Investing in Local Businesses Growing the Local Economy

Since 2017, Power Up Your Business (PUYB), a City-funded and Community College of Philadelphia led approach to supporting small businesses, has produced successful outcomes for entrepreneurs and the City alike. PUYB helps small businesses all across Philadelphia through its Store Owner workshops, Industry Best Practices workshop series, and its 12-week, Peer-based Learning Experience course. Participants learn from a team of experts, develop a tactical improvement plan, build relationships with other business owners in their community, and receive coaching from a business coach and a financial coach. This analysis focuses on the impacts of the program which serves 75 participants per year at full capacity.

Model for Success

Anne TurnerAnne Turner was greatly impacted by Power Up’s free business coaching and the Tactical Improvement Plan. Three years on, Ann still seeks the advice of her Power Up business coach for tips on marketing, networking and other information resources.

As a child, Anne Turner styled everyone’s hair in the neighborhood. After graduating high school, she honed her skills as a stylist at Wilfred Beauty Academy, worked in several salons and had the goal of opening her own business. In 2015, Anne opened Hair Du Jour Salon. She joined Power Up’s Peer Learning Program (Cohort 7) and used the tools and tactical plan to expand her business, train her team and build a network that would brand her business in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

“I created my hair loss treatment during my peer learning class, and because of the step-by-step approach with the Tactical Improvement Plan, I was able to strategically market my product line, as well as learn more about free advertising and local businesses that would house my products. The business owners that graduated from Power Up are still a part of my network. We continue to support one another and give advice and share resources that are a benefit to us all.”—Anne Turner, PUYB Alumna

Power-Up Your Business Measures of Success

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Community Impact

Individual Empowerment

Business owners gain knowledge, skills, networks and confidence.

A Stronger Local Economy

As PUYB businesses grow, they increase local purchasing and hiring.

A More Diverse and Inclusive Economy

Participating busnesses are typically minority-owned and woman-owned.


44% of participants own businesses located in designated commercial corridors.

Demonstrated Success in Business Longevity and Revenue Growth

By equipping individual business owners with additional knowledge, skills, networks and confidence, PUYB empowers business owners to make positive changes to their businesses. These changes have measurable impacts on PUYB businesses, including supporting additional annual revenues and business survival. To measure the impact of PUYB, the outcomes for PUYB businesses have been modeled against projected outcomes for small businesses in the absence of PUYB.

PUYB helps businesses grow.

The COVID-19 pandemic was devastating to small businesses, with the Federal Reserve estimating a 30% revenue decline in 2020. In contrast, PUYB participants were largely able to maintain revenue levels, putting them on track to grow faster and outpace national averages. ESI estimates that 10 years out, the average PUYB business is grossing $100,000 more per year as a result of their participation in PUYB.

chart new net annual revenue

PUYB also helps businesses stay in business.

According to Lending Tree, 20% of small businesses don’t make it past their first year and half are done within 5 years. PUYB participants are typically in their 5th year of operations, so ESI compared attrition rates for U.S. small businesses with historical PUYB participant survival rates. Based on this approach, it is estimated that 69 of 75 2020 PUYB participants will still be in business 10 years later, whereas typically half of those 75 businesses would have shuttered by then.

 chart retention rate

The Multiplier Effect of Supporting Local Businesses

Between more revenue growth and fewer business closings, over a 10-year period, one year of PUYB cohorts generates an aggregate $71 million in local small business revenues in the city.

The 10-year revenue increase from one cohort year of PUYB businesses is $71 million.

The increased revenue generated by PUYB businesses not only improves the lives of business owners but also has a multiplying effect throughout the Philadelphia economy. Small businesses spend a portion of new revenue on local vendors and employees spend a fraction of their net new wages on local goods and services. This spending injects more money into the local economy, supporting local jobs and generating additional local tax revenues.

 chart - new annual revenue

PUYB participants support nearly $114 million in economic output

Input-output modeling is used to capture the economic impacts of the increased spending by PUYB participants and their employees. Within Philadelphia, the total additional revenue generated over the ten-year timeframe by one cohort of PUYB participants supports nearly $114 million in economic output and 850 jobs. This increased economic activity generates additional tax revenues to the City through sales, income and business taxes. Over the ten-year timeframe, one cohort of PUYB supports $2 million in additional tax revenues to the 10 years later, whereas typically half of those 75 businesses would have shuttered by then.

 chart - input modeling

After completing the program, business owners: 46% hired a new employee | 54% increased sales | 47% increased net profit

Investing in Power Up Your Business Generates A Huge Return for City Government

A one-time $800,000 investment in each year’s PUYB cohorts generates increased economic activity that produces $2 million in new tax revenues for the City over 10 years, thus recouping the City’s initial outlay and yielding $1.2 million more. By training and supporting small businesses, PUYB also makes the local economy more vibrant, more resilient, and more inclusive.

chart Return on investment

Growing Businesses in Philadelphia—Block by Block


Produced by Econsult Solutions, Inc. ESI provides businesses and public policy makers with consulting services in urban economics, real estate economics, transportation, public infrastructure, development, public policy and finance, community and neighborhood development, planning, as well as expert witness services for litigation support.