The site features a news section with updates relevant for small businesses in Philadelphia. There’s also advice, profiles of local entrepreneurs, and even a business directory.
Founder and CEO Nathan Aponte first got the idea for the site back in 2011. At that time, he was volunteering for a local non-profit in the Philadelphia area when he had the idea to write profiles about local businesses for the organization’s website. The people in charge said no, but specified that he should feel free to write about local businesses on his own website.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have his own website at the time. But after a quick search, he realized that SmallBizPhilly.com was available. So he jumped at the opportunity to profile his favorite local businesses in his own way. And the site branched out from there.
“My intent is for the website to be a one stop shop where anyone in the Philadelphia market who’s looking to start or grow a business, or anyone who’s looking for services for their small businesses can go to find what they’re looking for. Then it’s also an online newspaper where you can read all about the stories that are relevant to small businesses in the area,” Aponte says. “We really want to be known as an entrepreneur hub for the small businesses in Philadelphia.”
Currently, businesses that want to be featured in the small business directory can do so free of charge. There’s just a simple form on the website. Local entrepreneurs who want to be featured in a profile story can also reach out to Aponte directly to discuss.
Going forward, Aponte plans to offer paid listings in the directory and offer sponsorship opportunities. He also wants to host in-person events to help local business owners network and make connections once social distancing restrictions are lifted.
Overall, Aponte simply wants to provide resources and opportunities for local businesses all around the Philadelphia area. As a lifelong resident of Philadelphia and South Jersey, he wants to see independent businesses thrive.
Aponte says, “New York City is known as the financial capital of the U.S. Washington D.C. is the political capital. And I’m trying to make Philadelphia the small business capital of the United States. We want to put this city back on the map and make sure people know how small business friendly it really is.”