Economic Development

Since 1974 Impact has pursued a multi-faceted approach to fighting poverty. Jobs and employment has been the enduring focus of this work.

Attracting, Creating & Retaining Jobs

In a community that lost its economic bedrock with the evaporation of 90% of its textile industry jobs, Impact’s first twenty-five years focused on reclaiming abandoned industrial space for new uses. Over the years, the abandoned Downs Carpet facility, a former defense manufacturer, and a billboard production center were acquired. State tax credits, strong board support, and the personal financial commitments of Impact’s founders lay the foundation for the Impact of today.

Hundreds of thousands of feet of industrial space has been reclaimed. A vibrant public service agency with over 140 employees serving thousands of needy Philadelphians annually is a core accomplishment. A childcare center, a recycling program, and new housing for homeless veterans are other uses of this reclaimed space.

Of Impact’s numerous job creation projects, Impact Science Kits, Impact Archives, and Impact Copy have each achieved the notable accomplishment of enduring for over a decade and breaking $1 million in annual revenue. In addition to creating jobs, these projects have provided training sites for employment programs, needed community services, and employment opportunities for residents, homeless veterans, ex-offenders, and other persons with significant barriers to rejoining the workforce. Project revenue has helped Impact retain a stable core team, and afforded it exceptional ability to respond to community needs.

KABA meeting 2014 picImpact’s business association involvement started with its 1997 membership in the American St. Business Association, now includes management of the Kensington and Allegheny Business Association and the newest, the Aramingo Avenue Business Association.

Impact formed the Aramingo Avenue Business Association (ABA) in March 2005 with ten (10) original members. ABA has grown to one hundred and forty-three (143) businesses many of them meet at the monthly Business Association meetings held at Chick-fil-A. Under Impact’s management, ABA has developed a shared vision and coordinated marketing strategy for the commercial shopping district and sponsored development of the Aramingo Business Improvement District (BID).

Impact began organizing the Aramingo Business Improvement District (BID) in 2006. The development of a (BID) arose organically through discussions with the businesses on and near Aramingo Ave. The BID was authorized by City Council in April 2008 and started operations in April 2009.The initial BID budget was $262,612 and has increased through the addition of new commercial development on the corridor to $370,000 in 2014.

In September 2008, Impact received award notification regarding a $600,000 grant from OCS to lend to Wolfson Verrichia Group, Inc., to promote the self-sufficiency of low-income neighborhood residents at Aramingo Crossings.  To date, the shopping center project has generated over 500 full-time and 180 part-time jobs.  Impact has placed 47 low-income clients from its Welfare to Work programs. Lowes Home Improvement and Walmart are the anchor tenants at the Crossings.