ISSUE 191 | January 25, 2023

The Institute is an economic research and applied research and consulting group that provides customized client solutions and strategies to facilitate decision making and planning that enhances growth, impact, and sustainability for organizations.
From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Business owner aids immigrants in southwest Philly 

An area in southwest Philadelphia is home to 15,000 Liberians and individuals from other West African countries like Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone.

Many immigrants are business owners in “Little Africa.”

One owner is providing resources and knowledge to others – particularly regarding his experience with the Community First Fund, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) offering loans ranging from $600 to $25,000, and the Affinity Group Lending Program, which provides hands-on assistance and educational opportunities.

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Community-owned commercial real estate project exhibits signs of success  


The Kensington Corridor Trust in Philadelphia covers an area of community owned and led commercial properties at different phases of development and implementation.

It includes 12 of 15 properties on Kensington Avenue, available for rent to local business owners and entrepreneurs.

In addition to these opportunities, community ownership allows residents to influence affordable housing access.

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Nonprofit reduces food insecurity as well as waste


Sharing Excess is a nonprofit organization partnered with one of the nation’s largest wholesalers – Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market – to limit food waste.

Instead of sending the food to landfills last year, for instance, the group organized an event to distribute 444,672 free avocados to 10,000 individuals and 153,600 food banks.

In that year, the nonprofit helped eliminate $300,000 in waste costs and salvaged six million pounds of food.  

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Research Spotlight: Just prior to the pandemic, The Institute's Health and Health Care Task Force studied food access and literacy Northeastern Pennsylvania. Use the link below to access the research findings and recommendations.

Click Here

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Black-owned business leaders adopt a collective approach


It is becoming more common for tenants to buy their apartment buildings as co-ops, and now the concept is spreading to businesses.

A collective of Black-owned business leaders in Chicago bought a commercial property to establish their locations and to offer an incubator for other startups.

They are also raising capital to acquire more sites.

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Jersey City reduces waste and food insecurity while conserving energy

The public works department in Jersey City, New Jersey partnered with its health and human services agency to map the region’s network of organizations engaging in food rescue.

The objective is to educate business leaders about means of minimizing waste while efficiently distributing food to individuals who need it.

In the process, businesses can reduce costs related to storage and refrigeration.

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Some states defer to CIP when raising minimum wages 

Twenty-seven states and Washington, D.C. are increasing their minimum wages this year.

Many states tied these changes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to ensure that low-wage workers do not fall behind during inflationary periods.

Some proactive states also tied tipped worker wages to the CPI. 

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