Parks & Rec recently selected 10 local business owners to be part of a new program.

This entrepreneur-in-residence program is the first of its kind in the city. Called “Making Space: Reimaging Recreation,” it will make use of extra room at city rec centers. There, local teens will work with the chosen business owners to:

  • Learn hands on skills.
  • Gain valuable experience.
  • Explore future career paths.
Over 600 entrepreneurs applied for the opportunity. They included makers, artists, and designers.
The ten finalists will each receive a $1,500 grant to support their business. They will also receive help to prepare a proposal. This proposal will show how their business will help the community. 
As a next step, the city will choose four winners from the ten finalists. They will receive funding from the Knight Foundation. This will help them set up and run their businesses at the rec centers.
Congratulations to these local businesses:
  1. P Michael Boone operates the Junior Barber Academy. The business introduces young people to barbering.
  2. Vernique Fields is the founder of the DJ and agency Into Fields Live Entertainment.
  3. Valerie Gay runs Fuse Vox. The fashion and culture brand brings communities together through textiles.
  4. Rahmi Halaby is the owner of Linden Ave Studio. The multidisciplinary creative studio with a design and technology focus.
  5. Buddy Hall operates USG Print and Press. It produces apparel, including hats, t-shirts, socks, and hoodies.
  6. Ariell Johnson is the owner of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse. The bookstore used to be on Frankford Avenue.
  7. Maritza Pedlar runs FLOWS GroceryIt is a retail and online grocery and personal care business. It features Black-owned products.
  8. Erica Stewart will open Social Impact Cafe. Staff and volunteers will run the new community cafe.
  9. June Thompson plans to open a recording studio. The studio would record and produce music and radio ads.
  10. Talia Young is the owner of Fishadelphia. The program makes fresh local seafood available to diverse communities.

 Parks & Rec partnered with:

  • RECPhilly
  • The Philadelphia Department of Commerce
  • The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The City will announce the final four winners in the spring of 2023.