Economic Development Consulting
We recently worked with the SHARE food program to assess options regarding the reuse of their 110,000 sf warehouse. This seemingly never ending space with nooks and crannies was underutilized and need of urgent roof and electrical repairs. MRS completed an assessment of the economic opportunities and partnered with Sherick Project Management to look at the physical impediments. Through that process, we recommended options for leasing to additional food-based businesses, identified funding options for short-term and long-term capital investment, and other redevelopment options. Based on that initial work, MRS prepared a RACP funding application to the State on behalf of SHARE.
Small Business Services
We provided advisory services to a start up business which was looking at the third wave of manufacturing. Looking at the sustainable, local food, and fair trade movement, we helped a small business person create an artisan coffee roasting business, Philly Fair Trade Roasters. In this case, we decided to provide equity to start up and manage the business with the entrepreneur who manages the day-to-day operations, but does not have to focus on the back office and paperwork. The business continues to grow and just had its 5 year anniversary. There are now 3 full time and 2 part time staff this year we will roast more than 40,000 pounds.
First Step Staffing from Atlanta has piloted a simple but effective model to provide a first step back into employment for homeless and returning citizens in Atlanta where they serve 1000 individuals per day. In 2018 they brought that model to Philadelphia. With the participation of multiple parties, the CDFI community, homeless service providers and social investment community, helped make this occur. First Step Staffing (FSS) acquired a local labor staffing agency in Philadelphia to operate a second location of their staffing business (after Atlanta) with more on the way. FSS now controls about 600 jobs per day in Philadelphia where they will be placing the homeless clients or returning citizens, providing transportation to the sites and ensuring that they have the supports they need to stay in the job. FSS believes that earning a wage is the first step to providing a path back into society.
Marcus Reinvestment Strategies was pleased to work with 2 of our clients to make this happen. MRS underwrote the senior financing for LISC's participation of $1.2 million in the senior financing. MRS also worked with Impact Loan Fund to commit $75,000 of subordinate, social investment capital, to help create the equity-like cushion needed for the project.