State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams to launch  new safety guide for small business owners  Philadelphia 


(Para leer la versión en chino y español ir a Noticias Relacionadas).
On December 4, State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams, the nonprofit  Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, and the Southwest Community Development Corporation will 
release a new, free guide for the city’s small business owners. The Merchant Safety Guide features practical 
information about how storeowners can both protect themselves and improve customer relations. 

An event to launch the new guide will take place on December 4, 2009 at 10:30 a.m., starting at the 12 th  Police 
District, located at 65 th Street and Woodland Ave., and continuing as a neighborhood walk‐through to share 
the informative booklet with business owners in the area.  “The economic development of small business 
owners in West and Southwest Philadelphia and across my district has always been an important priority for 
me,” Senator Williams said. “The new Merchant Safety Guide will help local business owners, while also 
fostering stronger community ties in our diverse city.” 

“We did a grassroots survey, walking up and down commercial corridors to talk to business owners one‐on‐ one,” said Bahiya Cabral‐Johnson of the Welcoming Center. “Over and over, store owners told us they wanted  to feel safe and connected to their communities.” While outright violence such as robbery is a serious problem, Cabral‐Johnson said, harassment such as loitering and vandalism is more common. 

“We wrote the guide for two reasons: First, so storeowners would know what to do if they are being  persistently harassed and second, to give them ideas for how to be less isolated,” she added. 

One such idea is a community bulletin board. “When storeowners make a place on the wall for their customers’ graduation and family photos, they’re reminding themselves and others that they are all part of the  same community,” says Cabral‐Johnson. 

In contrast, storeowners who feel isolated are less likely to summon neighboring businesses or residents for 
assistance. Language barriers can be part of the problem, as 50 to 70% of businesses on many Philadelphia 
corridors are owned by immigrants. The guide is being published in English, Chinese and Spanish. 

There are more than 18,000 small businesses in the city, according to the Commerce Department. Many provide goods and services in neighborhoods that have little access to large retailers. 

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

If you are a Philadelphia storeowner or are interested in learning about how to protect a business from violence and harassment, as well as improve customer relations, please join us for the launch of the Welcoming Center’s free guide for small businesses.

On December 4, 2009, the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, State Senator Anthony H. Williams and the Southwest Community Development Corporation will come together at the 12th District Police Station in Southwest Philadelphia to launch the new Merchant Safety Guide, an informational booklet providing practical tips about what city storeowners can do if they experience violence or harassment and what steps they can take to improve relationships with their neighbors and customers.

The Merchant Safety Guide is available in English, Spanish and Chinese and includes information relevant to any storeowner in Philadelphia.

We hope that you will join us to receive a copy of the Merchant Safety Guide and to contribute to this important discussion about neighborhood and merchant safety.

The launch will be followed by a walk through nearby commercial corridors, during which the Merchant Safety Guide will be shared with local business owners.

Event Details (see flyer):
Date: Friday, December 4, 2009
Time: 10:30 am
Location: 12th District Police Station
6448 Woodland Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19142

We hope to see you on December 4!


Anne O’Callaghan

Executive Director

P.S. The new Merchant Safety Guide is also available to be downloaded, along with additional resource guides and publications, on the Welcoming Center’s website.