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Corbett Administration Awards Grant to Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for Business Growth

News for Immediate Release

Aug. 21, 2014

Harrisburg– Continuing to advance Governor Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA initiative, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker today announced the award of a Discovered in PA – Developed in PA grant to help launch the Latino Innovation and Growth program designed to spur business growth and new business creation in the Greater Philadelphia region. 

“Providing our entrepreneurs with the tools they need to grow and create jobs is a large part of why Pennsylvania continues to be a leader in innovation,” said Walker. “Grants awarded through the Discovered in PA – Developed in PA program are strategic investments in our entrepreneurs who continue to provide the vision and innovation that make Pennsylvania great.”

The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (GPHCC) was awarded a $150,000 Discovered in PA – Developed in PA (D2PA) grant to support the Latino Innovation and Growth program.

GPHCC provides services to the growing Hispanic entrepreneurial community in the Greater Philadelphia Region. In order to address the challenges startup businesses face, small business development and educational programs were created to strengthen the advancement and economic growth of Latino small businesses.

These workshops assist startups and established businesses to engage in a growth plan through public sector procurement ensuring their sustainability overtime. The program will work with 200 business owners with one to five employees to help participants build relationships with vendors, customers and other influential people and teaches business owners how to maximize relationships for business growth.

“We successfully launched the program in June, and using the Business Model Canvas, participating Hispanic business owners mapped their business plan, creating seven jobs and retaining 49 employees,” said Varsovia Fernandez, President & CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber. “The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber is truly excited that we are able to use an innovative approach to accelerated business growth in the Latino community.”

Today’s grant announcement continues the momentum of Gov. Corbett’s JOBS1st PA initiative, which was first launched in 2012 and has created a comprehensive roadmap to economic recovery that harnessed the state’s resources and talents to prioritize private-sector job creation and retention. Today, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate stands at a five-year low, and jobs have been growing on a consistent basis for nearly four years.

D2PA was established by Governor Corbett in 2011 to build capacity to support Pennsylvania businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic development services. Last fiscal year, the D2PA program supported initiatives tied to growing the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, business incubators, and education, workforce and economic opportunity collaborations.

For more information about Gov. Corbett’s JOBS1st PA initiative, visit

Media contact:

Lyndsay Kensinger, 717-783-1132



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