What we do
The Department of Commerce helps businesses—large and small—thrive in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is the perfect home for your business, offering:
- Reasonable office rents and cost of living.
- A ready workforce.
- A central location on the Northeast corridor.
We work to:
- Attract and keep a diverse set of businesses.
- Revitalize neighborhoods by building vibrant commercial districts.
- Support small businesses and improve access to funding.
- Develop a strong talent pipeline.
- Increase contracting opportunities for minority, women, and disabled-owned businesses.
Keystone Opportunity Zones Using tax exemptions to increase investment in areas lacking development.
Keystone Innovation Zones Providing tax credits to for-profit companies in the life sciences and tech.
The federal Paycheck Protection Program has reopened for applications. Businesses that did not receive funding from the program last year are given first priority, but all businesses that employ 0-300 people, including sole-proprietors, are eligible to apply; this includes businesses that received PPP loans in 2020. Learn more about how to apply.
Jan20EventCovid-19 Relief Funds (PPP) for Small Businesses FREE webinar2:00 pm to 3:00 pmEvent
Covid-19 Relief Funds (PPP) for Small Businesses FREE webinarJanuary 20, 20212:00 pm to 3:00 pm, 1 hourJoin the Business Center for a webinar that will help business owners learn everything they need to know about the Paycheck Protection Program and other federal relief programs.
Register here for this virtual event.
Jan20EventKauffman FastTrac6:00 pm to 9:00 pmVirtual classroomEvent
Kauffman FastTracJanuary 20, 20216:00 pm to 9:00 pm, 3 hoursVirtual classroommapThe Kauffman FastTrac® series is an educational program, created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, which is designed to help you evaluate and perfect your business concept, as well as complete a comprehensive business plan.
Whether you’re starting a food truck or a factory, a construction company or a consulting firm, you need a plan. This 10-week series offered twice a year can help. The program is most appropriate for those who are within a year of launching their business; either you're within a year of launching your business or have launched within the past year and are seeking a plan for establishing your business.
You will study with a group of entrepreneurs, experienced facilitators, and people with start-up business experience who understand the pitfalls of starting a new enterprise.
Each week, you'll meet in our virtual classroom and hear from our expert facilitator and a guest expert. You’ll also receive free or discounted access to other WBEC-East services as well as lifetime access to an online FastTrac® Toolkit. The Toolkit houses the business planning templates, action steps, activities, videos, and other helpful materials. When you finish the program, you will know if your idea has profit potential, and will have an actionable plan you can use as a roadmap or take to investors.
In this ten module FastTrac® program, you will:
•Explore entrepreneurship and develop your business concept.
•Identify and research market needs.
•Set financial goals and determine start-up costs.
•Develop research skills and determine the unique features and benefits of your product/service.
•Research and analyze the market and prepare a marketing plan.
•Create a business image and marketing strategies.
•Build the organization team and understand legal structures.
•Plan for a profitable business, evaluate pricing and profitability.
•Learn how to monitor cash flow and seek funds.
•Determine and implement next steps to launch your business.
The class will meet the following Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 9:30 pm:
September 16, 2020
September 23, 2020
September 30, 2020
October 7, 2020
October 14, 2020
October 21, 2020
October 28, 2020
November 4, 2020
November 11, 2020
November 18, 2020
Hear from graduates about their experience:
"This class has taught me so much about my business, but more importantly it has taught me so much about myself. In one word, this class is priceless."
"I had a great experience, I was pushed out of the shyness that I typically rely on. I learned so much information about starting my business. The guest speakers were very enlightening...I get goose pimples when I talk to others about this class. The Women’s Business Development Center is the light in a dark tunnel. That tunnel is illuminated now."
"The program has given me the ability to materialize years of thoughts and dreams into actionable steps. The process of preparing a Business Plan allowed me to find the potential pitfalls and benefits before operations. Completing my Business Plan has given me the confidence and knowledge to succeed. "
Scholarships for the course fee are available based on financial need, so that we can accommodate all qualified participants.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact us via email at email@example.com to arrange.
Please submit an application to be considered for this program. You can access the application here.
Jan20EventSustaining and Growing Your Business, Part III: Hospitality Industry Spotlight6:00 pm to 7:30 pmEvent
Sustaining and Growing Your Business, Part III: Hospitality Industry SpotlightJanuary 20, 20216:00 pm to 7:30 pm, 2 hours
Date: 1/20/21 6pm
Status: Open - 499 places remaining
Registration Deadline: 1/20/21 5:00 PM (EST)
Fee: No Fee
Point of Contact: Divya Pawar
Location: virtual, Philadelphia PA 19121
Training Topics: COVID-19 General Support,Managing a Business
Instructions: Zoom link sent with registration.Confirm that email address is typed correctly.
Registration Link: https://pasbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/27547