Inspire, the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia, and Philly Fair Trade Roasters, an SBN member, are teaming up to bring clean energy to Philadelphia businesses. Members of the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia — sign up for clean energy here and receive Philly Fair Trade Roasters coffee for your office (and some other fun coffee inspired gifts)!
At Inspire, we are committed to the promise of a brighter future. A central goal of our connected movement is to partner with organizations that share our level of commitment and vision. We are drawn to businesses that come to work with a mission in mind, and a fierce plan of action to achieve it — regardless of size, speciality, or vertical. As a way to further invest in our local communities, Inspire has partnered with the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Greater Philadelphia, and plans to support its advocacy of a just, green, and thriving economy in 2018.
Even before the current administration's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Accord, there has been an impressive effort by Philadelphia to meet locally established sustainability goals. However, in June 2017, as a direct response to the Paris Accord decision, Mayor Jim Kenney became the 100th mayor to join the Mayors for 100% Clean Energy effort. SBN’s members continue to set the example while proving the concept of a triple bottom line business model, which focuses in equal parts on a business’s social, environmental, and financial impacts.
While there are many goals that make up SBN’s mission, educational programming is an essential. Each quarter, they host Best Practice Forums where business owners come together to discuss their journeys and learn from one another's triumphs and mistakes. An important and exciting topic of late has been sustainable growth. They recently hosted Peicha Chang, who founded Falls Flowers in 2009, a floral design shop in East Falls, and the first B-Corp certified florist in the world. Peicha now runs her shop, Vault + Vine, and she spent the evening talking to fellow SBN members about expanding products and services responsibility, without sacrificing level of care or employee wages, benefits, and workplace happiness.
Through this type of programming, SBN aims to connect its diverse and expanding network of innovative and passionate entrepreneurs with each other as well as with decision makers. The goal is to exchange learnings and best practices, bond over commonalities, and share ideas for how policies and processes could better support local independent businesses to start, grow, and thrive.
According to SBN, 98% of Philadelphia businesses are small businesses and 54% of jobs are created by those small businesses. However, Philadelphia experiences little business growth because a similar number of businesses open and close each year. The key to healthy, self sufficient neighborhoods is an ecosystem of thriving local businesses. Small businesses create jobs and meet the needs of residents for products and services that are within walking distance. It's crucial that government officials do as much as possible to create an environment where these businesses can thrive, year after year. In an effort to help support this, SBN has worked closely with the City of Philadelphia to double the impact of the Sustainable Business Tax Credit, which is offered to companies with business practices that support environmental and human well-being. This tax credit is a way to recognize the work that B-Corps and other sustainable businesses are doing within the community.
Collectively, they were able to return $8,000 back into the pockets of 50 businesses, totaling $400,000. Bradford Bucknum, the Communications Director of SBN, tells Inspire “we have become that voice for the local independent business community in City Hall.”
Through our partnership with this truly impactful local organization, Inspire aims to help SBN expand its reach to our members and beyond. We are equally excited to have their support and work together to create meaningful partnerships for Philadelphia businesses.
If you are a local Philly business interested in learning more about the SBN, visit them here.
If you are a member of the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia and are interested in supporting 100% wind power with your business, we are extending this exclusive offer thanks to Philly Fair Trade Roasters (an SBN member) to all SBN businesses to celebrate our 2018 partnership. With Inspire, your facilities are eligible for LEED, B-Corp, or Green America Certification credits. Plus, you’ll get to tell your customers that your business is choosing clean, renewable energy.