ABOVE PHOTO: Delicias sometimes sets up shop in Eakins Oval. (Photo courtesy of Delicias on Facebook.)
The City’s Department of Commerce and Office of Immigrant Affairs are hosting Philadelphia’s first Immigrant Business Week, March 27 – April 1. The week of events celebrates and promotes the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs and connects business owners to important resources.
Immigrants play a vital role in supporting Philadelphia’s local economy, with an estimated 40,171 immigrant entrepreneurs in the city. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Roadmap for Growth reported that since 2000, immigrants are responsible for 96 percent of the small business growth and 75 percent of the workforce growth. Of the nearly one billion dollars in earnings generated by small business owners in the City of Philadelphia, immigrant entrepreneurs are responsible for $770 million, or 72 percent, of those earnings, according to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.
Immigrant Business Week events include:
Immigrant Business Week Launch Ceremony
Monday: March 27 | 2:30 p.m. — 3:45 p.m.
City Hall, Conversation Hall, Room 202
Mayor Jim Kenney kicked off Immigrant Business Week with the Department of Commerce, the Office of Immigrant Affairs, and New American Economy (NAE), an organization working to support immigration reforms that will help create jobs. NAE discussed the release of their latest research, “Map the Impact,” an interactive map which includes important data on immigrants in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the country.
Roadmap for Growth: Supporting Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Philadelphia
Monday: March 27 | 5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine Street
Philadelphia’s civic and business leaders discussed how the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce can support the needs of Philadelphia’s immigrant businesses, facilitate the ease of doing business, and leverage their success to benefit the overall economy and uplift our neighborhoods.
Global Business Hours: Free Bilingual Business Consulting Services
Tuesday: March 28 | 10:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
Mayfair CDC, 2990 St. Vincent Street
The City’s Department of Commerce and SCORE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the formation, growth, and development of small businesses, conducted free bilingual mentoring and business plan consultations.
Ready, Set, Loan
Tuesday: March 28 | 6:00 p.m — 8:00 p.m.
Women’s Opportunities Resources Center, 2010 Chestnut Street
The Women’s Opportunity Resource Center leads a loan readiness education workshop tailored for immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs. Participants learned what lenders are looking for from potential borrowers and how to become “loan-ready.” The workshop will cover the basics of business planning, financial management, credit, and the various types of capital available.
Legal Entity Basics Workshop
Thursday: March 30 | 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, 1617 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite #555
The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians hosted a legal workshop focusing on how to make the right choices and reduce future risk when starting a business. A business attorney will cover topics including: How to choose the proper corporation structure and why; S corps, LLCs, and why incorporating may not always protect you; Why filing paperwork is only the beginning; What is an operating agreement and what it means for your business; co-founder issues; and other topics relevant to business owners.
Coffee and Chat
Thursday: March 30 | 10:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.
Maria’s Restaurant, 4058 North 5th Street
The Philadelphia Department of Commerce invited business owners to connect with the Office of Business Services and learn about programs to help plan, start, and grow small businesses. Topics included an initiative that helps small businesses obtain a 0 percent interest loan of up to $5,000 and Power Up Your Business, a business service program at Community College of Philadelphia.
Simple Steps for Building a Successful Small Business
Saturday: April 1 | 10:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.
African Cultural Alliance of North America, 5530 Chester Avenue
The African Cultural Alliance of North America and the Women’s Opportunity Resource Center partner for a discussion on simple ways you can grow your small business.
Additional details about planned Immigrant Business Week events, including registration information, can be found on the Office of Immigrant Affairs’ website here: https://beta.phila.gov/posts/office-of-immigrant-affairs.
As part of Immigrant Business Week, the Office of Immigrant Affairs will highlight several immigrant-owned food trucks on social media. The Food Truck Spotlight encourages residents to experience immigrant stories of entrepreneurship firsthand.
Philadelphians can share their Immigrant Business Week experiences and follow the conversation online using #PHLImmigrantBiz on Twitter.