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11 Jun 2021

Black business leaders seek ARP investment in local businesses

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June 11, 2021 Category: Local Posted by:

The Black Business Leadership Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BBLC), representing hundreds of business owners, advocates and experts, is calling for the City of Philadelphia to commit to a strategic investment in Black businesses, wealth and communities. Philadelphia will receive $1.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). These funds must be used strategically to address the needs of the City’s underserved, majority population.

They are calling on Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council to prioritize strengthening the Department of Commerce with $10M in targeted sole source funds for BBLC strategy implementation. They are also calling for an additional investment of $10 million for major Black owned and led projects through the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC).

They believe that for this city to be great, it must invest in the neighborhoods and people who have not been prioritized for decades.

The BBLC has spent the last 2 years developing a strategic plan – entitled “3 Pillars for Black Success” – to build wealth in our communities through prioritizing the development of Black businesses.

“We are focused on outcomes that exceed what we had before the shutdowns. We need strategy and long-term planning to turn around decades of poor economic progress,” said John Childress, BBLC president.

“Philadelphia is not a poor city, but the reality is that Black and Brown people own the poverty after 26 generations. To be inclusive and competitive means increasing ownership,” added Dr. Jamie Bracey- Green, CEO of the National Institute for Inclusive Competitiveness and owner of Think and Grow Farms.

The investment in the BBLC will produce the following outcomes:

•  IT Workforce program will train over 200 people for living wage jobs.

•  They will work with 400 businesses to help them stay in business.

•  They will help create 100 new businesses in areas of growth and sustainability.

•  They will help create 750 new jobs from Black-owned employer firms.

•  They will help majority entities create 500 new opportunities for Blacks.

•  They will lead 3 major projects per year, more than $10M per year.

•  They will help grow 3 Black companies over $5M in revenue.

•  They will help create 150 new jobs from Black-owned major projects.

•  They will design, implement and evaluate the creation of Black CEDS strategic plan to create an enabling infrastructure for Black wealth growth.

•  They will develop the economic framework, Genesis, to fund long term investment.

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