new programs to attract diverse contractors to work on Rebuild projects. Made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, Rebuild is the City’s historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to improve neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries.

Rebuild Ready will offer supports that help small, diverse businesses get work on Rebuild contracts. The Emerging Vendors Program will allow participants to count toward diversity goals on City contracts while getting assistance to work toward their permanent certification as a minority or woman-owned business.

“For too long, firms owned by people of color and women have been underrepresented on City projects,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “In a city like ours, where diversity is one of our strongest assets, we have to do better. Rebuild has always been about more than just investing in buildings – it’s also about investing in diverse businesses and providing them with access to sustainable contracting opportunities. I look forward to seeing this program grow.”

The Rebuild Ready and Emerging Vendors Programs will be delivered in partnership with the Enterprise Center and Surety Bond Associates, and will address the barriers that make it difficult for small, diverse businesses to work on public works projects.

“The Enterprise Center has been a leader in supporting entrepreneurs and diverse businesses in the third district for over twenty years,” said Councilmember Jannie Blackwell. “Rebuild is making major investments in our neighborhoods, and through these new programs, we can make sure residents and small businesses are part of the economic benefits of the Rebuild investment in our parks, recreation centers, and libraries.”

Rebuild Ready will provide technical assistance focused on various areas of business management in the construction industry, including:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Leadership management
  • Analyzing the marketplace
  • Sales and marketing
  • Legal
  • Human Resources
  • Project management
  • Risk management
  • Capital access
  • Cash flow management
  • Estimating, bid preparation, and contract negotiation
  • Business planning

The Emerging Vendors Program will allow non-certified minority and women-owned businesses to count towards City diversity goals (up to $150,000) on Rebuild projects while they work toward certification. Participation in the program will last up to 18 months, and participants will receive technical assistance to help with the certification process. Emerging Vendors may also qualify for participation in Rebuild Ready, the broader technical assistance program for small, diverse businesses.

Thomas Jones, President of Philadelphia Concrete Doctors, was one of the first businesses to be qualified as a Rebuild Emerging Vendor, and is now encouraging his peers in the industry to do the same. “Emerging Vendors is a chance to expand the reach of my business, and to begin working on Rebuild contracts while I complete the minority business certification process. There are so many high quality minority-owned firms out there, but they haven’t always been able to see the benefit of going through the certification process. Rebuild’s Emerging Vendors Program changes that, and could be a major step toward making Philadelphia construction sites better represent the residents of our city.”

“The growth in Philadelphia over the last decade has been unprecedented,” said Councilmember Derek Green. “Small businesses are driving much of this growth, so we need to make sure the City’s small, diverse businesses can benefit from major capital programs like Rebuild. Today Rebuild is offering new routes into City contracting for businesses that have historically felt under-represented or undervalued in the procurement process. This is a major step forward for inclusive growth in Philadelphia.”

“Rebuild is a major investment in our neighborhood public spaces, and a chance to include more Philadelphians in the economic opportunities created by City capital projects,” said Director of Commerce Harold T. Epps. “These programs will help the city’s small businesses grow, and support our communities by creating new, family-sustaining jobs for residents.”

“Thank you to all the small business owners, chambers of commerce, and economic inclusion experts from across the city who’ve worked hand-in-hand with us to develop a new way to attract and assist diverse businesses in getting work on Rebuild projects,” said Nicole Westerman, Executive Director, Rebuild.

Rebuild’s inclusion and diversity goals are amongst the most ambitious in the City, and include a target of 25-30% of professional services contracts go to minorities, and 15-20% go to women. For construction contracts, the goal is 30-35% of spending goes to minority firms, and 15-20% to women-owned businesses. As of May 2019, Rebuild is meeting or exceeding its diverse contracting goals.

Businesses can sign up for Rebuild Ready or the Emerging Vendor Program here. To learn more, visit


Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild seeks to improve pivotal community spaces, empower and engage communities, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion. Rebuild is a public private partnership made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.

The Enterprise Center was founded in 1989 to provide access to capital, building capacity, business education and economic development opportunities to high-potential minority entrepreneurs. Through our portfolio of business acceleration initiatives, TEC seeks to better position minority enterprises to compete in the local, regional, and global economies.

Surety Bond Associates is a WBE certified surety bond agency and government consulting firm that provides specialty surety bond services and contractor development programing to small, minority, woman and veteran owned contractors designed to eliminate the barriers that prevent them from accessing the financial resources necessary to actively compete in public sector construction. These programs build contractor’s capacity by providing them with essential tools and skills to eliminate the obstacles created by poor financial planning, enabling them to compete in the construction marketplace.