In this month's Member Newsletter: News & Events, Member Spotlight, Maximizing Membership & more!
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Member Newsletter
August 2016
Welcome New Members

SBN News & Events

Connection Corner

Maximizing Membership
Member Spotlight

GSI Update

Policy Update
From The Intern's Desk

Member News & Events

Employment Opportunities

Featured Member Discount
SBN Networking BBQ

Wednesday, August 31, 5:30 - 7:30 PM

Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Road, Philadelphia

You are invited to join SBN for a casual evening of food, music, and conversation in the beautiful gardens of Awbury Arboretum.

Sample Streetside BBQ’s top-quality meats and vegetarian options as you and your co-workers, family, and friends enjoy a mid-week break at the end of the summer!

 Buy tickets here
SBN Member: $15 | Yet-to-be Member: $20

Entrepreneurs' Roundtable: A Commonwealth View on Clean Energy
With State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky
August 17, 2016, 8:30 – 10:00 AM

The Entrepreneurs' Roundtables are an exclusive opportunity for SBN members to receive valuable face-time with Philadelphia decision-makers. Designed to bridge ideas with action, the programs give attendees the opportunity to engage in dialogue on issues relevant to the local economy and have their voice heard by key policymakers.

The August program will host State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky for a discussion about “A Commonwealth View on Clean Energy.” The program will start with a light breakfast and networking, feature an hour of moderated topical conversation between member businesses and Ms. Krueger-Brankey, and conclude with half an hour of general Q & A.

This event is sponsored by: Just Laws.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Saleem Chapman, SBN Policy and Advocacy Manager.

This program is open to SBN Members only. 

SBN News: Results of the July Member Survey
SBN conducts brief monthly surveys to assist with decision making and ensure that SBN resources are being allocated appropriately for the programming, resources, and services our members deem the most important. July’s survey was designed to assist us with an initiative we are working on with the Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement & Opportunity that aims to help business owners and their employees keep more money in their pockets through better access to affordable products and services. We want to say a BIG thank you to our members who completed the survey. Your answers will provide insight into the banking and lending products you and your employees use on a daily basis. The results will also inform recommendations made to financial institutions that aid small businesses and make policy recommendations against predatory products.

How do you currently pay your employees?

Cash -- 5%       
Check -- 35%               
Direct Deposit -- 60%   
Payroll Card -- 0%   

To your knowledge, do your employees use check cashers?

Yes, all of them do -- 0%
Most of them do -- 0%
Not many of them do -- 15%                    
None of them use check cashers -- 85%                   

Do you know if your employees have bank accounts?
Yes, all of them do -- 68.42%
Most of them do -- 31.58%
Not many of them do -- 0%                    
None of my employees have bank accounts -- 0%             
Do you know if your employees have ever taken out a payday loan?
Yes, I hear about that happening a lot -- 0%
I sometimes hear about that happening -- 5%
I never hear about that happening -- 95%                    
Have you ever taken out a high interest rate (>20%) loan online to support your business?
Yes -- 0%
No -- 100%
SBN's online Sustainable Business Directory

Have you visited the Sustainable Business Directory lately? We encourage you to check out your listing in this go-to resource for finding sustainable businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area. Search by company name, category, or sort by a number of badges to find exactly what you’re looking for.

 Make sure that your listing is as dynamic as possible. Is your logo included? Is your company’s description complete? Are your social media links available (Level 2 and up)? If you are unsure about what you can include or would like general assistance, please contact Wendy Metzgar, Member Services Manager, at


Green Philly Blog is hosting the first ever SustainPHL Awards, a celebration for sustainability visionaries and unsung heroes making a difference in their communities. 

Sample local fare and drinks from some of our favorite restaurants who source local ingredients. Engage in an interactive “Munch & Learn.” Hear inspirational stories from Philly change makers. See the winners announced live on stage and receive recycled awards created by SBN member Recycled Artists in Residency (RAIR). Presenters include sustainability entrepreneur, Judy Wicks and Philadelphia Office of Sustainability Director, Christine Knapp.

SBN is rooting for our own Saleem Chapman, Policy and Advocacy Manager, to take home the award for Local Advocate!

Buy your tickets today:
Have you made a connection at an SBN event or through the Sustainable Business Directory that has positively affected you and your business? If so, we want to hear about it so we can showcase how SBN members are collaborating to address shared concerns and partnering to conceive the next best ideas for our city and beyond. When we ask members why they renew their membership year after year, we often hear that it is these connections that make SBN membership such an asset to their business.  To get an idea about the connections we want to highlight, check out our story on Chris Kendig Photography

Submit your connection story (250 words or less) to Bradford Bucknum, Member Relations Associate, at
SBN knows that our members are planning and hosting some of the most interesting and unique educational events in the city, but we want everyone else to know, too.

To ensure that you maximize your membership, consider how SBN can help you promote your programming through our various channels, including social media, the Members-only Newsletter, and our Weekly Round-up. Don't be shy; send information, photos, flyers, and anything else that will help us best promote your business's latest news and events.

To learn more, or to send promotional materials, please contact Bradford Bucknum, Member Relations Associate, at
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Solutions for Progress
By Josh Giacalone
Solutions for Progress: Moving Families from Crisis to Choice
Each year, various levels of government set aside a portion of money for families struggling financially. But, year after year, a staggering amount of that money goes unclaimed. In many instances, this is due to the unfortunate reality that families and individuals who most need these benefits have a harder time then they should applying for benefits or may not even know that they are eligible.
That’s where Solutions for Progress (SfP) comes in. They help low- to moderate-income families advance out of poverty by providing tools that connect them to benefits with the goal of directing 100% of that money into the hands that need it most. Registered as a Benefit Corporation with both B Lab and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, SfP’s outstanding impact assessment score earned them the title of “Best for the World” in 2013 and 2016.
When asked what drives the staff at SfP, Vice President Peter Rubenstein explained, “It’s something that, for many of us, our parents have instilled in us: the desire to make the world a better place. We want to prove that a for-profit business can be a force for good and can have the impact to change the world.”
SfP owns and operates two unique online services, The Benefit Bank and MyBudgetCoach, to meet their goal of helping families escape the daily crisis of poverty to the point where that family can make meaningful choices about their life. The Benefit Bank (TBB), operating through local nonprofits and other community organizations in six states, allows people to see what benefits they’re eligible for, and apply for them on an integrated, streamlined single online service. Not only is this process more efficient, but the return on investment is also impressive: for every $1 invested by SfP’s partners in TBB technology and operations, up to $40 is returned to the community in the form of benefits and tax refunds.
TBB is free to clients and takes a multiple-support approach by screening for federal, state, and some county level benefits. This approach has proven to be successful. In 10 years, TBB has helped nearly one million household members claim an estimated $2.1 billion in work and income support.
Receiving benefits isn’t always enough to lift a family out of poverty. While The Benefit Bank helps financially stabilize families, MyBudgetCoach (MyBC) helps families retain and grow their hard earned assets. The platform facilitates and enhances the work of a trained financial coach working with a client. MyBC includes financial health content along with a set of practical online tools that allow clients to set and track financial goals and track their spending compared to spending goals they create. The platform includes automated alerts so coaches can be notified in real time when clients need their support.
In essence, MyBC allows families to build their own safety net. A recent study of the MyBC platform showed that the platform does help clients significantly improve their financial health. Specifically, MyBC clients increase savings, decrease debt and improve their confidence in their ability to manage their finances.  The research also shows that coaches and clients using the MyBC platform and meeting remotely (online) show improvement to their financial situation that is as significant as those meeting in-person.

While SfP’s proven strategies are already performing exceedingly well, they are still finding new ways to support struggling families. Once someone stabilizes his or her finances and puts a working budget in place, he or she still may need other types of training and assistance. In Virginia, TBB and MyBC have been integrated into a workforce development process that helps people with their résumé and prepares them for interviews.
SfP’s mission of "healing the world" extends to their employees, too. They offer a host of benefits to their employees, including multiple forms of paid leave, generous health benefits, and even money towards tech purchases. “We work hard,” Peter said. “Many, if not all of us, are wearing multiple hats, so rest and recovery are really important.”
Needless to say, SfP fits perfectly with the SBN community. Beyond their community engagement, they also focus on implementing green policies at their office: they reimburse employees for biking to work, and use real non-disposable kitchenware to minimize their footprint. In addition, SfP works with SBN’s Policy Department and joined our efforts to advocate for sustainable business tax credits.
Solutions for Progress takes families in crisis and helps usher them to a place where they can regain a sense of agency that allows them to make meaningful and beneficial choices that affect their lives. It’s not easy to find a business whose impact is so quantifiable, but however you measure it, it’s clear that Solutions for Progress will continue to be a force for good.
GSI PARTNERS UPDATE: The Forthcoming Precedent Library
 Photo: A tour at the 2nd Symposium on Plant Performance in GSI Systems at Lea Elementary

A variety of stakeholders, including our members, other engineering and design professionals, developers and property owners, and the Philadelphia Water Department, agree that there is a significant need for more information on the performance of GSI projects and for that information to be publicly available. More information on the performance of stormwater management practices (SMP’s), such as rain gardens, stormwater tree trenches, porous pavement, and green roofs, supports GSI Partners’research and innovation objectives as we track advancements in the GSI industry. With this information readily available, industry professionals can continue to improve the design and performance of SMPs; developers and property owners can increase their knowledge base on the value of investing in GSI; and regulatory agencies can expand the performance metrics used to approve GSI projects.

With these goals in mind, SBN’s GSI Partners, in partnership with DVGBC and with support from a strong consultant team that includes members Meliora Design, Andropogon Associates, and Roofmeadow, are developing a GSI Precedent Library.  The Library will comprise selected case studies of highly effective GSI projects from urban areas across the country that demonstrate the dynamic performance capacity of different classes of SMPs. The Library’s collection of case studies will be complemented with peer-reviewed research that further substantiates the degree to which GSI performs. The Precedent Library was aided by two symposia this past spring that focused on research and case studies showcasing plant and soil performance in GSI systems.
The Precedent Library will be publicly presented at the next GSI Partners Quarterly Meeting on October 25 at Temple University’s Center City Campus. The GSI Partners Quarterly Meeting is an opportunity for members to come together to learn about the latest happenings in the GSI industry and engage in conversations with peers.
About GSI Partners:
The Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners is a signature initiative of SBN working collaboratively to advance the local GSI industry, innovation, and the local economy as it relates to GSI. Formed in 2012 in response to Philadelphia’s ambitious and innovative stormwater management plan, Green City, Clean Waters, the GSI Partners advocate for the greenest approaches to be facilitated and incentivized as much as possible, and for the public and private investment to remain as local as possible. Members include locally-owned engineering and landscape architecture firms; landscape design, build, and maintenance firms; and material suppliers whose services and products pertain to GSI. Many GSI Partners are recognized as industry experts locally, regionally, and nationally.
POLICY UPDATE: The Good Economist

A Fair Minimum Wage, Emerging Policy, the latest on the Good Economy Challenge and more! To stay up to date on our latest policy work, check out July's issue of the Good Economist

From The Intern's Desk


Philadelphia’s Path to Becoming the Most Sustainable City in the Country

By Josh Giacalone

SBN was very excited to learn that Philadelphia was recently rated the 7th most sustainable metro area in the United States. This rating came as no surprise to us— our city truly earned its spot on the list. Considering the continued interest in sustainability and social entrepreneurship across a variety of industries in recent years, Philadelphians have quickly proved their commitment to fostering an impact economy. While we’re proud of the strides that have been made by city government, entrepreneurs, and non-profits thus far, we’re already focusing on how to move up the list to the number one position. 
Efforts to improve our environmental footprint have been a strong factor in establishing Philadelphia as a sustainable city. The Green City, Clean Waters (GCCW) initiative is the city’s 25-year plan to reduce stormwater pollution through the use of green infrastructure. After five years, the ambitious plan is already providing triple bottom line benefits, including economic, environmental, and social equity advancements. But the significance of the plan will stretch beyond the city. Thanks to GCCW, an unprecedented amount of investment in green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) has led some to call Philadelphia the “Silicon Valley” for GSI. As we continue to build the GSI industry, the rest of the country will be able to look to Philly as a model for success.
GCCW is only the tip of the iceberg. The Office of Sustainability, now a permanent city department, launched Greenworks in 2009. Greenworks is a comprehensive sustainability plan with the ultimate goal of making Philadelphia the greenest city in America. The results have been promising: the recycling rate has tripled, city government’s greenhouse gas emissions are down 9%, and 120,000 trees and 580 acres of green space have been added. If that wasn’t enough, 100 miles of bike lanes were also added, bringing the city’s grand total to 440 miles. Philly’s expanding number of dedicated bike lanes, along with the Indego bike sharing system, were surely influential factors that led Philadelphia to receive the award for “most bikeable downtown.”
                                                                                                                   Image from

While the city is doing a lot on its own, it’s also working to create a more attractive business environment that encourages sustainability. Just recently, City Council passed the first two portions of SBN’s Good Economy Challenge, representing the most comprehensive set of tax incentives for sustainable businesses in the country. Thanks to these policy changes, registered B Corporations in Philadelphia will be eligible for up to $8,000 in tax benefits. These incentives don’t just reward sustainable businesses—they also push other companies to measure success in terms of the triple bottom line while sending a clear message about what’s important to our city.
But that’s not to say that sustainable businesses don’t already have a strong presence in Philly. In fact, Green Philly Blog is hosting the first ever SustainPHL award ceremony on August 18, and the nominee list offers a glimpse into the vast number of companies and individuals who are working to make Philadelphia more sustainable. 
And the list goes on! It’s pretty clear how Philadelphia became the 7th most sustainable city: through strong, multifaceted efforts that emphasize changing our impact on the environment, increasing social equity, and supporting socially conscious businesses. And we’re not slowing down. Reflecting on our achievements is beneficial, but it’s just as critical that we continue to move forward and push Philadelphia to become the most sustainable city in the country. But how do we do that?
First and foremost, Philadelphia must continue building upon so many of these innovative initiatives. There are still 20 years left of GCCW, at the end of which we will have reduced stormwater pollution by 85%. And, the Office of Sustainability is in the process of developing new goals and initiatives for Greenworks.
Emerging initiatives will also help shape Philadelphia’s local economy. The ImpactPHL campaign aims to promote the rise of social enterprise by building the capacity of the impact economy ecosystem. ImpactPHL is teaming up with B Lab for the Best for Philly challenge that will celebrate businesses at the forefront of the social impact business movement, as well as encourage more businesses to consider their social impact. On the green front, Philadelphia Energy Campaign plans to create 10,000 jobs and return $200 million over the course of 10 years.
Of course, innovation will play a role as well. Metropolis Farms incredibly efficient vertical farming technology has already begun to reinvent the way we think about urban farming. The Milkcrate for Communities platform will help individuals, organizations and institutions grow and measure social impact. And this only represents a small portion of the many businesses that are advancing the local economy in Philadelphia.
As for SBN’s priorities, we plan to support the growth of the GSI industry, increase our advocacy efforts, grow our member base, and educate the public and consumers about why they should patronize sustainable businesses. Now more than ever, it’s time to connect member businesses and nurture a strong, passionate community. We hope that when one of our members has a great new idea, they will be able to connect with the base of other innovative companies in our network, allowing for the next best idea to become a reality.
So long as Philadelphia stays on this track, we’re on our way to becoming the most sustainable city in America.
Mary Seton Corboy
Greensgrow Farms 
Founder and Chief Idea Officer

                                                                            Photo from

There was no one like Mary. Philadelphia was fortunate to have her for as long as we did. A true hero and model for those who hope to take an idea and imaginatively and tenaciously turn it into a reality. She left us with an unparalleled legacy and inspired a whole new generation of troublemakers and world changers who see potential where others pay no mind.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary’s memory can be made to Greensgrow, 2503 East Firth Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19125 or at

To read the full obituary and to learn more about Mary's unparalleled legacy and Greensgrow Farms, visit

Supporting Positive Social Impact through Photography

                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo by Chris Kendig

Chris Kendig has a five-year plan to continue to build a sustainable photography business where he has the choice to only work with organizations and businesses that have a positive social impact. For years, Kendig worked as a traditional wedding photographer, independently building a successful business, but now he is taking the exciting albeit scary step of pivoting his business in this new direction. For Kendig, networking has been an invaluable tool for generating new business. When people in his personal and professional network hear about his new venture, they are inspired to support Kendig’s motivations to build a business focused on showcasing the positive work people are doing in communities. For Kendig, networking is not only about generating new business but an opportunity to foster genuine relationships among like-minded people; however, it is from these connections that Kendig has connected with people who need someone who can help them tell their story by effectively highlighting the work that they are doing to make a positive difference in the world. Recently, Chris began an 18-month collaboration with Habitat for Humanity where he will follow two to three families throughout the whole process of being accepted into the program to being given the keys to their home. Habitat for Humanity will use these images in a variety of ways: annual reports, fundraising events, monthly newsletters, educational documents, marketing materials, and the many opportunities they have to tell their story in a unique and relatable way. 

From Philly Foodworks: What's in a Name?
By Allison O'Dea

There aren't many vegetables that have a first name. I was intrigued by the pepper with a full name, Jimmy Nardello. Who was this Jimmy? Why did he get a pepper named after him? How do I get a pepper named after me? I've added this as a new life aspiration.

Maybe I'm a bit too obsessed with this name, but I had to learn the story behind it. The much abbreviated version is that his family traveled with pepper seeds across the Atlantic, moving from a remote village in Italy to the exotic land of Connecticut. Their fourth child (of eleven) embraced his mother's love of gardening and cultivated this very special brand of pepper. 

I don't normally like sweet peppers; I'm more of a spicy pepper kind of girl, a Spice Girl if you will. The Jimmy Nardello is sweet, but not too sweet with a perfectly crisp snap when you bite into it. It is wonderful on its own, but even better as a dipper for hummus. As it is a "frying pepper" it only seems to get better when it's cooked. Jimmy Nardello, it was very nice to meet you. 

From "The Salad Days:" A Publication by Philly Foodworks,

SBN Member Discount: 
$15 off your first purchase using the discount code SBNMEMBERS.

Learn more here.
Employer-to-Employer Conversation on Hiring Individuals with Criminal Records: How to Manage Risks and Reap the Benefits

This is an employer-only event

Thursday, August 18, 2016
8:30 AM-11:00 AM
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Welcome by Mayor Jim Kenney

Join other Philadelphia-area employers to discuss the benefits and challenges of hiring formerly incarcerated individuals. The event will feature successful strategies around hiring this talent and help employers learn how to mitigate legal risks and take advantage of hiring incentives.

Learn how Philadelphia employers can access the city's PREP tax credit, offering up to $10,000 per qualified hire. RSVP Now!


Clean Energy Internship
Community Energy, Inc.

Development Director
Food Moxie

Membership/Communications Intern


SBN Members receive a $15 discount of their first purchase at Philly Foodworks!
Philly Foodworks is "Philadelphia's most flexible Rolling Farm Share." Customers can order what they want, when they want it with a $0 commitment. Philly Foodworks unites producers and consumers in order to increase access to good food for all Philadelphia residents while supporting producers and communities. Use offer code "SBNMEMBERS" to receive a discount on your first purchase. 

215-922-7400  |  |
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