Announcements

Congrats to 2022 PNC LGBT Business Award Winner, Beyond the Bell Tours!

Philadelphia, PA (May 2022) – The Independence Business Alliance is excited to announce the recipient of the 12th Annual PNC Bank $5,000 LGBT Business Award, given by PNC Bank to an LGBT or allied IBA-member business that is poised to grow, innovate, and give back to the community. This year, the award goes to LGBTQ-focused Beyond the Bell Tours in Philadelphia!
 
Beyond the Bell tours are a social enterprise committed to “Putting the People Back in People’s History.” They create inclusive historical walking tours of Philadelphia highlighting marginalized communities, peoples, and histories. They tell stories of people they love and admire. People who have shaped our city through movements, activism, and resistance.
 
Rebecca Fisher (she/her/hers), who co-founded the business with Joey Leroux (he/him/his), had this to say about what the $5,000 means to their organization: “In this moment while anti-LGBTQ+ laws are being passed across the country, we are heading towards light and love by celebrating our LGBTQ  ancestors who have fought for our rights before us on our 2022 Pride Trolley Tour. We are grateful to IBA and PNC for their support in helping us tell LGBTQ stories with pride this June.”
 
IBA Executive Director Zach Wilcha says, “We are incredibly grateful for PNC’s commitment to our organization and the our community’s small businesses. As a founding corporate partner of the IBA, their PNC LGBT Business Award has impacted innovative and creative businesses for 11 years now, and we can’t wait to celebrate future winners.”
 
Congratulations to Beyond the Bell Tours, and all of the other incredible applicants!
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Grubhub & NGLCC to Present IBA with Grants During Multi-State Tour Supporting LGBTQ Businesses

April 25, 2022 | For Immediate Release

Greater Philadelphia — Grubhub, a leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace with the largest and most comprehensive network of restaurant partners, and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community and certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses nationwide, are embarking on a multi-state series of events celebrating LGBTQ business resiliancy, featuring a visit with Independence Business Alliance.
 
On May 10 at noon our annual Business Leaders Luncheon will take place at City Winery Philadelphia, featuring outstanding business owners and community leaders from our region, as well as guests from the NGLCC, Grubhub, and partner organizations. Business resources and opportunities will be shared with the community, as well as a presentation of grants to honorees. To learn more and register for this event, visit here: bit.ly/IBABLL2022
 
The NGLCC’s network of more than fifty Affiliate Chambers across America, of which the Independence Business Alliance is a proud partner, helped amplify this grant opportunity to support local restaurants. Local chambers will also benefit from this initiative’s newly established “Affiliate Chamber Fund.” This fund will enable any establishment that receives a Community Impact Grant that is not currently a member of an NGLCC local affiliate chamber to have one year of membership paid.
 
We’re incredibly proud to be a partner of NGLCC and GrubHub for their Community Impact Grant program. So many of our hospitality partners were disproportionately adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and programs like these that help restaurants and other food providers get back on their feet are essential to our region’s economic comeback. Our hope is that other companies will model GrubHub’s actions and create opportunities for small businesses – which are the backbone of our region’s and nation’s economy,” said Zach Wilcha, the Executive Director of the Independence Business Alliance.
 
The NGLCC & Grubhub Community Impact Grant program provides a financial lifeline to those impacted by COVID-19 with grants expected to range from $5,000 to $100,000. 
Throughout the month of June 2021, NGLCC was the official partner of Grubhub’s Donate the Change, which has raised tens of millions of dollars for organizations in need since launching in late 2019. The partnership welcomed Grubhub and Seamless diners to round up their order total and donate the difference, with the company matching eligible donations from Grubhub+ members. The proceeds raised will now be made available through NGLCC to support the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+-owned restaurants. 
 
“We often say at NGLCC that ‘If you can buy it, an LGBTQ+-owned business can supply it.’ That is especially true of the LGBTQ+-owned restaurants across America who kept our communities and first responders fed throughout the pandemic. We’re proud to partner with Grubhub in presenting these grants across America. America’s 1.4 million LGBTQ+-owned business owners have demonstrated incredible resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now we can back to help them recover stronger than ever,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson.
 
“As the world starts to return to a new normal, we know many businesses are rebuilding and reopening, especially LGBTQ+-owned restaurants that are often the pillars of their communities,” said Jessica Burns, vice president of brand and creative at Grubhub. “We’re thrilled to partner with NGLCC and give back to the LGBTQ+ community – one that has shown incredible strength and support for those in need throughout the pandemic.”
 
About NGLCC
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, known as Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers.
www.nglcc.org @nglcc
 
About Independence Business Alliance
The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) is the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and an affiliate of the NGLCC. Providing opportunities, access, and resources for LGBTQ+ businesses, employees, and our visible allies, the IBA advocates for, educates, and connects our LGBTQ+ and business communities. The IBA is a member of the Diverse Chambers Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
www.thinkiba.com @think_iba
 
About Grubhub
Grubhub is a leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace with the largest and most comprehensive network of restaurant partners, as well as 33 million active diners. Dedicated to connecting diners with the food they love from their favorite local restaurants, Grubhub elevates food ordering through innovative restaurant technology, easy-to-use platforms and an improved delivery experience. Grubhub features over 300,000 restaurants and is proud to partner with over 280,000 of these restaurants in over 4,000 U.S. cities. The Grubhub portfolio of brands includes Grubhub, Seamless, LevelUp, AllMenus and MenuPages.

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Philadelphia Area Alliance of Diverse Chambers of Commerce Announce New Coalition To Work Collectively for Economic Growth

October 6, 2021 | For Immediate Release
Philadelphia, PA — Today, the Diverse Chambers Coalition of Philadelphia, a collective of local diverse chambers of commerce, announced a formal partnership to focus on working collaboratively to facilitate entrepreneurship and growth, to advocate collectively on shared issues, and to increase each member’s organizational efficiency. The Diverse Chambers Coalition of Philadelphia (DCCPHL) includes the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Independence Business Alliance (Greater Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce). This announcement coincides with Philadelphia Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week 2021, which highlights Philadelphia’s minority businesses and the resources that help them grow.

The diverse business communities represented by the alliance of chambers account for an annual estimated contribution of more than $3 trillion to the U.S. economy. The DCCPHL will work collectively, as a community, to meet the unique challenges minority business enterprises face when they engage with our local economy. With the goal of economic uplift for and within the diverse minority business community, this coalition will speak with a united voice on issues where members unanimously align. This collective will aim to identify areas of collaboration among diverse businesses and will advocate for the advancement of policies that support the growth of diverse-owned companies at the tables where decisions are made. This partnership will work together to advocate for, educate, and connect our businesses for the greater good.

“Minority-owned businesses are the pillar of their communities and are the key to the revitalization of neighborhoods across our region. This coalition will be crucial in uplifting their efforts and ensuring minority-owned businesses have a stronger voice in the inclusive growth of our City,” said Regina A. Hairston, CEO & President of the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE.
““For the past year and a half going through the pandemic, one lesson learned is that small and micro diverse business issues were not understood and not well served. There is a strong need to focus on these businesses to help them provide jobs to contribute to the local and regional economy,” said Narasimha Shenoy, President of the Board of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia. “Asian businesses alone account for 10% of businesses in the city, with 9700 hundred of them having more than one employee. Diverse chambers are organized to meet unique needs of its businesses. The Diverse Chambers Coalition will collectively advocate to better serve our diverse small and micro businesses to grow the local and regional economy.”
Jennifer Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce noted, “Diverse small businesses are the backbone of our communities, but they often feel powerless. Bringing the diverse chambers together through this coalition will enable us to be more effective in advocating for the policies and resources that will help small diverse businesses thrive.”
“Diverse Chamber Coalition leaders have realized through our collaborative efforts that we can better advocate for our businesses, especially small ones which comprise the backbone of the city’s economy, when we speak with a unified voice,” said Zachary Wilcha, Executive Director of the Independence BUsiness Alliance. “Demonstrating commitment to diversity is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the smartest thing to do for businesses large and small. This coalition is unified behind a common theme: Diversity is good for business; and that’s good for Philadelphia.

For additional information, please contact:

Regina A. Hairston, President & CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE rhairston@aachamber.org

Narasimha Shenoy, Chairman Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
nshenoy@asianchamberphila.org

Jennifer Rodriguez, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce
jrodriguez@philahispanicchamber.org

Zachary Wilcha, Executive Director, Independence Business Alliance
zach@thinkiba.com

About the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE: The AACC is the leading advocate for minority owned business in the Delaware Valley and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to enhance the growth and effectiveness of African-American owned businesses in the Delaware Valley, and thereby, to improve the economic conditions within the regional African-American community. Its primary goal is to further the interests of businesses by responding to the needs of the business community and serving as an advocate for the purpose of increasing economic opportunities for the African-American community. https://www.aachamber.com/

About the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia:The AACC promotes and fosters relationships between Asian American and non-Asian communities, providing technical assistance and educational services for the start-up and growth of Asian American businesses, and bringing together Asian American business owners and professions, serving as a liaison between the federal, state and local governments and other chambers of commerce organizations, and promoting education programs to increase awareness of Asian American businesses. We are dedicated to promoting regional economic growth between Asian & non-Asian businesses while advancing business-friendly public policies, servicing our members through outstanding programs, benefits, and services. https://asianchamberphila.org/

About the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce: Established in 1990, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) is a not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting the advancement and economic growth of Hispanic businesses and professionals in the greater Philadelphia region. We accomplish this through educational programs, and a broad range of services and special events. The GPHCC proactively serves a diverse membership—consisting of entrepreneurs, Latino businesses, Latino professionals, corporations and government—with the overriding goal of helping these critical constituencies capitalize on the many opportunities their diversity, enhanced by our Latino multicultural mix, offers. Our Mission is to develop, promote and advocate for Hispanic business in the Greater Philadelphia region while encouraging the advancement and economic growth of the Hispanic community. https://www.philahispanicchamber.org/

About the Independence Business Alliance: The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) is Greater Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce. The IBA provides opportunities, access and resources to LGBTQ+ businesses, LGBTQ+ professionals, and our visible allies in the Greater Philadelphia area. The mission of the Independence Business Alliance is to promote Greater Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ business and leadership communities to enhance financial opportunities, foster diversity, develop leadership and collaboration, and advocate for positive change. www,thinkiba.com

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IBA Holiday Party 2021

IBA Holiday Party 2021 December 14th, 6pm – 9pm Morris House Hotel, Philadelphia

It’s been too long. We can’t wait to see you and celebrate in person! This year’s Holiday Party will:

· Take place under a large, open, heated tent in a courtyard
· Have indoor and outdoor areas to match everyone’s comfort level
· Require folks to wear masks when indoors and not eating or drinking
· Be full of lite fare options and have an open select bar
· Require a proof of vaccination
· Be capped at a number which falls safely within regulations of the venue and City

The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) is a membership-based business organization dedicated to making the Philadelphia region an influential and diverse LGBTQ+ business community with an impact on economic development, business equality, and policy issues. The IBA is a proud official affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). IBA serves more than 750 professionals across over 300 member businesses in Greater Philadelphia. There are more than 70 Certified LGBT Business Enterprises in IBA’s footprint, which collectively generate nearly half a billion dollars of revenue each year.

The annual IBA Holiday Party has become the largest LGBTQ+ holiday gathering of its kind in the Greater Philadelphia region, where members and non-members alike join together to celebrate the holiday spirit and network one last time before the new year. Our last Holiday Party in 2019 was our largest ever, and brought more than 300 together for holiday cheer and business success! The event has become an exciting way to engage business sponsors who would like exposure to our members and their companies.

TICKET PRICES:
-Tickets are selling fast and we WILL sell out!
-Early Bird prices have ended. After November 25th, ticket prices are $100 for IBA Members, and $120 for Non-Members.
-Not a member but know you want to come to the event? Become a member NOW so that you can receive the Member-discount ticket price!
-Can’t make the event in-person and want to support the IBA? Purchase a $90 “Support from Home (not attending)” ticket at any time to show your support!

Purchase your tickets here!

Email Operations Coordinator kai@thinkiba.com with any questions.

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IBA Business Leaders Luncheon 2020!

Independence Business Alliance’s Business Leaders Luncheon celebrates the achievements of the LGBTQ+ business community, including the awarding of the PNC Bank LGBT Business Award.

The event provides an outstanding opportunity to place your business in front of decision makers and support the work of Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.

A number of sponsorships are available for the event, which will attract nearly 300 business owners and professionals, LGBTQ+ business leaders, corporate and community partners, and government officials.

Sponsorship Packages are going fast – email zach@thinkiba.com today for details. Ticketing information available NEXT WEEK – we’ll see you there on May 12th!

Mark your calendar for:
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 from 11am to 1:30pm
at City Winery Philadelphia
990 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

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IBA + IBX LGBTQ Health Fair

The Health Fair is back! This one-of-a-kind event, in combination with our popular monthly ConnX mixer, will take place on Monday, October 21st from 5pm to 7:30pm at Independence LIVE space, conveniently located at 20th and Market in Center City, Philadelphia.
This third annual LGBTQ health & wellness event will provide unique opportunities for IBA members to purchase vending space, and all are welcome to attend, network, and learn more about LGBTQ-friendly wellness services in our community.
The Health Fair will also feature cooking and exercise demonstrations, all set in a state-of-the-art space that is dedicated to wellness. In addition to drawing our regular ConnX crowd, this event will be highly publicized and open to the public.

We welcome any health or wellness related businesses to join us by tabling! (Nutrition, fitness, stress management, family health, financial health, legal, dental, hospitals, technology, massage, etc.)

We look forward to celebrating the wellbeing of the community with you!

Register here

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Summer 2019 Events at IBA!

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Congrats to 2019 PNC Award Winner, MTR Therapy

Philadelphia, PA (May 2019) – The Independence Business Alliance held their Business Leaders Luncheon presented by Bristol-Myers Squibb at the Lucy on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, commemorating the growth and achievement in the Greater Philadelphia LGBT business community with a full house of LGBTQA leaders.

The afternoon featured a presentation of the 9th annual PNC Bank $10,000 LGBT Business Award, given by PNC Bank to an LGBT or allied IBA-member business that is poised to grow, innovate, and give back to the community.

Winners from the last few years have gone on to do incredible things with the award from building a website to increase book sales to establishing a mentoring program to creating a method of using technology to prevent bias in the hiring process. Winners from the last few years have gone on to do incredible things with the award from building a website to increase book sales to establishing a mentoring program to creating a method of using technology to prevent bias in the hiring process.

This year, the award went to certified LGBT-owned business, MTR Therapy. Founded and led by Michael Tyler Ramos, MTR Therapy was established in March 2015 as a solo practice but quickly grew into a group practice. They have a primary office location in Rittenhouse Square and additional locations at the William Way Center and in Lawrenceville NJ. They are open 7 days a week and also offer virtual services to those individuals to those who are unable to be seen at one of their locations.

The Mission of MTR Therapy is to increase accessibility for all to obtain high quality mental health services within our diverse communities. They operate from a holistic approach, integrating the mind and body to support all individuals along their journey. They are intentional in working with the communities they are a part of and having staff reflect those communities. Their mantra is services for the community by the community.

Their PNC Award-winning proposal is a Young Adult Initiative Career and Identity Development Group for people of color who identify as LGBTQ+ and are within the ages of 18-25 – an 8-week group they have developed to support LGBTQ youth of color. Additionally, they will leverage the practice foundation in trauma and provide individualized care to those who are in need of additional support to ensure completion of such a group. As insurance will not cover the costs of the services provided, the PNC Award grant will support MTR’s mission of increasing access to the community. This program aligns with the goals of PNC and the IBA in providing a healthy space for LGBTQ youth of color to process their identity as well as explore their college and career goals.

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IBA Announces New Board Members, Corporate Partners, and Award Winner at Annual Meeting

June 21, 2018 – The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) celebrated the close of its eleventh fiscal year on June 19th at the Hotel Monaco’s Stratus Lounge, with a crowd of over 150 LGBTQ and allied business leaders and community members.

IBA Executive Director, Zach Wilcha shared the addition of two new corporate partners that came aboard to support the IBA’s work in empowering the LGBTQ business community in Greater Philadelphia. Wilmington-based chemical company Chemours joined at the Gold Level, while GlaxoSmithKline was welcomed as a new Silver level partner.

The IBA’s Governance chair, Jeremy Gussick, ushered in a vote of the IBA membership which elected three new members to the IBA Board of Directors: Jerry Rice, of Cambria Hotel Philadelphia, Kanak Singh, of Ernst & Young, and Daniel Kredensor, of PNC Bank.

From left to right: Board Presdient Rich Horrow, Membership & Marketing Coordinator Jess Gregan, Dan Kredensor, Jerry Rice, Kanak Singh, Executive Director Zach Wilcha, and Vice President Rosalind Sutch. Photo by Kelly Burkhardt.

IBA Corporate Partner, Integrity Staffing Solutions, then presented the 2018 Business Integrity Award to Patient Care Coordination – a local, LGBT owned business that enhances quality of life for those who need assistive services.

Christine Hahn-Proffitt of Integrity Staffing Solutions and Paul Rimar of Patient Care Coordination. Photo by Kelly Burkhardt.

Before the evening concluded, Executive Director Zach Wilcha also shared that the IBA will be providing voter registration forms at every event going forward, in an effort to incentivize the civic engagement of the LGBTQ business community.

 

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Congrats to 2018 PNC LGBT Business Award Winners, YIKES Inc!

Philadelphia, PA (May 2018) – The Independence Business Alliance held their Business Leaders Luncheon presented by West Laurel Hill at the Down Town Club on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, commemorating the growth and achievement in the Greater Philadelphia LGBT business community with a full house of LGBTQA leaders.

The afternoon featured a presentation of the 8th annual PNC Bank $10,000 LGBT Business Award, given by PNC Bank to an LGBT or allied IBA-member business that is poised to grow, innovate, and give back to the community. This year, the award went to certified LGBT and Women owned business, YIKES Inc!

YIKES, Inc is a collaborative, results-driven Philadelphia web design and development agency with the knowledge, qualifications and skills to understand complex virtual needs and provide expert solutions. Specializing in WordPress development and design, YIKES, Inc. builds websites builds websites with a robust content management system (CMS) to easily maintain site content. Our expertise includes custom themes and plugins, web-based applications, ecommerce with a specialty in extending WooCommerce, WordPress Multisite, third-party integrations such as MailChimp, Square, Salesforce and more.

Founded in 1996 as a sustainable, ethics-based business, YIKES, Inc. is a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation and a certified B Corporation. Dedicated to sustainable business practices, YIKES observes the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. YIKES is committed to building a more socially, environmentally and financially sustainable local economy.

YIKES will use the $10,000 award to further development of its Level Playing Field WordPress plugin that anonymizes job applications to fight bias in employment, thereby promoting true merit-based hiring.

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IBA Announces New Membership Levels for 2018!

With the all of the growth we’ve had at the IBA this year, we can’t wait to see how far we go in 2018! Our membership structure is being updated with expanded benefits, and member dues are increasing. Stay tuned for the full, updated membership guide!

Starting January 1, 2018 Membership Dues will be as follows:

Student – $25
Young Professional (new level) – $150
Nonprofit – $150
Business Networker (formerly Business) – $250
Business Builder (formerly Executive) – $550
Business Connector (formerly President) – $1000
Business Leader (formerly Chairman) – $2500

Renew or upgrade your membership before January 1st to take advantage of 2017 rates by contacting us at iba@thinkiba.com

We’re excited to also announce the launch of our new member portal, Member365! This January, you’ll notice a new look and feel to your account, and expanded features like member discussion boards, auto-renewal, and more.

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Announcing Our New Corporate Partner, Jefferson

The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) is thrilled to welcome Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health as a Gold Corporate Partner. The news was announced this morning, at the IBA’s annual President’s Breakfast.

 

“Jefferson contributes $6.5 billion to the region’s economy and it is imperative that we support our local businesses and LGBT neighbors with this impact,” said Joseph Hill, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “Our membership in Philadelphia’s Independence Business Alliance will help us connect to local LGBT businesses and increase supplier diversity. It also signifies our commitment and support of the LGBT community.”

 

Jefferson, located in the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey, is reimagining health care and education to create unparalleled value. Jefferson is 28,000 people strong, dedicated to providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, preparing tomorrow’s professional leaders for 21st century careers, and discovering new treatments to define the future of care. Jefferson’s newly recalibrated Office of Diversity and Inclusion plays central role in promoting diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency through its interaction and collaboration with a variety of offices and schools. This work reduces health and education disparities, increases student body and faculty diversity, and promotes an inclusive environment for the entire university. Their recent commitment to establishing procedures and plans for supplier diversity initiatives makes them a perfect fit for the IBA.

 

“This partnership is breaking ground for the IBA in corporate partnership in the eds and meds space,” says IBA Executive Director, Zach Wilcha. “This partnership is made all the more significant by the fact that this is an industry for which our city is among the leading cities in the world. The inclusion of, and support for, LGBT businesses in this sector is a great asset for our community.”

 

Jefferson has a strong history of support for and alliance with the LGBT community, and we are thrilled that its partnership with the IBA will highlight that commitment.

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