PHILADELPHIA, PA. — Councilmember Isaiah Thomas will host his 3rd annual #BlackOwnedBusinessCrawl across the City of Philadelphia through his social media platforms (@CMThomasPHL on Facebook and Twitter). While the pandemic prevents in-person tours of Black-owned businesses’ contributions to Philadelphia’s culture and economy, the on-going call for racial justice reinforces the importance of this message. Through a collection of video testimonials, representing Black-owned businesses that span neighborhood and sector, Councilmember Thomas will encourage Philadelphians to put their money where their mouth is when speaking about #BlackLivesMatter.
“The theme of my 3rd annual #BlackBusinessCrawl is Black Excellence,” said Councilmember Isaiah Thomas. “When we celebrate Black History Month, we teach about struggle and oppression. I want to reframe the conversation to showcase these Philadelphia leaders who exemplify Black Excellence. Through their products and services, they are hard-working leaders who are contributing to our local economy and giving us more to be proud of a city every day – I am proud to highlight them.”
Councilmember Thomas will officially start this year’s #BlackBusinessCrawl with his own video on February 1st with 10 different businesses profiled throughout the month. Thomas encourages Philadelphia-based Black-owned businesses to showcase themselves by using the hashtag #BlackBusinessCrawl and tagging him on Facebook or Twitter (@CMThomasPHL) to virtually join and be profiled on the tour. Councilmember Thomas will also host two town halls, which will be broadcasted on his Council Facebook page, to provide business-owners with resources and tips for success. February 10th at 10:30am he will host a town hall with Maura Shenker, Director of Temple University’s Small Business Development Center and February 17th at 10:30am he will host a town hall with Commerce Director, Michael Rashid.
“Pew’s 2019 State of the City found that only 2.5 percent of businesses in Philadelphia are Black-owned,” said Councilmember Isaiah Thomas. “We need to grow these existing businesses and encourage others to start their business in the city. We need to make it more attractive to do business in the city – I think that starts by highlighting success stories and providing tools for future successes.”