In a season dominated by ads from big retailers and mass marketers, it’s easy to overlook small, locally-owned businesses when checking off the names on your gift list. But there are several good reasons to visit the city’s neighborhood and commercial corridor small businesses.
As the City’s Department of Commerce posted recently, shoppers should consider these facts:
- Small businesses reinvest in the surrounding neighborhood.
- Local shops donate more to local causes.
- Small businesses work together as a team to create energetic, unified neighborhoods.
In addition, a recent report entitled The Big Impact of Small Business on Urban Job Creation estimated that if small inner-city businesses hired an additional one to three employees each, unemployment could be eliminated in most neighborhoods.
Philadelphia City Council members know the importance of supporting the city’s small businesses. That’s why Council is investing in programs to train small business owners for expansion as well as initiatives to help them reduce energy costs, freeing up dollars to invest in growth.
Convinced to #ShopPHL but not sure where to start? Don’t worry, our Council members have you covered:
Buying for someone with a sweet tooth? Need a last-minute holiday party hostess gift? Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) recommends Point Breeze’s Sweet T’s Bakery & Snack Shop (and specifically, their sweet potato pie). Sweet T’s is a local, minority, female-owned business that’s had a brick and mortar location for two years. They also have a food truck you can track on Instagram.
Whether you are looking for a CD, some classic vinyl, a guitar or a music lesson, Councilman Bobby Henon (6th District) says Pat’s Music Center in Holmesburg has exactly what you need for the music lover on your list. Pat’s has been making music with Philadelphians since 1939.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large) offers up a duo of delicious suggestions to well-known Philly restaurants, perfect for anyone on your list who would enjoy relaxing meal out. In Center City, there’s Ms. Tootsies Restaurant, Bar and Lounge for updated soul food classics. To give the gift of soul food with a side of live music in Pennsport, try Warmdaddy’s. They’ve been serving brunch, dinner while showcasing local musical talent since 1995. Both restaurants are locally run, minority-owned establishments and offer gift cards/certificates all year round.
1312 South Street | Directions
Philadelphia, PA 19147
1400 S Christopher Columbus Blvd |Directions
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Councilman David Oh (At Large) recommends P.S. & Co. (aka Pure Sweets and Company) near Rittenhouse. P.S. & Co. is a vegan, organic, gluten free, and kosher restaurant focusing on healthy, nutrient-dense foods. Pick up a gift card for the health-conscious foodies on your list or check out their selection of homemade and organic beauty products, most of which are under $20.
P.S. & Co.
1706 Locust St | Directions
Philadelphia PA 19103
Councilman Al Taubenberger (At Large) also has a sweet recommendation: Fishtown’s Whipped Bakeshop. Known for their Philadelphia butter cake, wedding cakes and award-winning cupcakes, Whipped is offering holiday cookie and macaron boxes that make delicious gifts. Check out their online holiday gallery or follow them on Instagram.
636 Belgrade St | Directions
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Philadelphia City Council staffers also offered up the following recommendations:
For the comics lovers in your family, young and old, Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse in East Kensington is the place to be. Opened in 2015, this shop is believed to be the East Coast’s first black, female-owned comic book store. When Congressman John Lewis held a release party for the latest chapter of his graphic novel March (based on his experiences in the Civil Rights movement), he did so at Amalgam. That’s quite an endorsement! In addition to hot beverages and baked goods on the coffeehouse side, Amalgam offers staff-curated comics gift packs, graphic novels, t-shirts, games and other related merchandise on the comics side.
If a goal for your family in 2017 is less screen time and more family time, board games can be a great choice. Red Cap’s Corner has two locations in West Philadelphia stocked with a wide selection of games to appeal to all ages. The game aisles at the national discount stores can’t touch their selection of games. They also host weekly game nights in the store and regular tournaments for more competitive gamers.
Have a finicky fashionista on your list? Skip the malls and head over to Smak Parlour in Old City for clothing and accessories designed by independent and local designers. Ask about their special collections of ‘made in the USA’ apparel and items featuring art by Philadelphia graphic artists.
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