A $10,000 award to a non-profit from the Independence Business Alliance (IBA)? It is so and for good reason. Philadelphia’s defacto Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has awarded its PNC Bank LGBT Business Award to Philadelphia AIDS Thrift and it is mildly unprecedented.
Previous awards have gone to a fitness business (in 2012 to Unite Fitness), retailers (Metro Men’s Clothing in 2013), bars and restaurants (Gold Standard Café in West Philly in 2015 and Rittenhouse’s Stir Lounge last year), but this one’s exceptional in part because it honors the legacy of Giovanni’s Room in Center City. Giovanni’s Room, one of the very last standing and longest-running LGBT bookstores in the entire country, was kept afloat when Philly AIDS Thrift intervened last year.
“Even though Amazon is the big goliath, there are plenty of people who want to support an LGBT business, especially a business like ours where proceeds go to supporting HIV and AIDS organizations,” Philly AIDS Thrift board member Roy DeLaMar told us. “IBA saw value in what we do obviously, which we appreciate. In the ten years we’ve been open we’ve donated $1.5 million to organizations in the Delaware Valley. They saw our model working and they wanted to invest in it.”