Originally Posted by We Got Five
It makes me so angry that the city focuses more attention on putting up a casino then it does on recruiting and growing business here. Pathetic.
Selling Philadelphia’s retail assets
Philadelphia Business Journal - by Bernard Dagenais
It takes a village of organizations to sell Philadelphia.
Select Greater Philadelphia exists to lure office and manufacturing jobs, with a particular eye to the regional strength in life sciences companies.
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. tells Philadelphia’s tourism story.
Greater Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau goes after the associations that hold meetings here.
Until last year, no group focused primarily on marketing to retailers and restaurants.
Center City District, the property-owner-funded business improvement organization, has filled that gap by creating the Philadelphia Retail Marketing Alliance — an initiative that is staffed by CCD with help from GPTMC, the PCVB and city economic development entities.
When it launched in September, the alliance found that, for many decision-makers in the national retail and restaurant scene, Philadelphia simply wasn’t on the radar and often, perceptions of what exists here were outdated.
Center City’s revival over the past 20 years is a compelling tale. Fueled by a 10-year tax abatement on new construction, developers added 1,400 housing units every year from 1997 through 2006.
The region’s job losses through the recession have been lower than the nation’s losses. In the 12 months that ended in August 2009, as 65 food-related businesses closed in Center City, 92 new restaurants and food-related businesses opened. Since September, 17 restaurants and retailers started operating. Those include a new North Face store and Brooklyn Industries, a New York-born clothing and accessories store.
Center City has 159,325 residents, with annual overnight visitors of more than 1 million, some 700 food-related businesses and 2,298 stores, a number that has grown 23 percent since 2005. Adding up office workers, residents and visitors within a one-mile walk of City Hall, the group estimates there was nearly $500 million in retail demand in 2009.
Such data are essential to retailers making decisions about where to open shops. The alliance’s philadelphiaretail.com Web site contains such information, mixing testimonials from retailers with demographics, broker listings and a searchable database of available sites.
And making things easier for retailers that do decide to come here is essential to the mission. Other partners in the alliance are Philadelphia’s Commerce Department, which can help with licensing, and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., which can help arrange financing, and Office of the City Representative, which can speak for the mayor and produce him when needed.
While the city raised its sales tax to 8 percent last year, other cities have taxes too and clothing sales are exempt, said Michelle Shannon, director of marketing and communications at CCD and the alliance’s chief staff member.