CEDARBROOK >> There is a reason that more and more business licenses are being issued in zip codes like 19150, 19138, 19119 and 19144. More and more Northwest Philadelphia homeowners, retirees, and moonlighters are engaging in either sideline work ventures, independent labor assignments, and opening traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Many are continuing to flock to business workshops held in the area, and the Economic Empowerment Business Summit hosted by state Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-203, saw overflow crowds. The event was held at the Masjidullah Center for Human Excellence, 7433 Limekiln Pike, Cedarbrook, Saturday, Jan. 20. It was co-sponsored by the offices of state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-201, and Christopher Rabb, D-200, and state Sen. Art Haywood, D-4.
There was a full roster of activities at this event. Morning workshop themes included how to start a business, how to sustain and grow a business, women entrepreneurship and youth business development. During the lunch hour, all were encouraged to visit the dozens of resource tables. The afternoon workshops had the same themes as the morning, so this gave all the chance to attend a second session to receive new information. The day culminated with resource and networking opportunities.
“About 78 percent of small business startups survive the first year,” said Patricia Schaefer on the topic of why businesses fail. “Half of all employer establishments survive at least five years. A third 10 years or more. This is a far cry from the previous long-held belief of businesses fail in the first year and 95 percent fail within five years.”
Schaefer listed seven things that entrepreneurs who fail do wrong. This included starting the business with the sole objective to make lots of money, poor management and not having sufficient operating funds. Other reasons include picking the wrong location, not having a business plan and expanding the business too quickly.
Finally, businesses that do not have a website or any social media presence also tend to fail.
“In the U.S., the number of internet users, about 88.5 percent of the population, and e-commerce sales, $394.9 billion, according to the U.S. Census in 2016, continue to rise and are expected to increase with each passing year,” Schaefer said.
Additionally, the Power Up Your Business: Growing Businesses in Philadelphia — Block by Block initiative is ongoing.
A Northwest Philadelphia session of the program was held at 7165 Germantown Ave., Mt. Airy, Tuesday, Jan. 23. It focused on use of Google for businesses and was hosted by the nonprofit Mt. Airy USA. The overall series is provided by a partnership between the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Revenue and Department of Commerce, as well as Community College of Philadelphia.
The series continued on CCP’s Oak Lane campus, 1300 W. Godfrey Ave., with sessions on “Facebook & Instagram Marketing,” “Accounting Software Made Easy” and “Understanding City Taxes” during February.
This Northwest Philadelphia area cycle of business development education will continue this year. The next Power Up Your Business session will be “Basics of Small Business Bookkeeping” to be held at the Northeast Regional Library, 2228 Cottman Ave., Oxford Circle, Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Fitzgerald said she will host a series of mentorship networking events during Women’s History Month in March and more events thereafter.
“We will continue our conversation and move forward with our Women’s Entrepreneurship: Rewards and Challenges, the So You Want to Start a Business in June, and we will wrap our year up with the How to Grown & Maintain Your Business,” Fitzgerald said.