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Business Resources

Please contact Old City District at any time for further information. Old City District is located at 231 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM. You can reach us by phone 215-592-7929 and by email [email protected].

If your business has any business support or city services questions, or if you are a new business looking to locate in Old City, please contact [email protected]. If your business would like to work with Old City District on marketing efforts or participate in one of our events, please contact our Marketing Manager, Leah Ben, [email protected].

A map graphic of Old City District's coverage area

Old City District's service area consists of the neighborhood bounded by Florist Street to the north, Walnut/Dock Streets to the south, Front Street to the east and 6th Street to the west. 

Economic Development Resources

General Commerce

City’s Business Hub Link: 


The City provides a good overview of the signage approval process at this link, including required preapprovals and links to the necessary forms. Most Old City businesses fall within the Old City Historic District as designated by the City (map on page 5 at this link). This means that in order to obtain a building permit for signage, the applicant will first need approval from the Historical Commission. Depending on their location, some Old City properties also require approval from the Art Commission. Business owners should start the process by contacting L&I at (215) 686-8686 to find out any required prerequisites for their property such as this.


  • Historical Commission approval: If doing a fairly standard sign, businesses should be able to obtain Historical Commission approval through staff review. They can initiate a staff review by contacting the Historical Commission at 215-686-7660 or [email protected]

  • Temporary signage: If businesses are looking to put up something temporary while they await signage permits, per the zoning code they are permitted to install window signs that do not exceed 20% of the transparent area or temporary signs not to exceed 12 square feet per face without first obtaining a permit. Regardless, they should not affix anything to the building façade without first checking with the Historical Commission.

Loading Zones

​If businesses are interested in applying for a loading zone outside of their business, they can do so at this link


Use 311 to report issues such as trash, graffiti on private property, etc.


Regular weekly city pickup is on Friday mornings in Old City. 


Info on container/dumpster requirements is here


By regulation, certain types of businesses are not eligible for City collection: 


  • Manufacturers, wholesalers, gas stations and automotive repair shops are not eligible for City collection service and must use a licensed hauler. 
  • The premises are not eligible for City collection if it contains more than six (6) dwelling units. 
  • The premises are not eligible for City collection if the location receives licensed hauler service in any form. Example: If any unit in the building contracts licensed hauler services then the entire building is not eligible for city collection and must contract for waste and recycling collection through a licensed hauler. 
  • The premises must not require collection frequency more than once per week. Example: Restaurants with food waste require collection more than once per week and are therefore not eligible for City collection. 
  • For eligible properties, the set out quantity limitations for trash are no more than 6 containers or 12 bags or proportionate combination of the two for City of Philadelphia collection. There is no limit on the volume of recycling which can be set out. 

The city also requires all businesses to file a commercial waste report annually through this link

Outdoor Dining

Businesses can apply for several outdoor dining options, including sidewalk cafe licenses, streeteries, and extended sidewalk cafes (with permission from adjacent property owners).


Information on how to apply for these permits through eCLIPSE is at this link.

The Philadelphia Streetery License Guide is at this link.

Any questions about these guidelines can be directed to [email protected]

Street Closures/Events

Requests for event street closures have to go through the Street Event Application (formerly the Block Party Application), which is linked here

Security Gates at Historical Properties 

The staff of the Historical Commission can approve the installation of folding metal security gates in recessed entryways of buildings at historically designated properties in the Old City Historic District.If businesses are interested in installation of a security gate see the PDF for more information.  A completed Approval Documentation Form is available at this link. To apply Email the items listed in the PDF to the Historical Commission staff at [email protected]

Storefront Improvement Program

The City’s Department of Commerce runs the Storefront Improvement Program (SIP). It can reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost of eligible improvements to a maximum of $10,000 for a single commercial property or up to $15,000 for a multiple-address or corner business property. All business corridors within OCD’s boundaries are eligible. Information on the program is available at this link, and the application is available at this link. The online application is at this link. To begin the process, businesses should email [email protected] to confirm eligibility. 

Business Security Camera Program

The general information page is at this link. Businesses citywide can receive up to 75% of the total eligible costs, as much as $3,000 for a single commercial property. The online application is located at this link

Emergency Grants for Small Businesses

The maximum emergency grant amount available is $20,000, with funds designated for specific needs such as repairs, rent or mortgage payments, and payroll expenses. To qualify, businesses must face challenges like fires, natural disasters, business interruptions due to public works, extreme vandalism, or utility failures. Priority for funding is given to small or micro businesses traditionally lacking financial reserves, particularly those with annual revenues below $500,000. For inquiries about eligibility or to initiate an application, please contact the Merchants Fund or visit this link.  

Other Supporting Business Resources

Philadelphia Commercial Corridors Resources
 Access a comprehensive list of resources, including financial support, grant opportunities, and public safety,  tailored to Philadelphia's community-serving nonprofits offered by Philadelphia Commercial Corridors. Learn more about Instore Forgivable Loan Program, Fair Chance Hiring Initiative, Quality Jobs Program, and Commercial Real Estate Acquisition Loan (CREAL) Program at financial support page, and explore grant opportunities, and public safety initiatives. 

Philadelphia Finance and Real Estate Public-Private Resources
 Philadelphia’s Public-private Economic Development Corporation (PIDC) is dedicated to providing financing and real estate products to businesses, nonprofits, and developers across all neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Learn more

Pennsylvania Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Resources
- Technical Assistance: Gain access to business counseling, financial literacy, business planning, and capital resources through your local CDFI. Contact Your Local CDFI for Technical Assistance. Learn more
- Business Entrepreneurship and Development Partners: In partnership with minority chambers of commerce and the Pennsylvania Professional Image Alliance (PPIA), the PA CDFI Network offers seminars, educational programs, and networking opportunities. Connect with Approved Partner Organizations. Learn more

Pennsylvania Networking and Support for Women Entrepreneurs
 Women’s Network Connection, LLC: The premier platform for women entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania. This certified EDWOSB, WBE, and MBE organization offers networking opportunities and professional growth. Learn more

United States Chamber of Commerce Resources
Discover a variety of financial support options to benefit your small business with grants, loans, and programs. Learn more

Email Newsletters

Subscribe to our email newsletters to receive the latest information. We send out new businesses openings, featured properties, and infographics about Old City once a month through our commercial real estate newsletter.


Subscribe to Emails


If your business has any questions regarding the resources provided above, please contact [email protected].

Marketing Resources

Old City Business Directory & Map

You can add your business to our online directory free of charge. You can view the map of Old City here.  



Social Media

We will feature your business once you are ready to announce  your opening. Please email Senior Marketing Manager, Leah Ben, at [email protected] with photos, or we can stop by to take photos or video. Be sure to tag us in your social posts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn

Events Calendar

You can submit upcoming events directly to our website to add them to our online events calendar.


Submit Your Event 

Email Newsletters

Subscribe to our email newsletters to receive the latest information. We distribute an events email once a month, and we also distribute neighborhood updates via our B2B newsletter.


Subscribe to Emails


If your business has any questions regarding the resources provided above, please contact [email protected].

Rooftops of Old City buildings

Available Properties

Browse available properties that could be the location of your future business!

Map of University KIZ Zone in Philadelphia

Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ)

A statewide initiative to foster entrepreneurship in Pennsylvania, KIZs are special geographic districts offering sale-able tax credits to qualifying companies in targeted life science and technology sectors.