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The annual business conference was held earlier this month for the first time in two years. Photo Courtesy of Beaumonde Originals.
The annual business conference was held earlier this month for the first time in two years. Photo Courtesy of Beaumonde Originals.

How the Independence Business Alliance and the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce celebrated small businesses and the LGBTQ+ community

Their annual luncheon was its first event in two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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On Monday, May 10, 2022, The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) and The LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, held its annual business conference. The meeting was its first since 2019.

The event took place at City Winery inside of the Fashion District in Center City.

Transwork, an organization which provides transgender and non-binary individuals with resources to help them meet employment needs and career goals, gave the opening remarks at the reception.

Sponsors included organizations such as The Philadelphia Gay News, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PECO, and Philly Aids Thrift. 

The event celebrated the achievements of small businesses within the Philadelphia area, while also bringing awareness to the many injustices that the LGBTQ+ community had to face.

Over $90,000 in total were given to kind donors at the event, such as PNC Bank and The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).

The NGLCC was in attendance at the event to distribute funds from their GrubHub Community Impact Grant program.

The organization provided a financial boost to those impacted by COVID-19 with grants that ranged from $5,000 to $100,000.

“The PNC bank award was two separate $5,000 awards to LGBTQ owned businesses and the NGLCC GrubHub money was grants between five and 10 thousand that went to eight local restaurants that were either LGBTQ owned or allied,” Zachary Wilcha, the executive director at The Independence Business Alliance said to AL DIA News.

The two recipients of this year’s and last year’s PNC Bank LGBT Business Award was Be Intentional Financial LLC, a financial planning firm for queer communities run by River Nice and Beyond the Bell Tours, a local tour company focusing on the hidden history within LGBTQ+ community and women throughout Philadelphia.

Throughout the month of June 2021, NGLCC partnered with GrubHub’s Donate the Change program. Customers of GrubHub have the option to donate their change and round up when they checkout. 

The initiative raised over $10 million for delivery drivers and struggling food businesses since 2019. The Donate the Change program has been extremely beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to donations raised to select organizations, The IBA also announced that it will have a new foundation arm which will raise money for their programming, such as TransWork and Intersections.

The IBA is dedicated to providing LGBTQ businesses the opportunity to thrive and to have the same equal opportunities as other businesses. They do so by providing resources, leadership, and economical development growth within the Philadelphia area and throughout the region.

The IBA is an official affiliate of the NGLCC.

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