Solomon, community and business leaders announce $120K donation for economic development projects in Northeast Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Jared Solomon joined community and business partners today to announce a $120,000 donation to Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association from tax credits approved by the Neighborhood Assistance Program.

“I’m grateful and thrilled to have such generous community partners in M&T Bank and Kinder Academy, willing to step forward and invest in the Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association,” Solomon said. “Their continued partnership with OCCCDA will have lasting impacts for the people of my district, who will see new entrepreneurship, workforce development and economic development programs for many years to come.”

OCCDA will use the donation for a multitude of projects, including developing a small-business training program, creating a hub for education and community events, implementing a corridor enhancement program, investing in small business and technical support assistance and workforce development. These projects will help the people directly involved and the community at-large.

“Oxford Circle Christian CDA is very thankful to DCED, M&T Bank and Kinder Academy for supporting the work we do for small businesses and those who live in the Oxford Circle community,” said Pearl Wang-Herrera, executive director. “With their support, over the next five years, we will be able to provide more employment and educational opportunities out of our Exchange Thrift store and support small businesses in the community with training and programs to enhance the commercial corridor. Our vision is to advance the social and economic mobility of the community, especially the large immigrant population.”

Solomon announced the donation to OCCCDA, alongside representatives from his business and community partners M&T Bank and Kinder Academy, at The Exchange at Oxford Circle. Of the $120,000 donation, $100,000 was contributed by M&T as part of an overall five-year, $500,000 commitment the bank made toward OCCCDA’s programs in Northeast Philadelphia, and $20,000 was contributed by Kinder Academy as part of its one-year commitment.

“Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association has a history rooted in supporting and building trust between all members of the diverse community in Northeast Philadelphia,” said Bernie Shields, Philadelphia and southern New Jersey regional president for M&T Bank. “It's important for our team to form strong partnerships with organizations that truly have their fingers on the pulse of the community. Our goal for the five-year NAP tax credit commitment is to expand the impact of OCCCDA's efforts through education, workforce development, small business training programs and corridor enhancement initiatives.”

“As OCCCDA’s partnership with Kinder Academy moves into its fourth year, the services and programs they provide continue to match and enhance Kinder Academy’s 25-plus year mission of providing the highest quality early childhood education services in Philadelphia,” said Leslie Spina, founder and executive director of Kinder Academy. “Our continued financial support of OCCCDA’s efforts through this capital investment program demonstrates our mutual belief in the people and children of this great Northeast Philadelphia community we serve together.”

The NAP, which provides tax credits to businesses that donate capital to support projects that address neighborhood and community problems, particularly in low-income areas that need it most, is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

DCED Secretary Rick Vilello joined Solomon, representatives from OCCCDA, M&T Bank and Kinder Academy for the donation announcement today.

“These types of investments make significant and meaningful impacts on communities in the commonwealth, improving quality of life and business opportunities,” Vilello said. “And they demonstrate what is possible when the public and private sectors come together for the common good.”