For this edition of The Business Corner, I am taking a closer look at a project of the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative, which strives to be the curator of West Philadelphia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The West Philly Container Village began in 2022 using funding and support from Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. As a result, businesses looking to expand have a physical location to present their products to customers and gain valuable feedback. Many of these businesses previously focused on e-commerce due to the required long-term leases and expenses related to many retail properties.
The West Philly Container Village offers tenants rent of $500 per month, which includes electricity and Wi-Fi. The outdoor shopping center is a result of hard work and coordination with city officials, stakeholders, and businesses. Businesses are open from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday at 4800 Parkside Avenue.
“We determined that there was a need that existed in our community for small businesses looking to grow. The West Philly Container Village is a result of planning, execution, and teamwork,” says Jabari K. Jones, President of the West Philly Container Village and West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative.
Innovative initiatives such as the West Philly Container Village are needed at this time in the City of Philadelphia. It is great to see this work being done to make it easier to expand and operate a retail location.
Businesses located at the West Philly Container Village offer a variety of products, including clothing, jewelry, handbags, sunglasses and other items. Vendors operate their businesses out of transformed shipping containers.
Small businesses need opportunities to lower costs, find new customers, and “grow, hire and thrive,” as City Spokesperson Kevin Lessard told Axios in a previous article. More programs supporting small businesses are needed to not only increase wealth in minority communities, but they provide good-paying jobs.
The West Philly Container Village has held events, including entertainment and food to support the businesses. They have offered much more than the typical landlord in the way they support their tenant businesses.
On Sunday, Feb. 26, the West Philly Container Village presents Faith, Friends, and Freedom Day between 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Music groups affiliated with the West/Southwest Philadelphia Interfaith Communities to register to perform to win a cash prize of up to $3,000.
More organizations should look to create programs that help businesses by lower costs and increasing opportunities to make sales such as the West Philly Container Village.
Teresa M. Lundy is the principal and founder of TML Communications, the award-winning strategic public relations, crisis communications, and community engagement firm serving corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Follow Teresa on Twitter @TeresaMLundy.