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Roadmap for Growth Action Team Outlines Top Priorities

Posted Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Public Policy, Advocacy, Action Teams, Roadmap for Growth, Roadmap

Through the Chamber’s Roadmap for Growth Action Team (Roadmap), we engage the Mayor, City Council and a broad range of civic and neighborhood organizations in the development and execution of policies and initiatives that enhance Philadelphia’s economy, encourage civic engagement and support an efficient and impactful government.

This effort is being co-chaired by David L. Cohen of Comcast Corporation and Pedro Ramos of the Philadelphia Foundation. Why is it important for the Chamber to focus on this work? According to data from the Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative “State of the City” 2016 report, the median household income in Philadelphia in 2014 was $39,043 compared to $62,171 for the metropolitan region. The city has a persistently high poverty rate hovering around 26% while business activity and employment grow modestly, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. The Chamber believes that growth for Philadelphia as a whole is dependent on job creation and economic growth in neighborhoods.

The Chamber will convene our Roadmap for Growth Action Team members and partners around three top priorities in 2017:

1. Neighborhood Economic Growth

Focuses on how to support economic growth within Philadelphia’s many neighborhoods. It may include encouraging growth along commercial corridors and in business improvement districts, improving the quality of life for residents, reducing barriers for immigrant entrepreneurs and dovetailing this work with local workforce development efforts. Channeling the growth potential in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods may help move the needle on its high poverty rate.

Potential Actionable Items:

  • Build a pipeline between immigrant entrepreneurs and the Chamber community.
  • Identify and explore pro-growth programs and initiatives, such as business mentorship and access to capital programs, that could be scaled up to increase impact on neighborhoods.
  • Work with local government and civic organizations to improve and strengthen commercial corridors.
  • Foster new businesses within neighborhoods.

2. Vulnerable Populations

Prioritizing the rise of homelessness and panhandling in neighborhoods, business and civic leadership may increasingly be called upon to support policies that help people remain in their homes, avoid addiction and find employment.

Potential Actionable Items:

  • Define and respond to differences in homelessness versus panhandling throughout the City.
  • Work with the City and other partners on strategies to manage both homelessness and panhandling.
  • Provide thought to how the business community can support affordable housing, addiction recovery, and work re-entry programs.

3. Education

Focuses on early through higher education as well as adult literacy, which can include ways to support the School District of Philadelphia, universal Pre-K, STEM education and work readiness. Ensuring that all students have access to a quality education is often referenced as a major priority for businesses and nonprofits in the city.

Potential Actionable Items:

  • Advocate for more access to and resources for quality Pre-K programs.
  • Incorporate adult learners into education improvement efforts.
  • Support grassroots efforts to improve outcomes in neighborhood schools.

Get Involved

If you are interested in learning more about the work of the Chamber’s Roadmap for Growth Action Team or becoming an Action Team member, please contact Kate Hagedorn.

On March 27, business and civic leaders are invited to join the conversation as we bring together established immigrant business owners across Philadelphia to discuss their lessons learned and guide how we can support future growth and create more opportunity for immigrant entrepreneurship. Learn more and register »

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