Economy League’s PAGE Hurdle Fund Reports Positive Contract Growth Between Philadelphia Institutions & BIPOC Businesses in First Year, Modeling a Local Capital Solution
Philadelphia, October 28 2022 - The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia’s PAGE (Philadelphia Anchors for Growth & Equity) Hurdle Fund has deployed $100,000+ in grants to five local BIPOC businesses positioned for growth with local institutions in its first year. The grants – which serve to remove businesses’ low-cost financial barriers to pursuing new or larger contract opportunities – have supported recipients in collectively securing $1,800,000+ in new revenue opportunities. These early outcomes are positive signals that The PAGE Hurdle Fund – capitalized by local impact investors – has modeled a potentially scalable and/or replicable philanthropic solution to close a critical capital gap for BIPOC business growth. Contract growth with large institutions offer short- and long-term opportunities such as expanded local hiring, additional business investment, wealth creation in Black and Brown communities, and, ultimately, greater racial equity in Philadelphia’s business landscape. Hurdle Fund grants to date include:
Supreme Oasis Deli and Bakery is a Black and women-owned family business providing homestyle vegan food in West Philadelphia, awarded $9,000 for a pie machine that supported fulfilling Drexel University contracts, acquiring a new local retailer contract, and being identified for additional contract opportunities.
BTC Envelopes & Printing LLC is a certified minority-owned print and promotional products solutions company with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery County. The company was awarded $25,000 to purchase a cargo van for delivering products safely and efficiently to clients including SEPTA, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the city of Philadelphia.
Desserts By Dana is a multi-award-winning, Black-owned bakery located in Newark, DE, awarded $25,000 to purchase a large-capacity refrigerator that enables them to launch on-campus kiosks at the University of Delaware, as well as a kiosk in another Philadelphia business dining location through Aramark’s Restaurant Row program. It also provided the business with the ability to do business with Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania and Villanova University.
PeopleJoy is a minority-owned business based in Philadelphia that helps large institutional clients create student debt management and relief strategies for their employees, awarded $25,000 to invest in security and integration technology enhancements that were required to secure a three-year contract with The University of Pennsylvania.
8Myles - A Black-owned nutritious comfort food company based in Philadelphia with products in Target and Whole Foods, awarded a $25,000 grant for a high-tech packing machine to work with Drexel University.
“Small enterprises and startups – like PeopleJoy – encounter a variety of capital challenges as we grow our business. I’m encouraged that local investors understand the comprehensive picture, are being responsive to businesses’ needs, and funding creative solutions like The Hurdle Fund.” Emeka Oguh, Founder and CEO of PeopleJoy. “The $25,000 PAGE Hurdle Fund grant successfully positioned us to secure a significant University of Pennsylvania contract that will generate reliable revenue for PeopleJoy over three years as we provide financial and mental wellness services to UPenn’s employees. Hopefully this growth will lead to additional and new types of impact investment in the future.”
“The Economy League’s PAGE Hurdle Fund presents a unique and exciting opportunity to address challenges standing in the way of capitalizing on available opportunities for suppliers and prospective suppliers in our West Philadelphia community,” said Allen Riddick, Executive Director Economic Impact & Workforce Inclusion at Drexel University. “With the resources made available by The Economy League and the connections Drexel’s Supplier Inclusion program has with our local supplier base, PAGE’s Hurdle Fund gave us the ability to support supplier development in a new and unprecedented way.”
Dave Collins, Assistant Vice President, Strategic Sourcing & Supplier Relationships at Drexel added that “Given a fast-based business environment where opportunities can quickly come and go, the Hurdle Fund’s ability to swiftly deploy funds has met a critical need for qualifying small and local businesses.”