City Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development will hold a hearing Feb. 19 regarding Power Up Your Business, a free small-business training program provided by Community College of Philadelphia.
The initiative was created as a collaboration between CCP and Councilwoman Cherelle Parker in response to the needs of merchants, restaurants and retail stores in commercial corridors, which serve as the economic veins of the city.
Launched in 2017, Power Up has helped hundreds of small businesses in nearly every ZIP code. So far, 120 businesses have completed the 10-week Peer-based Learning Experience program. Additionally, 806 people attended the Store Owner Series workshops and 529 business owners attended the community and partnership workshops. More than 84 percent of participants have been people of color while nearly 71 percent have been women, providing resources and one-on-one coaching to those in position to become job creators.
City Council provided a three-year commitment through FY2019 for the program; the public hearing is expected to run from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Room 400, Philadelphia City Hall.
Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president of the College and Carol de Fries, VP for Workforce and Economic Innovation at CCP, will offer testimony, along with a number of graduates, business leaders and economic development specialists.
Jonathan Williams, a 22-year-old African American who has owned a business in Philadelphia since he was a junior at Central High School, is among the Power Up graduates who will speak. Founder of Chestnut Hill Cleaning Company, Williams will discuss the program’s impact on his company and his desire to develop a corps of youth entrepreneurs across the city.
James Betterson, owner of BetterClean Laundry and a former member of the Philadelphia Eagles, also will speak. Many of the Power Up graduates are helping their community to thrive as they build up their businesses. BetterClean maintains a library of children’s books in its laundry, and actively encourages parents and children to read together while waiting for their clothes.