PHILADELPHIA (January 8, 2016)– Brownstein Group President & CEO Marc Brownstein penned an article for the January issue of Philly Ad News, giving his thoughts on the 2016 regional business outlook.
‘Tis the season of reflection, of taking stock and giving thanks. When CEOs nestle all snug in their beds, while visions of earnings dance in their heads. And a season when, for some reason, people turn prophetic, a proliferation of predictions, when pundits push to the pulpit, pontificating, preaching equal parts repentance and prosperity, promising ample pastures or perpetual peril.
As Philadelphians, we’re used to it. Each year we’re given new hope, from our sports teams to our waterfront, and each year we come to the end thinking we could’ve done more, should’ve done more. This year is no different. Or is it?
This year, the year past, we did a hell of a lot. And as a city that’s been around for more than three centuries, a city that birthed our democratic country, we started to get noticed. Not just for cheesesteaks and Santa snowballs, but for business, tourism, art, culture. From pop-up beer gardens, to green spaces and bike lanes. We even hosted the Pope, remember that? And while we did new stuff good, we did what we do best better – our educational institutions thrived, our innovation sector innovated, entrepreneurs entrepreneur’d – and what pride we had as an underdog turned into a celebration of who we’ve always been.
So, what’s next? Well for one thing, we’ve got some new elected officials, including the top spot. Mayor Nutter has taken us a long way – he yanked the international spotlight on our city, helped deliver the 2016 Democratic National Convention, oversaw population growth, spurred downtown and neighborhood revitalization – and while I doubt we’ve heard the last of him, that era is over, there’s still work to be done.
And I’m excited about Mayor Elect Kenney.
He’s born and raised, values this city, its people and wants to have an open dialogue with the business community, about how we can all work together to make Philadelphia a more attractive place to live and work. Kenney knows that the trend has reversed, that companies see value in a Center City location, that young talent wants to be here, wants to be where the action is, and ride their bike to it. The new Mayor will focus on improving the reputation of Philadelphia and, as our city’s creative pulse, as people who give vision and passion to concepts, as people who are responsible for merging art and commerce, we need to lend our insight. As advertising professionals, we owe it to the city, to ourselves, to actively engage in public policy.
But I’m not going to make any predictions. I’m not going to promise success, imply we’ve turned some metaphysical corner. In my mind, as a city, we’ve always had this potential, and we don’t need a date on a calendar for it to be realized. What I will offer is this – Brownstein Group has been in Philly since 1964, which means as an agency we’ve witnessed more than fifty of these end of year wrap-ups and year-ahead soothsayings. And we don’t remember a single one. Why? Because as others talk about what was and what will be, we create now.
Overall though? I predict the year ahead will be pretty great. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. ‘Tis the season.