Campaigning candidates often think and talk big in order to win votes, and Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony H. Williams, who’s seeking the Democratic nod in the Philadelphia mayoral race, has proposed a municipal bank as part of his economic platform.
Meant to appeal to entrepreneurs, this public bank would leverage the City of Philadelphia’s funds in order to extend credit to local businesses through regional banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. (It wouldn’t be a brick-and-mortar retail institution.)
“We have the ability to have a great economy,” says Williams, “but it’s housed primarily around Center City. We’ve also seen it grow around universities, so it demonstrates that we have the reliability and the money in neighborhoods to actually turn over dollars. It’s just never been targeted.”
Williams’ proposed public bank would aim public money at entrepreneurs looking to open businesses on stagnant commercial corridors in Philadelphia neighborhoods.
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