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Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 2:43pm

Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082,
Rhonda L. Lipschutz, 215-751-8021,

15 Small Business Owners Citywide Graduate from Community College of Philadelphia’s Power Up Your Business Program

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 31, 2017 – Small businesses are the biggest job creators and drive local communities. Fifteen aspiring business owners will graduate from the College’s Power Up Your Business 10-week peer-based learning program at a ceremony beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at the College’s West Regional Center at 4725 Chestnut Street, Room 111. Students will present their “Tactical Improvement Plan” at 6:30 p.m. The Honorable Curtis Jones, Jr. of the 4th district will be the keynote speaker.

Power Up Your Business takes a neighborhood-based approach, offering both a 10-week, 30-hour peer-learning class where small business owners are matched with instructors and coaches, and taught basic business management, planning, and marketing; and a Store Owner Series with three-hour workshops that offer information on financial planning, personal and business credit, and local marketing advice.

This graduation brings the total Peer-Learning program participants to 55 since the program was launched in January 2017, and over 300 have attended the Store Owner Series workshops at all four College locations.

“This is an exciting day for our business owners. Community College of Philadelphia is committed to helping neighborhood-based small business owners grow their businesses so that they can thrive in the communities where they reside, strengthen the commercial corridors, and create economic opportunity for area residents,” said Carol J. de Fries, Vice President of Workforce and Economic Innovation at the College.

The West Regional Center graduates make up a variety of businesses – from a dental practice and pharmacy, to eateries, beauty salons, barber shops, daycare centers and an auto repair shop. This diverse mix represents 14 businesses and 15 business owners. Of those businesses, 93 percent are minority-owned and 57 percent are women-owned. Over 50 percent of the businesses have been operating for more than 5 years.

Dr. Charles Champion, Jr., D.D.S. and owner of Champion Dentistry in the Overbrook section of the city is the class speaker.

“Power Up Your Business was refreshing. I learned new strategies and different methodologies that I was able to apply to my business in order to continue growing and help with the development of my business,” said Dr. Champion.

Additional workshops are underway and now enrolling:

The Peer-based Learning Experience – A 10-week, 30-hour course in basic small business management and planning that delves into the fundamental concepts, tools and skills required for planning and running a successful business. Practical skills such as entrepreneurial leadership, understanding financial statements, the role of finance in business growth and creating effective improvement plans are included, plus support from a business coach. To qualify, participants must be located in Philadelphia, be in business for one year, and earn less than $1 million in annual revenues. The next peer-based learning classes will be held at the Northeast Regional Center, at 12901 Townsend Road on Wednesdays, January 10 – March 21, 2018. Applications are due on Nov. 17, 2017.

The Store Owner Series – Workshops that cover small business basics such as marketing, capital and credit, and bookkeeping. This series also introduces business owners to the College’s programs that support running a business efficiently, from QuickBooks to ServSafe to Business Communication. The next series begins Jan. 23, 2018 at the Northwest Regional Center located at 1300 West Godfrey Avenue For more information, call 215-496-6151 or visit


About Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

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