“PACDC was thrilled to be able to showcase the great work of our long-time collaborators PIDC at the conference,” said PACDC Executive Director, Rick Sauer. “Response to the event, and the work of our partners, has been unanimously positive and we are delighted. Our tagline for our work in the area of equitable development is ‘Philadelphia Does Better When We All Do Better.’ June’s conference, we feel, was an important step in that direction, and we are so glad to count PIDC as our partner in that endeavor.”
Facilitating Access to Capital and Economic Development Through Affinity Group Lending
PIDC’s Vice President & Senior Loan Officer, Heather Hanowitz, moderated a panel of speakers for a workshop titled Facilitating Access to Capital and Economic Development Through Affinity Group Lending, hosted by our partners at FINANTA. The panel discussed place-based economic development strategies for Southwest Philadelphia and FINANTA’s Affinity Group Lending (AGL) program. Small business owners face barriers to accessing capital and improving or building their credit scores. FINANTA’s Affinity Group Lending (AGL) program provides small dollar, character-based loans and inclusive integrated business trainings to entrepreneurs in a group setting. The speakers discussed how the program leverages the existing relationships between group members to obtain capital and graduate to other lending products. Other speakers were Kersy Azocar, FINANTA; Jill Fink, The Merchants Fund; Steve Kuzmicki, Southwest CDC; and Sonia Smith, U.S. Small Business Administration.
PIDC can serve as an additional resource for small businesses who may have out grown Affinity Group Lending. Click here for more details on PIDC’s tools available to help Philadelphia businesses gain access to capital.
Equitable Development & Inclusive Growth in Opportunity Zones
PIDC also hosted a panel discussion titled Equitable Development & Inclusive Growth in Opportunity Zones. This interactive workshop provided an overview of Opportunity Zones and how this new federal tax incentive can promote investment and equitable development in Philadelphia. Presenters included Anne Fadullon, City of Philadelphia; Marcy Hart, Fox Rothschild; Lawrence McComie, PIDC; Leslie Smallwood-Lewis, Mosaic Development Partners, LLC; and Shalimar Thomas, North Broad Renaissance.
The workshop focused on helping attendees gain a deeper understanding of the topic and discussed how increased Opportunity Zone investment of private capital may impact our communities. Presenters listened to and engaged with attendees on this topic offering diverse, expert perspectives on Opportunity Zone activities and what Philadelphia is doing to promote equitable development in its neighborhoods.
Per interactive live polling during the session, of the nearly 45 people in attendance, 69% of the audience was somewhat familiar with Opportunity Zones, 24% did not know if they were in any way active in Opportunity Zones, 20% work in an Opportunity Zone, and 18% are developing or working on a project in an Opportunity Zone. With this in mind, Marcy Hart began the session by explaining, in detail, exactly what Opportunity Zones are.
Marcy’s presentation was followed by Leslie Smallwood-Lewis who shared a short case-study presentation covering the Golaski Labs project — the first project that PIDC is investing in which also has secured capital through an Opportunity Fund investment. The project provided a concrete example of how Opportunity Zone funds can drive equitable growth and achieve positive impacts in Philadelphia’s communities. Later, the speakers were joined by other panelists to further discuss the topic and answer questions from the audience via our interactive live polling tool.
PIDC was thrilled to join our partners at PACDC for this year’s 2019 Forward Equitable Development Conference and we look forward to another successful event next year. If you are interested in starting a development project, be sure to register for our free, upcoming PACDC and PIDC joint 2-Part Project Development Workshop Series. Details are below.