Philadelphia has the unfortunate distinction as the nation's largest poorest city, with a poverty rate of more than 26 percent. More than 84% of businesses in Philadelphia have fewer than 20 employees. Changing that narrative begins with growing our neighborhood businesses and commercial corridors by ensuring they have access to capital, as well as providing them with the means to be competitive in acquiring City contracts. What this says to a local entrepreneur or business owner is, "We, as a city entity, value you and want to help you and your communities thrive."
A simpler, faster procurement process is key to expanding and diversifying our economic landscape. Under legislation that I introduced earlier this year and passed with the support of my Council colleagues, a ballot question will be put to voters in the November election to increase thresholds for formal bids and Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) from the Office of Procurement from $34,000 to $75,000 for all business and up to $100,000 for local businesses. This change would expand access to more small businesses – especially for minority- and woman-owned establishments – and incentivize diversity and competition.