Despite pandemic disruptions and labor shortages, Philadelphia's venture capital firms thrived in 2021.
- The Philadelphia Alliance of Capital and Technologies (PACT) said it's "the highest market we have ever hit," placing the city sixth in the nation in terms of deals.
By the numbers: Starting funding flowed into Philly last year, resulting in 441 deals valued at $8.1 billion, per data from PitchBook. That's a 299% jump compared to 2020.
- In just the fourth quarter of 2021, the Philly area saw $2.6 billion invested in 90 deals.
The minimum wage is increasing in a record number of U.S. states in 2022 — but not in Pennsylvania.
- The state's minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009, when it was raised to meet the federal rate.
The big picture: A total of 25 states and 56 cities will raise their minimum wages by the end of 2022, according to the National Employment Law Project. In many areas, the floor will meet or exceed $15 per hour.
- Minimum wages are increasing in every state surrounding Pennsylvania, except West Virginia.
- Pennsylvania is one of 20 states not to raise its minimum wage above the federal rate.
Mayor Jim Kenney joined 24 other mayors in urging Congress to provide more aid to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
Why it matters: Philly's restaurant and hospitality industry is struggling the most out of any other sector in recovering from pandemic-driven shutdowns and changes, Pew data shows.
Driving the news: Kenney signed a Jan. 7 letter to House and Senate leaders warning that "the impact on our local economies will be catastrophic" if restaurants don't receive help soon.
Philly's hospitality and restaurant industries are easing into the new vaccine mandate.
Driving the news: The city started requiring proof of vaccination for patrons going to bars, sports venues and most establishments that sell food and beverages on-site on Monday.
- The mandate takes effect as Philadelphia grapples with a COVID-19 surge, primarily driven by the Omicron variant. As of Tuesday, the city has a nearly 40% positivity rate.
The unpredictability and changes brought about by nearly two years of COVID are among the top challenges businesses are facing in 2022, industry leaders told Axios.
State of play: Positive COVID-19 case counts have been rising for weeks in Philadelphia as the Omicron variant spreads.
- The city's new vaccine mandate for restaurants, sports venues and other establishments went into effect on Monday.
Philadelphia's economy is recovering this year, but it's happening slowly, new data shows.
Driving the news: The city saw modest economic recovery from August through October, compared to this past spring and early summer, according to jobs and credit data analyzed by Pew Charitable Trusts.
- Businesses that were delinquent — paying bills 31 or more days late — fell slightly, while median credit balances rose. Financial stability remained stagnant, and bankruptcy filings remained low.
Philadelphia restaurants and hotel industry groups have mixed feelings about the city's new mandate requiring indoor diners and bar-goers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Driving the news: City leaders announced Monday that proof of vaccination must be provided to enter restaurants, bars, sports venues, theaters, casinos and several other establishments, starting Jan. 3.
- There's a grace period that allows for a negative COVID-19 test within the last 24 hours, up until Jan. 17. Then the city will transition to only proof of vaccination.
Small businesses owned by people of color in the Philly metro were less likely than white firms to get the full loan amount they requested from the Paycheck Protection Program last year, according to a new report.
Why it matters: The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's recent survey found disparities in access to PPP funding, which aimed to serve as a lifeline to businesses during pandemic shutdowns.
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