Inside a finance pro's quarantine project, Local PHL Market, that makes it easy to shop locally - Philly


Aug. 11, 2020 2:06 pm

Inside a finance pro’s quarantine project, Local PHL Market, that makes it easy to shop locally

By day, Kasie Clifford works for healthcare transportation startup Roundtrip.
Bean 2 Bean, one of the local businesses sold of the Local PHL Market site.

Bean 2 Bean, one of the local businesses sold of the Local PHL Market site.

(Courtesy photo)

Kasie Clifford, a finance and accounting associate at healthcare transportation startup RoundTrip, found herself like other Philadelphians who had weathered the coronavirus pandemic storm, job intact — wondering how, in her privileged situation, she could continue to support local businesses.

Clifford was a fan of shopping locally as much as she could before the pandemic hit, but when hundreds of small businesses in the area had to shut down or lay off staff, she realized how important buying power can be. While quarantining and with extra time on her hands, Clifford and her boyfriend, Gianni Parenti, launched the Instagram account @localphl to highlight the local businesses they were supporting.

“I started thinking about the local Philly economy and how affected it was going to be,” Clifford said. “And I was lucky to be in this group of people who were employed, and looking to spend money in good ways.”

So in May, they launched the site, Local PHL Market, as a way for Philadelphians to easily find makers, creators and small businesses to support. The online marketplace currently sells goods from more than 50 local businesses specializing in anything from food to home goods to clothing and art work.

Each month, the site donates a portion of their proceeds to a different charity, and this month, proceeds will go to CORA Services, a Northeast Philadelphia-based nonprofit that supports children and families experiencing emotional, academic and social challenges.

View this post on Instagram

August Charity of The Month !! We have chosen @cora_services to highlight this month! CORA is a Philadelphia based organization that helps families and children that are experiencing emotional, academic or social challenges find support. We chose CORA after hearing @robmcelhenney talk on @prestonandsteveshow about the difference CORA made in his life and so many other Philadelphia Area children! To learn more about this organization and how to donate check out our latest blog post at the link in our bio! ICYMI: Every month Local PHL Market chooses a charity to highlight for the month. Typically we choose a local organization to feature on our site. We make it possible for our shoppers to add a donation to their cart. Also one week a month we encourage sales my offering 15% of profits from the week to go to CORA , so keep an eye out for that announcement! Love Philly. Support Philly ?

A post shared by Local PHL Market (@localphl) on

At first, Clifford was reaching out to creators and business owners about including their products on the site, but now creators can inquire about being included by emailing All items on the online market are the same price to consumers as buying them in-store or from the vendor, and Clifford works with the creators to come up with a commission.

While it initially started as a quarantine project, Clifford said she believes the site still serves a purpose as we navigate the reopening process, and hopes that it provides an easy route for folks to continue to shop locally post-pandemic. As street fairs are still not allowed in the city, and as much holiday shopping will likely move online this year, it’s a way to offer a quick online shopping experience that still supports local business owners. She also hopes that by gathering a lot of different creators in one place, fans of one specific business or maker will learn about new ones in their community.

“If you’re checking out someone’s Etsy, that’s great, but you’re only seeing their things, ” Clifford said. “I’m hoping this encourages some cross-pollination.”

Companies: Roundtrip

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