Philip owned a general merchant store located on the Palmetto and Spring Street corner in Green Cove Springs, Florida where he lived most of his life. Through this business, Philip funded the building of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Green Cove Springs, Florida. There is a stained glass window in rememberance of his efforts with the Green Cove Springs church.
His daughter Belle reflected, "Back then priests were not able to come down to sermon each day. So the community would ring my father's bell. He would read scriptures to the folks and report to the priest."
Philip purchased the Clay County Crescent newspaper, and his two sons Phil and Frank helped their father.
At one point, his sons ran the Canova Printing Company in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Francis J. Canova was the manager, and operated it with his brother Philip J. Canova, Jr. They did business through mail orders, and did engraving and binding as well as printing.