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Human Interest Feature: Philadelphia – On the Map Where it Belongs

Written by a true “Philly Girl,” Jane H. Rosenberg

Philadelphia is ranked as the fifth most populated City. It is the heart of history, liberty and justice for the US as we know it today. For these and many other reasons, I am saddened when meeting and speaking with people to learn they have never heard of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Alternatively, people sometimes only recognize it as being sandwiched between New York City and Washington, DC. Once introduced however, business professionals, students and tourists alike begin a love affair with the region.

Throughout the decades, Philadelphia has been recognized for many things, beginning with where the Founding Fathers met and signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia was one of the nation’s capitals during the Revolutionary War, and the City served as the temporary US capital while Washington, DC, was under construction. In the 1800s Philadelphia was a major industrial center and a railroad hub. Immigrants from many countries flooded the region and continue to populate it today. Similar to many other cities throughout the US, there have been times of civil unrest, crime and economic difficulties in more recent decades. Many people fled the City for the suburbs, and retailers, restaurants, businesses and other Center City locals struggled. Revitalization began in the 1990s, and gentrification began to turn around neighborhoods and reverse population loss.

Today the Greater Philadelphia region is a thriving metropolis. Global multinationals and small and medium-sized businesses are based here; the City supports international trade, commerce and tourism across the world. The region’s geography and strategic location on the northeast seaboard make it a superb place to conduct business. Mass transit makes it easy to get around, and the cost of living is affordable compared to many other major city centers. Philadelphia is home to more than 80 colleges, universities, trade, and specialty schools. We are a family friendly and outdoor loving community with the largest landscaped, urban park in the world.

For those who have never heard of Philadelphia or cannot place it on a map I am proud that will change when our region will be in the spotlight for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’ visit in September 2015, and for the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. This April marks my fifth anniversary as Executive Director for the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. I am honored to be given the opportunity to promote our region’s international presence by creating valuable opportunities for BABC members to network and discuss important trade, economic and political issues affecting their businesses. The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the BABC has thrived for nearly 25 years and is one of the more active international groups in the region. The BABC would not exist without the dedicated support of more than 250 individuals representing nearly 80 businesses across industries with ties to the United Kingdom.

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