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City of Philadelphia


Commerce Customer Service Survey
Jan 02, 2018
Have you worked with the Commerce department recently? The Commerce Customer Service Survey is meant to are gather information to help us better serve business owners in the region. View/take this short survey here: COMMERCE SURVEY

For questions or more information, contact: 

Tim Thornton
Director, Philly311

City Office #: 215-683-0876
311 Call Center  (ask for Tim): 215-686-1776

City Hall, Room 167
Philadelphia, Pa 19107

OEO releases FY17 Annual Report
Nov 02, 2017
The Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) has released its Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report, which details all City contracts with Minority, Women, Disabled-owned businesses (M/W/DSBEs) during FY17. The overall City and Quasi-Public participation rate with (M/W/DSBEs) for FY17 was 31.9%.

Read the report here.

Read the appendix here.
OEO Releases FY16 Disparity Study
May 31, 2017
Commerce releases Commerce By the Numbers!
May 08, 2017
View the document here:  Commerce By the Numbers
Commerce Business Incentives Analysis RFI
Apr 26, 2017
The Philadelphia Commerce Department is seeking information to define and raise funds for a scope of work related to the analysis of Philadelphia’s business attraction and retention incentives, an environmental scan of best practices and lessons learned in other cities, and recommendations for Philadelphia to become more competitive.
The Business Development Unit is looking for candidates for a Business Development position.
Apr 26, 2017
Click here to learn more or apply: Business Development Manager
Commerce announces new Gateway Philly program
Feb 28, 2017
Gateway Philly is a rent reimbursement incentive offering up to $30,000 to any qualifying company setting up shop with 20 or more employees.

OEO releases FY16 Annual Report
Jan 13, 2017
The Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) has released its Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report, which details all City contracts with Minority, Women, Disabled-owned businesses (M/W/DSBEs) during FY16. The overall City and Quasi-Public participation rate with (M/W/DSBEs) for FY16 was 30.6%.

Read the report here.

Read the appendices here.

Fifth StartupPHL Call for Ideas Announced
Oct 13, 2016
The City’s platform to fund projects that grow Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, StartupPHL Call for Ideas, is looking for your good ideas.

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney and Commerce Director Harold T. Epps announced that StartupPHL is now accepting applications for the fifth round of Call for Ideas, a grant program to fund innovative proposals that support Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem. The application is available online.

“Call for Ideas is a fantastic example of how public-private partnerships can help Philadelphia companies and residents,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This program allows the City of Philadelphia to access some our greatest talents and have them come up with creative solutions to the ongoing issues facing our city. Call for Ideas provides local startups with the chance to show off their expertise, and the resulting projects directly benefit Philadelphia residents.”

Read the Press Release and Get Details to Submit
Commerce seeks Director, Marketing & Communications
Oct 13, 2016
Commerce is looking for resourceful candidates to lead our Marketing efforts. The ideal candidate will have excellent graphic design and writing/copy-editing skills.

The Director for Marketing & Communications is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to communicate the City’s business services and information to the public, as well as enhance the public’s perception of the role of the Department of Commerce and the value we bring to businesses in Philadelphia.

Get full application details.
2016 MEDWeekPHL is Oct 3 – Oct 7
Sep 26, 2016
Philadelphia Minority Enterprise Development week has celebrated minority enterprises in the region and efforts to grow minority businesses since 1984. Join us for more than 40 events across the city that will help you grow your business, including opportunities to learn about government and university procurement, networking, and how to better market your services.

This year’s MED Week theme is: Philadelphia the Center of Opportunity: Building Capacity for Prosperity.

Get the full calendar, including Pre-MEDWeek events!
Latest economic news: City of Philadelphia Announces Decrease in Unemployment
Aug 08, 2016
PRESS RELEASE, Philadelphia, August 5, 2016 – Mayor Jim Kenney and Commerce Director Harold T. Epps announced today that Philadelphia’s unemployment rate decreased to 6.9%, the lowest unemployment rate for the month of June since 2007.

“During the first six months of my Administration, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that Philadelphians in all neighborhoods can be part of the amazing growth and prosperity taking place in our city,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I am thrilled that more than 5,000 additional Philadelphians are at work now as compared to January, and I am confident that we can keep that trend going.”

Get the details and data
Philadelphia’s Winning Formula for Small-Business Growth
Jul 28, 2016
On Monday, Mayor Kenney penned a guest-post titled “Philadelphia’s Winning Formula for Small-Business Growth,” for the Huffington Post’s “Whats Working: Small Business” blog. The article highlights many Commerce initiatives and strategies to foster small business growth, including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, the optimization of the Business Services Website, the Storefront Improvement Program, and more.

“As Mayor, I will work tirelessly to ensure that more businesses start and grow throughout the city. At the end of the day, stronger businesses means more jobs and better neighborhoods for all of Philadelphia.”

Read the full Article
FAQs about conducting business during the DNC
Jul 08, 2016
The Democratic National Convention will bring 50,000 visitors to Philadelphia. Is your business ready?

Check out these Frequently Asked Questions about conducting business during the DNC.
Office of Economic Opportunity Releases Disparity Study; Increases participation goal to 35%
Jun 29, 2016
June 28, 2016 – The City’s Office of Economic Opportunity released the Annual Disparity Study for Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15). This Study analyzes the availability and utilization of Minority, Women, and Disabled Owned Enterprises (M/W/DSBEs) on City contracts, ranks contractors based on payments made to M/W/DSBEs engaged on projects with Economic Opportunity Plans (EOPs), and recommends workforce diversity goals on construction projects.

The Study determined that 30.6% of this spending went to M/W/DSBEs, up from 29.4% in FY14.

In addition to an overall increase of 1.2 percent in City and Quasi-Public contracts awarded to M/W/DSBEs, there was an increase in dollars awarded to M/W/DSBEs based in the City. In FY14, 13.6% of contracts were awarded to City-based firms, increasing to 13.8% in FY15.

The study also identified a positive trend in the value of contracts with M/W/DSBEs serving in the primary, lead position, 11.1% in FY15 up from 9.5% in FY14. Another notable trend, the average contract size for M/W/DSBEs primes rose from $170,000 to $210,000, a 4 percent increase compared with a 2 percent increase for non-minorities.

“The vast majority of the findings from the FY15 Disparity Study point to positive indicators in the M/W/DSBE community,” said Harold T. Epps, Commerce Director. “Although the progress is incremental, and we’d certainly like to see it go faster, we are pleased to see that we are headed in the right direction.”
Mayor Kenney and Councilman Henon Release 2016 Manufacturing Annual Report
Jun 27, 2016
Today Mayor Jim Kenney and Councilman Bobby Henon joined the members of the Mayor’s Manufacturing Task Force, a group of prominent leaders with ties to the manufacturing and industry sectors, at the Navy Yard to discuss recent accomplishments and future goals to advance manufacturing in Philadelphia. At the meeting, Mayor James Kenny released the Manufacturing Task Force 2016 Annual Progress Report with CEOs of manufacturing companies, such as AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation and Penn Scale Manufacturing, leaders of organizations including Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, PIDC and Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners, and government officials from the City and State.

“The manufacturing sector offers numerous opportunities for Philadelphia,” said Mayor Kenney. “While many believe that manufacturing is on its way out, the truth is that the sector has evolved to meet the needs of present economy and is very much alive. Moreover, the manufacturing sector offers jobs with family-sustaining wages, something we very much need in Philadelphia.”

Job-readiness and skills development is a key priority highlighted in the annual report, along with innovation, energy and legislative initiatives. The report featured myriad initiatives to expose young people to manufacturing in order to build a viable talent pool.

We're looking for a VISTA!
May 06, 2016
We're looking for a Business Coaching for Financial Literacy and Access to Capital (BCFLAC) Coordinator to help implement financial literacy program initiatives. Independently owned businesses in low-income neighborhoods are often unable to access grants, loans, or other resources to help their business grow.

The Business Coaching for Financial Literacy and Access to Capital aims to profile 50 entrepreneurs in these locals requesting funding from or partnership with the Commerce Department and assess their business practices to determine the technical assistance needed. The Business Coaching for Financial Literacy and Access to Capital Coordinator will work with entrepreneurs to carry out these initiatives and provide the assistance needed for them to operate more efficiently before seeking outside resources.

The Coordinator will be responsible for spearheading the planning, implementation and management stage of the BCFLAC project and engage Commerce staff as well as partners (i.e. funders, Community Development Corporations) to manage the intake and profiling process for businesses applying for related funds and services.

Applicants can apply at:
We're Hiring! Data & Policy Manager
Apr 08, 2016
The Data and Policy Manager plays a lead role in developing performance measurement systems, researching and monitoring legislation and supporting the Department of Commerce with research and data analysis. In addition to these tasks, the Data and Policy Manager is a key GIS resource for the Department. The Manager reports to the Chief of Staff, while also providing support to all of the Deputies within Commerce.

Deadline to apply is April 22nd.

Get full details!
Empowerment Zone RFP released.
Apr 06, 2016
Commercial Developments in Philadelphia's Empowerment Zones may be eligible for grants.

The Philadelphia Empowerment Zone has released a Request for Proposal for Neighborhood Economic Development Impact Grants in the American Street and North Central Empowerment Zones. This is a rolling application.

Tuesday, April 26th, 1515 Arch Street, Room 18-029. No RSVP necessary.