Mike D'Onofrio
Oct 14, 2021 - Business

Philly businesses see "pretty modest" pandemic recovery

Illustration of a hand in a suit handing out a tiny dollar
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mid-size and large Philadelphia businesses have become significantly more financially stable since pandemic-driven shutdowns began last year, according to a new report.

  • But small businesses have only seen marginal improvements.

Driving the news: Pew Charitable Trusts on Wednesday released its snapshot of how businesses are faring since March 2020.

  • The research suggests health care and social assistance businesses — the city's largest job sector — saw top gains in average financial stability, while hospitality businesses, like restaurants and hotels, showed higher risks of failing over the next year.
  • Meanwhile, women-led and women-owned businesses had lower financial stability scores on average compared to those led and owned by men, the report found.
Taylor Allen
Updated Oct 12, 2021 - Food and Drink

Philadelphia chef Kurt Evans provides second chances through food

Chef Kurt Evans speaks to guest during one of his End Mass Incarceration dinners.  Photo Courtesy of Kurt Evans. Photo Credit: Marc Willians
Chef Kurt Evans speaks to guest during one of his End Mass Incarceration dinners. Photo: Marc Williams/courtesy of Kurt Evans

Kurt Evans already has an impressive list of titles: chef, restaurateur, activist and educator.

  • Now, he's turning his focus to creating a pipeline of new culinary experts among formerly incarcerated people in Philadelphia.

Why it matters: Roughly 27% of formerly incarcerated people living in the U.S. are unemployed, according to the latest figures from the Prison Policy Institute. That rate has likely become worse since the pandemic.

Mike D'Onofrio
Oct 12, 2021 - News

Shipping container village coming to West Philly

A mural of an African American woman wearing earrings that read "Mother" and "Nature" is painted on vacant one-story building at N 49th Street and Parkside Avenue in West Philadelphia.
The city is planning a container village at this vacant lot at the corner of N 49th Street and Parkside Avenue. Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios

A container village is coming to a vacant lot in West Philly.

What's happening: The city is in the early stages of planning a farmers market-style mall of shipping containers at the corner of N 49th Street and Parkside Avenue, city officials told Mike on Monday.

Why it matters: The neighborhood has suffered from disinvestment, poverty and a lack of available retail space for small businesses.

Taylor Allen
Oct 11, 2021 - Business

New co-working space IF Lab coming to Kensington

Sneak Peek of the IF Lab in Kensington
IF Lab will offer co-working spaces for businesses owned by people of color. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

Cofounders Tayyib Smith and Meegan Denenberg gave the public a first look Saturday at their Kensington co-working space, the IF Lab, which is designed to provide resources for people of color pursuing entrepreneurship.

Why it matters: Black Philadelphians make up 43.6% of the city’s population but only represent a little over a quarter of business owners.

  • When looking only at businesses that have employees, that figure plummets to about 6.3%.
Mike D'Onofrio
Updated Oct 5, 2021 - News

Manayunk Canal Towpath to reopen by mid-October

Two dogs run off-leash along the Manayunk Canal Towpath.
Photo courtesy of Alexa Nahas/Manayunk Development Corporation

The storm-damaged Manayunk Canal Towpath will reopen in the coming weeks.

Driving the news: Mayor Jim Kenney's administration is finishing up $300,000-$350,000 in repairs to the 2-mile stretch of the Schuylkill River Trail, Maita Soukup, a spokesperson for the city's Parks & Recreation Department, tells Axios.

Why it matters: The towpath's closure following Hurricane Ida last month has hurt Manayunk businesses that rely on its daily foot traffic, Gwen McCauley, executive director of the Manayunk Development Corporation, said.

  • "It's essential. It is not an amenity," she said.

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