Craft Business Survey 

The impacts and hardships brought upon our creative economy during the first half of 2020 will have long-lasting effects

To understand and better serve Philadelphia’s craft and making community, we needed to hear from you.

The questions in this survey aimed to –

  • Quantify Philadelphia’s craft business and small-batch manufacturing sector
  • Identify existing support programs that can serve makers
  • Advocate for the development of new services that will support and grow this network


Why did we conduct this survey?

Craft-based businesses are run by highly skilled and creative individuals. They often are started from a place of passion and love of craft, making, art, and design. Too often business classes are left out of the craft education model, which leads to unnecessary struggles with business development. The impacts of the economic shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent social unrest have further amplified these difficulties and created new challenges. We wanted to help identify what support is needed and help increase access to capital, markets, space, workforce, peers, and entrepreneurial support, which are all key elements needed to start and grow businesses.

What will help you?

It was time to hear directly from the people we wanted to serve. We wanted to hear about pain points and if there have been barriers to getting outside support. Our research looked at all parts of the ecosystem, from those just getting started to established practices and businesses, and from skilled individuals looking for work opportunities to retailers looking to stock regionally produced wares. By capturing as much as we could about the current state of the support systems and collective health of individual practices and businesses, our hope was to find ways of better serving the needs of our city.  

Outcome and Next Steps

Feedback remained anonymous yet directly provided guidance to develop programing for the craft, creative, and artist community. Following the research and with feedback from the community and partners, CraftNOW produced a set of recommendations and program opportunities. Combined, the research and recommendations will be a guide for establishing a new support system, framing how to grow the craft, creative, and artist community and grow its economic and social impact on Philadelphia, the region, and globally.

During the summer, we hosted discussion groups and invited you to continue your participation beyond this survey. We also invite you to take advantage of our social media programming via takeovers and by using #CraftNOWPHL

This survey and supplementing research was prepared by Andrew Dahlgren and Heather Holiday. 

Inquiries about this survey and continued participation can be sent to