Writer: Eleana Teran
3 min read December 2022 – As the New Year approaches, Philadelphia’s top brass in the public and private sectors are looking ahead with a focus on future growth and development. Invest: spoke with leaders across diverse industries to learn their perspectives on the city’s outlook and their priorities for 2023. After a solid year of recovery in 2022, the region is poised to make the most of the opportunities ahead.
Anne Nadol, Commerce Director, City of Philadelphia
What is the Philadelphia Commerce Department’s main goal going forward?
Our team is committed to making sure that we emerge from the pandemic as strong as possible, which means that everybody in every corner of this great city benefits from the recovery. It can’t be just one sector, one neighborhood, one demographic and one income level. We need to do everything we can to make sure that Philadelphia’s recovery is as even and equitable as possible. We’ll continue working to ensure that Philadelphia is a globally competitive city where employers flock and entrepreneurs thrive, and we’ll foster economic opportunities for all Philadelphians in all neighborhoods.
Jerry Sweeney, President & CEO, Brandywine Realty Trust
What is your vision for the near term and what are your priorities for this period?
Philadelphia is at a pivotal moment. We are coming out of an unprecedented pandemic. Most of the revenues in the city are coming from wage and business taxes. Certainly, a high number of people who used to work in the city of Philadelphia can work from home or migrate to locations outside the city. Philadelphia, from a public policy standpoint, has some critical decisions to make in the next year. The city must define public policy priorities including public safety, safe and clean environments, and a more competitive tax structure. And, we will be focused on upcoming city council and mayoral elections. The next 12 to 18 months will be a real harbinger of what the next decade will bring in the city of Philadelphia. Our hope is that people engaged in public policy or running for new elective offices will focus on a strategic vision for the city of Philadelphia, one that promotes equitable economic growth and growing the economic pie within the city through smart, rational job planning and job creation campaigns while factoring in quality-of-life issues that are essential as people make their decisions on where to live, where to work and where to locate their businesses.
Angela Val, President & CEO, Visit Philadelphia
What is your near-term outlook for the city and its tourism sector?
As we come out of the pandemic, we are going to focus on new markets, so we can continue to increase the number of visitors who come here and how long they stay. As a city, we want to make sure people understand that Philadelphia is a welcoming place. I want us to be the most vibrant, captivating city in the country, and to achieve that, we are promoting the neighborhoods outside the Downtown corridor to elevate our rich and diverse culture. As we approach the 250-year anniversary of the country in 2026, I want everyone to know that Philadelphia is America’s birthplace, and that’s a big part of the reason they need to be here for what will be an epic birthday celebration. There is a lot of work to do over the next few years, and we are excited to do our part to make sure Philadelphia shines.
James Woodward, President & CEO, Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic
What is your outlook for Philadelphia’s healthcare sector?
Philadelphia will continue to see a juggling of healthcare assets moving forward. We can’t continue to be all things to all people. Each institution will be in a position of needing to focus further on their core services to remain sustainable and competitive.
The healthcare sector of each metro market in the nation is struggling to foster a new model of care where quality of care is prioritized over quantity. The current healthcare system is broken, and we’re going to need to break it further in order to fix it. We will see healthcare become more digital and we will also see a continued emphasis on outpatient and alternative sites of care.
Patricia Wilson Aden, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
What are the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s top priorities for the next two to three years?
Philadelphia is unique as a tourist destination. Beyond the Liberty Bell and the Parkway, we are a city of neighborhoods that offers visitors immersive cultural experiences. You can visit a cultural destination such as Centro de Oro or Baltimore Avenue. If people are looking to get beyond Center City and experience real Philadelphia, our neighborhoods offer that. We have people coming from all over the region to experience our unique festivals as well. Philadelphia is a city of culture, and that culture serves as a prime economic driver.
This is an inflection point. We have a lot of important decisions to make to ensure that we leverage our creative industry to the best of our ability. We also are working to prepare for the events in 2026 and beyond so that we can capitalize on those opportunities. We are hoping that our key decision-makers in the civic, political and philanthropic fields understand that the creative industry is, in fact, an important economic engine.
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