New Philly councilmember using video to shine spotlight on local businesses

Councilmembers Isaiah Thomas (left) and Darrell Clarke (right) with ComproTax owner Timothy Nelson. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Councilmembers Isaiah Thomas (left) and Darrell Clarke (right) with ComproTax owner Timothy Nelson. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas is using his social media presence to support Black-owned business this Black History Month.

Thomas is making short videos of the businesses to showcase them. He says this is a way to use social media to spread the word about local shops.

“We do have an OK presence on social media, the goal is for people in my network to be able to know what is going on. So far, since I’ve done the business crawl. Other members of council are saying they want to be involved with it,” he said.

Timothy Nelson owns ComproTax, a tax preparation business by the Temple University campus. He’s happy to see his elected leaders face-to-face.

“I’m hoping this helps sparks some business. I’m glad to see they are coming out,” Nelson said.

Thomas says he will continue to travel the city to highlight small businesses.

“One of the problems we have in this city is that we don’t have enough Black-owned businesses in Philadelphia. So, this is a way not only to highlight the businesses that are doing well, but also to encourage … people … around them themselves becoming entrepreneurs,” Thomas said.

Council President Darrell Clarke joined Thomas to record the ComproTax video, since the business is in his district. He says having new members in council “brings a different perspective to the body.”

“Love it,” said Clarke, “how you promote social media and promote businesses is great.”

Thomas says he will concentrate on African American businesses during Black History Month but will expand to others, and work with other district council members, who are sharing his videos on their social media feeds.

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