Breaking down barriers for immigrant entrepreneurs

    A new pilot program in Philadelphia is designed to support immigrant-owned businesses.

    A new pilot program in Philadelphia is designed to support immigrant-owned businesses. The aim is to strengthen those businesses by the use of some liasons to break down cultural and linquistic barriers.

    The goal of the Commerce Department pilot program is to break down barriers currently hampering immigrant entrepreneurs. One worker will key in on Russian speaking businesses in Northeast Philadelphia and another will work with African Caribbean and French speaking immigrants in West Philadelphia.

    City Councilman Jim Kenney has been a major supporter of making Philadelphia more immigrant-friendly.

    “Go to the Italian Market in South Philadelphia, which is the international market now used to be Italian merchants now it is people from the Middle East and Africa and from other places in Europe and South America and Central America this is the kind of chain of evolution that is part of our country and our city that the new folks come and all they want to do is work.”

    The two workers are from AmeriCorps VISTA program, and have a one year committment to the city.

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