Councilman Thomas’ “Keep It Local” bill aims to help hometown businesses
Just in time for a new year, Council Member Isaiah Thomas’s bill passed city council, hopefully bringing a brighter new year to minority owned local businesses. You’d think in a “minority majority” city like Philly that more love would have been shown to its minority owned businesses, but the sad truth is that only a small percentage of city contracts have gone to our homegrown enterprises. Thomas hopes his bill will even the playing field.
“In the midst of a pandemic, and as we prepare for a post-pandemic in Philadelphia, we need to ensure that our local economy survives,” said Thomas. “My Keep It Local Bill gives local and diverse businesses a better opportunity for government contracts. We have talent in our backyard – it’s on us to harness and promote that talent.”
Not only will the bill allow local minority businesses to gain better access to government contracts, but it will increase transparency and accountability. In addition, an annual report will be created to show the types of contracts awarded, which businesses breach their contracts, procurement goals, and the means for achieving these goals. Council plans to post the annual report on the City of Philadelphia website, providing a transparent way to assess the success of the bid-and-award process for city contracts.
“The local economy benefits when local businesses are preferred in the City’s contract award process,” said Harold T. Epps, Senior Advisor for Economic Development at Bellevue Strategies and former Director of Commerce under Mayor Kenney. “Council member Isaiah Thomas’ Keep it Local Bill exemplifies Philadelphia’s dedication to local business with a further emphasis on minority-owned businesses. The Keep it Local Bill will help promote the economic recovery of the city’s minority-owned businesses through the contract award process.”