Philly Councilman questions overseas trips

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Philadelphia city officials have taken to the roads and the air to lure new businesses to town.

One councilman wonders why. 

Councilman Jim Kenney asked Commerce Director Alan Greenberger during budget hearings if two trips abroad were really needed to bring new businesses to Philadelphia.

“You said that those folks that you went and visited with in Tel Aviv and London are coming here to kick the tires,” said Kenney. “Why didn’t we just invite them here to kick the tires in the first place, save the cost of going to them and invite twice as many companies?”

“I think it’s a simple question,” responded Greenberger, “but people the world over need to look you in the eye and hear your pitch.”

Kenney asked Greenberger why conference calls or video chats weren’t good enough to woo foreign businesses.

“It’s not as good, they’re helpful, particularly on the next level when you finally meet someone get a sense of them and there’s a trust developing,” Greenberger said. 

Philadelphia is currently trying to persuade a major West Coast brewer to start making beer here.

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