PHILADELPHIA – On October 17, officials from the City’s Department of Commerce will launch public engagement efforts with residents and businesses that have a stake in the night time economy. At the meet-and-greet kickoff, attendees can engage with City officials and connect with like-minded businesses. The goal is to provide a space for feedback while elevating accountability and public participation in governmental decision-making processes for businesses that operate after 5 p.m.

Public participation is integral in helping businesses thrive in Philadelphia. Listening and learning from people’s direct experience can lead to innovative solutions while meeting the specific needs of businesses that operate during the night time,” said Commerce Director, Anne Nadol. “This critical dialogue will help us enhance Philadelphia’s position as a thriving destination for all. Together, with our ecosystem of partners and organizations, we look forward to strengthening access to equitable opportunities.”

The kickoff is the beginning of a year-long engagement series with the first stop in West Philadelphia. This initiative is led by recently appointed Director of Night Time Economy Raheem Manning who will then compile feedback to create a night time governance plan, propose policy changes and programming that are inclusive of what businesses need to effectively operate at night.

“We created the Director of Night Time Economy position because we need to elevate the businesses and culture of Philadelphia,” said Councilmember Isaiah Thomas. “Until we created this position, we were the only major city on the East Coast without a Night Time Economy Director to support economic activities that exist after 5pm. I look forward to working with the Commerce Department and Night Time Economy Director Manning to hear from constituents from the nightlife industry about how we can better support these businesses.”

The kickoff in West Philadelphia will convene businesses within the live entertainment industry. The goal in the coming months is to establish Philadelphia as a 24 hour city, driving tourism, hospitality, equitable economic development, and enhanced quality of life. Each stop during the listening tour will help refine opportunities to support the attraction and retention of businesses within various growth industries. The ultimate purpose is to envision Philadelphia with a more dynamic economy that benefits the people who do business, live and work in our city.

I am honored to serve businesses that operate after 5 p.m. in Philadelphia and center representation in all decision-making processes with our economic development partners” said Raheem Manning, Night Time Economy Director and Business Development. “As the core convener for this work, our office will help inform a night time governance plan accountable and responsive to the needs of Philadelphians. I am excited to begin the listening tours, facilitate access to government services and look forward to learning about best practices for night time businesses and workers.”Prior information about Raheem Manning is available online. 

Registration for the event on October 17, 2022 is available online.