Saturday, February 13, 2016

POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2009, 2:05 AM
Filed Under: Small Business

When the steel industry collapsed in the late ’70s, there was no federal bailout to help Pittsburgh cope.

Mills closed, as did many companies that either supplied them or depended on their employees to buy their goods. But other small manufacturers adapted and found new markets, and entrepreneurs built new companies around the region’s energy, distribution, finance, robotics and health-care sectors.

Now, as the leaders of the Group of Twenty nations gather in the Steel City for their two-day summit, they’re being asked to envision a global economic renewal in the example of Pittsburgh.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 2:05 AM

The panel overseeing the $787 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program is coming to Philadelphia on Thursday for a hearing on mortgage foreclosure mitigation programs.

The Congressional Oversight Panel lists nine people scheduled to testify at the hearing at the National Constitution Center starting at 10 a.m.

The witnesses include Irwin Trauss, supervising attorney for the Consumer Housing Unit of Philadelphia Legal Assistance, and Common Pleas Judge Annette Rizzo, the driving force behind Philadelphia’s mandatory foreclosure diversion program.

POSTED: Monday, September 21, 2009, 2:05 AM

Philadelphia is trying hard to attract a South Korean electric-car maker.

Representatives of CT&T Co. Ltd. met with Mayor Nutter last week in an effort to bring a “regional assembly and sales” operation to Philadelphia, said Curt Westlake, the company’s senior director of marketing.

In essence, it would be a final-assembly operation with a retail location where people could buy the electric car called the eZone. Founded in 2002, CT&T now makes its vehicles in South Korea. But its plan to expand in the United States calls for the company to establish RAS sites around the nation.

POSTED: Friday, September 18, 2009, 7:25 PM
Filed Under: Economic Development

On one level, the University City Science Center in West Philadelphia would appear to be simply a real estate play.

Its string of office buildings stretches along Market Street between 34th and 38th Streets. But as an urban research park, owned by 32 colleges, universities, and research institutions, the science center has sought a higher calling than merely collecting rent.

Started in 1963, the science center began providing “business incubator” services before the concept was even called that. Incubators provide below-market-rate space and shared services to start-up firms that are cash-poor.

POSTED: Friday, September 18, 2009, 8:49 AM

For the second time in six months, Accu-Weld Replacement Window & Door Co. in Bensalem was the stage for a “clean energy” revival.

More than 200 invited guests filled the white plastic chairs inside the green cinderblock garage area of the manufacturing firm to attend the nation’s third Clean Energy Economy Forum.

The setting for this forum may not have been as lavish as the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Mich., or as modern as Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colo. But the small-business setting was appropriate, because much of the discussion involved smaller companies trying to catch the green wave.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 2:05 AM

This had been the week that the Mayor’s Task Force on Tax Policy & Economic Competitiveness was originally due to provide its recommendations on how to improve the business climate in Philadelphia.

However, Mayor Nutter has given the 17-member group an extension to Oct. 15. (Will Pennsylvania and Philadelphia have their budgets settled by then?)

But if you just can’t wait to read a report that tells city officials what they should do, but have lacked the will to pursue in the past, I recommend the Committee of Seventy’s “Tackling True Reform” report.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 2:05 AM
Filed Under: Financial Services

It’s been a year since the collapse of Lehman Bros. touched off a September we’d rather not remember.

A year of houses of cards, trillions of dollars of wealth destruction, and a federal Troubled Asset Relief Program that provided a lot of relief but never touched those troubled assets.

How are you feeling now?

POSTED: Monday, September 14, 2009, 2:05 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

High school football season is under way, but Brian Kerrigan can be forgiven if he’s more interested in Okinawa’s Kadena Panthers right now than the South Philadelphia Rams.

The company that he runs with his wife, Kari Altman, just landed a $1.3 million contract with the Department of Defense to supply team uniforms and equipment to 41 schools on military bases in Japan, Guam, South Korea and Okinawa.

For Team Sports Planet Inc., the contract comes at a critical time for the e-commerce firm that had been named one of the nation’s fastest-growing inner-city companies 16 months ago. The growth had stalled, thanks to the recession and the resulting drop in household income, Kerrigan said.

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Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at

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