With 90% of the more than 400 neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries that serve as vital community infrastructure for residents in need of investment, Philadelphia's Rebuild initiative stepped up to the proverbial plate. Yet, how could diverse contractors and workers across the City not only benefit from this investment as residents, but be better positioned to successfully take on these construction projects totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in aggregate?
The Barra Foundation and Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia
Mixed Method Research
Capital Access Analysis
Financial Product Structuring
Fund Adminstrator Recommendations
Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is a program that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize neighborhood parks, recreation centers, playgrounds and libraries across Philadelphia. The three major goals of this investment are to revitalize community spaces, engage and empower communities and promote economic opportunity, with project costs ranging from $50,000 to more than $13 million dollars at 400+ potential sites across Philadelphia. Rebuild’s investment offers historically underserved and underrepresented populations, such as low-income residents, veterans, and minority- or women-owned businesses, a chance to leverage the investment with high-quality jobs and contracting opportunities.
Urbane was asked to assess the state of minority- and women-owned contracting in Philadelphia; particularly, to understand the challenges and opportunities of MWBE contractors related to their potential participation in the Rebuild program. Furthermore, Urbane was tasked with providing a recommendation on the feasibility of developing a financial product that may address the financial capital challenges MWBE’s face when attempting to bid for lucrative municipal procurement opportunities.
Urbane conducted a national scan and review of existing financial programs targeting small- and mid-sized contractors and delved deeper into five models with the greatest applicability and/or the most promise in Philadelphia. Through interviews with local contractors, financial entities, and public agencies, the team assessed the capacity and core challenges facing potential Rebuild contractors, as well as which financial intermediaries are best suited to administer a target financial product for Rebuild. The final deliverables include recommendations on the financial structure of a Rebuild contractor product, a list of potential fund administrators, and an RFP template for a future fund administrator search.
In the ensuing years since our study, inclusive of the onset of the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, our research findings have in part been manifested more recently in PIDC's new Rebuild Contract Line of Credit.
Financing is available to qualified businesses that have been awarded or are bidding on Rebuild contracts or subcontracts. Funds can be used for labor, materials, and equipment costs directly associated with the contract being financed. In addition to advancing funds for approved Rebuild contract invoices, there is an additional opportunity to access grant dollars for mobilization needs.
For more information, please visit: PIDC CLOC Information