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.
The SHARE food program is led by Steveanna Wynn, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Citizen of the year in 2012. The organization, with a limited staff but hordes of volunteers, distributed more than 26 million pounds of food for the hungry out of their more than 100,000 sf warehouse and distribution center in North Philadelphia. We worked with SHARE to prepare their RACP application to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and with their extraordinary efforts and the recognition of the vital work that SHARE does, plus the support of legislators including State Senators Shirley Kitchen and Vincent Hughes, the State committed a $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant which enable them to stabilize their building and keep serving food banks throughout the mid-atlantic region.