If Center City is the heart of commerce in Philadelphia, our neighborhood commercial corridors are its economic veins. Funding for programs to improve the property conditions of stores, clean and green the corridors, organize shop owners, and market corridors should be boosted to $4 million per year with a mix of local and federal funds. The City should allocate $3 million in local funds to leverage another $1.5 million from the state to finance mixed-use developments on our neighborhood corridors that could help small businesses and residents alike. The Philadelphia CDC Tax Credit Program, which supports neighborhood economic development, should be expanded.
The next Mayor should continue and improve efforts to increase hiring of Minority, Women and Disabled Owned Business Enterprises (M/W/DBEs) and workers in projects where public funds are involved by maintaining a commitment to Equal Opportunity Plans (EOPs), and should expand EOPs to include goals for hiring of city residents. The next Mayor should also use his or her leadership to gain a commitment from developers and their contractors to create EOPs and reports for large projects that are not publicly subsidized. Large employers in Philadelphia have an important role to play in advancing Equitable Development, and the next Mayor should do more to bring them to the table by encouraging them to source more of their services locally, as well as prioritize hiring from the local workforce.