Philly's program to get suburban companies to move to the city hasn't worked yet - Philly


Sep. 21, 2017 9:23 am

Philly’s program to get suburban companies to move to the city hasn’t worked yet

About 20 suburban companies have inquired about City Hall's incentive program, though none have yet officially set up camp in town. Here's an update on Gateway Philly.

At the launch of Vanguard's Innovation Studio, one example of a suburban company setting up camp in Philly proper.

(Photo by Roberto Torres)

Thumbing through our archives we noticed the mid-year mark was coming up on Gateway Philly.

A quick refresher: The City of Philadelphia offers suburban companies looking to move teams of at least 20 people into Philadelphia a yearly cash incentive of $1,000 per seat (capped at $30,000 total) to be paid after a one-year lease has  concluded. Here’s the input thus far from Lauren Cox, comms manager at the Department of Commerce:

“Since the launch of Gateway Philly, we’ve had close to 20 companies express an interest in participating in the pilot program,” Cox told in an email. “At this time, no new leases have been confirmed as part of the program, but we are currently working with one company that we believe is close to signing on.”

This first run of the incentives package, which was greeted with mixed reviews from the tech community, shows that folks who were interested in the program had already committed to long-term leases in Philly by the time Gateway Philly was announced. Cox said it’s an encouraging sign of interest in the Philly satellite office model. But there was one more lesson from the first few months.

“The biggest lesson learned is that the threshold of 20 employees may be too high for companies who are just exploring a satellite location,” said Cox. “We’ll continue to work with interested companies and take feedback from those who reach out to us during this pilot phase.”

P.S. Speaking of suburban companies, we’ve rounded up 25 companies who are looking to hire in the Philly suburbs at next week’s NET/WORK Suburbs job fair. Here’s a guide of how to succeed at the event, happening Sept. 26 at Vanguard’s Malvern campus. You can RSVP here.

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