11:19 PM / Tuesday July 5, 2022

26 Nov 2020

City Council passes Councilmember Thomas’s Keep it Local Bill

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November 26, 2020 Category: Local Posted by:

City Council has voted in the affirmative on Councilmember Isaiah Thomas’ Keep It Local Bill; this bill would require local business usage and raise reporting requirements in the City of Philadelphia’s procurement process. COVID19 has brought economic insecurity to people and businesses in Philadelphia, seeing little financial assistance in the federal relief packages. 

As cities reimagine economic prosperity and prepare for more months of hardship, Councilmember Thomas’ Keep It Local Bill would encourage the City to find solutions in the local and diverse business community.

“In the midst of a pandemic, and as we prepare for a post-pandemic Philadelphia, we need to ensure that our local economy survives,” Thomas said. “My Keep It Local Bill would give local and diverse businesses a better opportunity for government contracts. We have talent in our backyard – it’s on us to harness and promote that talent.”

In addition to encouraging local and minority-owned businesses to receive better access to government contracts, the Keep It Local Bill would amend the procurement reporting process to promote government transparency and accountability. 

An annual report will show the types of bids in which a contract was awarded, the number of each type of contract, local businesses which breached their contract, procurement goals, and the strategy for achieving these goals.

These reports will help determine the success of the procurement process, as well as provide ease for local businesses’ involvement in the procurement process.


“The local economy benefits when local businesses are preferred in the City’s contract award process,” Harold T. Epps, senior advisor for economic development at Bellevue Strategies and former director of commerce under Mayor Kenney, said. “Councilmember Isaiah Thomas’ Keep it Local Bill exemplifies Philadelphia’s dedication to local business with a further emphasis on minority-owned businesses. The Keep it Local Bill would help promote the economic recovery of the city’s minority-owned businesses through the contract award process.”

This bill passed favorably out of the Committee of Commerce and Economic Development with supportive testimony from former director of commerce Harold T. Epps, Executive Director of the Economy League Jeff Hornstein, and President of the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ and DE Malcolm Ingram.

The Committee of Commerce and Economic Development, which voted favorably in support of Councilmember Thomas’ Keep It Local Bill consists of Chair Councilmember Squilla, Vice Chair Councilmember Domb as well as Councilmembers Gilmore Richardson, Gauthier, Johnson, Jones, Brooks, Green and Oh.

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