Above: PHL TCB cleaning crew from the Business Association of West Parkside.

This post was written by Denis Murphy, Senior Director of Corridor Improvements for the Philadelphia Department of Commerce.

Local public policy consulting firm Econsult Solutions, Inc. has released a preliminary report regarding the community impacts of the PHL Taking Care of Business Clean Corridors Program (PHL TCB), a $7 million economic development initiative that expands the Department of Commerce’s existing commercial corridor cleaning efforts from 49 commercial corridors to 83 throughout the city. This program complements Commerce’s other ongoing investments in Philadelphia neighborhood commercial corridor improvements and support. 

The report highlights PHL TCB’s impacts related to commercial corridor cleanliness, employment opportunities, the success of businesses within cleaning areas, and the impact of the program upon minority– and womenowned businesses performing the cleaning.  

Among the findings: 

  • 1.3 million Philadelphia residents live within a half mile of the 104 miles now being cleaned through PHL TCB. 
  • On a typical day, PHL TCB crews citywide remove 660 bags of trash on average. 
  • PHL TCB employs 190 Philadelphia residents as Cleaning Ambassadors.  

PHL TCB invests in people and small businesses by creating employment opportunities for residents and by keeping Philadelphia’s neighborhood commercial corridors clean. The program’s main goals are to: 

  • Maintain clean commercial districts in Philadelphia neighborhoods. 
  • Promote the economic success of neighborhood businesses by creating an inviting environment for shoppers. 
  • Create sustainable work opportunities for Philadelphians. 
  • Grow the capacity of local small businesses and organizations that provide cleaning services. 

Over the next nine months, Econsult plans to complete data gathering and analysis for a final report on the program and recommendations for the future of the program, to be released in early 2022. As part of the evaluation, the Econsult team is carrying out Litter Index observations so that Commerce can better equip participating organizations and evaluate the program’s effectiveness in keeping corridors clean.