Request for Qualifications: Experienced Commercial Corridor/Business District Management Coaches, Trainers & Facilitators Sought

The Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC) seeks responses to this Request for Qualifications from individuals or teams with experience managing business districts or commercial corridors to potentially serve as coaches, trainers and/or peer session facilitators (henceforth “coaches”) for less experienced corridor management staff, as well as to support other corridor management staff navigate through COVID-19 related challenges on corridors through our new Strengthening Philly Corridor Management Initiative (CMI).

Please reply to this RFQ using this on-line form by September 4, 2020:   

Questions about the RFQ or CMI project can be sent to Beth McConnell at before August 14th or between August 31st to September 4th with the subject line “RFQ Questions.”

Who should reply to this RFQ

PACDC is seeking replies from individuals or teams with five years or longer experience in the relevant areas of focus described below. If you currently manage a Community Development Corporation, Business Improvement District, or other business district management organization or relevant program at that organization, you may respond to this RFQ either in your personal capacity, or as an individual on behalf of an organization.  Individuals not currently employed with a CDC, BID, or similar organization but that also bring hands-on subject matter expertise, or have managed corridor programs in a previous capacity, are also encouraged to respond.  Teams of two or more individuals are welcome to respond if they bring complimentary skills and have a history working in partnership. 


PACDC aims to select a cohort of coaches in September 2020, and the project will run from October 2020 through October 2021.  We anticipate most coaches will spend a total of 48 hours over nine of those twelve months working either one-on-one with staff, or in a role as an expert trainer or facilitator on a more limited basis.  Coaches that have skills and experiences we’re searching for in multiple areas may have an opportunity to take on multiple roles and additional hours, subject to their availability.


PACDC works to create an equitable city where every Philadelphian lives, works, and thrives in a neighborhood that offers an excellent quality of life.  As a membership association, we foster

strong community development corporations and non-profit community organizations by enhancing their skills and advocating for resources and policies to create a just and inclusive Philadelphia.  We offer training, technical assistance, policy development and advocacy, and peer-learning opportunities for organizations and individuals working to strengthen communities.  Learn more about us at

About the Strengthening Philly Corridor Management Initiative

With support from the Philadelphia Department of Commerce and JPMorgan Chase, and in

partnership with Philadelphia LISC, PACDC is launching the Strengthening Philly Corridor Management Initiative (CMI) to strengthen the capacity and professional development of individuals and organizations that focus on commercial corridor/business district management.  

We are seeing assistance with two of the components of CMI: 1) an On-Boarding Program, which will help individuals new to corridor management learn the basics of the job, and 2) a Problem Solving Learning Lab, which will help managers with more experience work through challenges that have emerged due to the COVID-19 crisis through a peer-learning process.  PACDC is seeking experienced coaches to help implement these initiatives.  The underlined and italicized text below describes the role they would play in the CMI program.

On-Boarding Program

This process will introduce managers to the web of policies, programs, and people they need to know to get started, as well as how commercial corridor revitalization fits into the broader community development field.  It will ensure the core principles of community economic development are reinforced, as well as the importance of building community organizing and outreach skills. It will also consider how the on-boarding process can help corridor managers develop cultural competencies so they can work effectively with diverse stakeholders and understand the important role they can play in advancing equity in their communities.  Professional development goals for the new corridor manager will be established in coordination with their staff manager or Executive Director.  Trainers and facilitators will assist with delivering already developed curriculum during the On-Boarding program sessions.  Coaches will provide follow-up assistance to participants over the six weeks following the training to help them incorporate key tactics into their daily work, as well as make progress with their professional development goals.  Additional one-on-one coaching beyond the initial six-week period will be available on an as-needed basis.  Following the completion of the on-boarding and six-week coaching program, participants will receive a certificate acknowledging completion of this process. 

Problem Solving Learning Lab

PACDC will identify a cohort of up to six more experienced corridor managers to tackle challenges that have emerged in corridor management due to COVID-19, such as increased vacancy, the need to pivot marketing away from in-person festivals or events, limited hours and capacity within stores and restaurants, challenges with communication and data collection, and so on.  These meetings may either be structured as the same group of individuals meeting regularly (such as monthly or bi-monthly) for up to nine months, or three to four different small groups each tackling a different challenge.  Either way, one component will be peer cohort participants sharing their knowledge with other cohort members.  Facilitators of these gatherings are sought, and experts will also be brought in on a periodic basis as trainers.  One-on-one coaching will be provided to participants in between the regular meetings to ensure progress and accountability.

Role of Coaches, Trainers and Facilitators

As noted in the underlined and italicized text above, coaches, trainers, and facilitators will provide assistance and support to individuals participating in this program during or following the on-boarding and/or learning lab.  Facilitators’ primary focus is in meeting facilitation.  Trainers are subject matter experts that will speak or present on topics of their expertise at gatherings.  Coaches will be asked to provide one-on-one support to corridor managers, about 48 hours of their time over nine of the twelve months during October 2020 through October 2021, or 5 to 6 hours per month.  There will likely be opportunities for additional hours for coaches with a wide ranging skill sets that are available.  Respondents to this RFQ may express interest in any or all three roles.  PACDC will work with selected qualified respondents to develop an individualized scope of work that will specify the exact roles, responsibilities, and hours. 

We are looking for coaches, trainers, and facilitators that have five years or more expertise in some or all of the following areas of focus: 

  • Outreach, organizing, and engagement of community members and business owners
  • Raising funds for corridor-specific programs and services, including capital and programmatic funds
  • Managing vacancy, including developing strategies for activating vacant spaces temporarily or permanently
  • Business attraction and retention
  • Planning and organizing events such as festivals, as well as on-line or virtual events that can substitute for in-person events or festivals during COVID-19 limitations
  • Marketing and branding of corridors
  • Gathering, managing, and utilizing comprehensive data about corridors, including data about businesses, shoppers, and property conditions
  • E-Commerce that can help businesses continue to operate during limitations on in-person operations
  • Project management
  • Facilitation of meetings and strategic discussions
  • Helping business owners access programs and resources such as grants and loans, the Storefront Improvement Program, InStore, business security grant program, small business resource centers, or similar programs
  • Working with diverse cultural communities and/or expanding language access
  • Managing corridor cleaning programs
  • Design, such as storefronts, streetscapes, public spaces, window display
  • Zoning and planning
  • Commercial or mixed use real estate development and/or property management
  • Non-profit organizational development, management, and communications
  • Any other areas that we did not identify but that are important to effective corridor or business district management.

Please respond to the questions below by September 4th 2020 through the on-line form here:

  • Your Name.  List names of additional Team Members if responding as a Team.
  • Primary Contact Email
  • Primary Contact Phone Number
  • Are you responding to this RFQ in your Personal Capacity or Organizational Capacity?  Individuals responding in their personal capacity will be contracted with as an independent consultant;  PACDC will contract with employers for those responding in their organizational capacity.
  • If responding in an Organizational Capacity, please name the organization. Leave blank if unsure or responding in your Personal Capacity.
  • Are you/your team interested in the role of facilitator, trainer, or coach (list all that apply)?
  • Please list the areas of focus of corridor or business district management in which you/your team possess expertise:
  • Please describe through what experiences you/your team gained your area of expertise, and share examples of your past success in these areas.
  • What is your/your team’s hourly rate, exclusive of travel or materials costs?
  • Is there a minimum or maximum number of hours that you/your team can be available for coaching over an 8 to 9 month period during October 2020 to October 2021?
  • Which methods are you/your team comfortable using to provide coaching, training, or facilitation?  Indicate by highlighting all that apply.
  1. Over the telephone
  2. Using web-based video conferencing like Zoom or similar
  3. Subject to the most current guidance from the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Departments of Health or other authorities, in-person at my office with proper social distancing and mask wearing
  4. Subject to the most current guidance from the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Departments of Health or other authorities, in-person at the offices of PACDC or its partners with proper social distancing and mask wearing
  5. Other (describe)
  • Do you/your team speak any languages other than English?
  • Please provide a resume or curriculum vitae that includes the address from where you/your team are based (for the purpose of travel-related considerations should in-person meetings or gatherings become possible during the course of this project)

Please reply to the questions above using this on-line form by September 4, 2020: