The following letter was sent by the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project to neighborhood, business, and civic leaders.


Starting a new business can be a real challenge. Are you creating an LLC or a corporation? What types of licenses or permits do you need? Where do you actually file those? Did you fill them out correctly? Learning to navigate the bureaucracy and red tape of city government can be confusing and often prevents some businesses from even getting off the ground.

As the owner of The Event Spot LLC in Northeast Philadelphia, I learned first-hand how confusing and frustrating this process can be. My business was closed during my busiest season due to a minor error, and although the issue was identified quickly, it took months for someone to process the paperwork and allow my business to reopen. This would be a hardship for any business and it resulted in me nearly closing my doors for good.

Today, I am proud to work with PHL Neighborhood Growth Project and the Chamber of Commerce alongside the Mayor and City Council to create a more open, transparent, and communicative city government. The Business Owners’ Bill of Rights is an incredibly important step in supporting small businesses like mine, but there’s still more we can do.

With these reforms and improved processes, small businesses will be able to open and operate with more certainty bringing more jobs to our neighborhoods and allowing our economy to thrive.

As we continue to work together to advocate for a more transparent government that works for businesses of all sizes, our economy will grow and each of our neighborhoods will take part in our city’s inclusive prosperity.

Thank you,

Vanessa Simpson is the owner of The Event Spot LLC and a supporter of the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project.