Philadelphia Forum to Focus on Challenges Facing Small and Diverse Businesses
Hosted by AmeriHealth Caritas and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, event will bring together executives, state officials and local business owners to discuss advancement opportunities for small and diverse businesses
AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in Medicaid managed care, is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia to host a Small and Diverse Business Forum that will address the challenges facing small and minority-owned businesses. The event will take place on Thursday, September 19, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing.
Minority-owned businesses are an engine for our economy, both nationally and within local communities. According to the 2018 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Disparity Study, which includes analyses of the diverse businesses in prime contracts and subcontracts in the state, there is an increase in total spend with diverse businesses. But, despite the progress that minorities and women have made with regard to business ownership, the report notes that barriers remain in starting and expanding businesses.
“Small and diverse-owned businesses are key to the communities they serve. That’s why it is vital we continue to support the success and growth of local businesses, which is the very reason why we have doubled our investment in these businesses since 2013,” said Steve Bohner, Executive Vice President of Health Markets for AmeriHealth Caritas. “Our hope is to continue to maintain a dynamic dialogue among leading community members and work with state officials to provide small and diverse business owners the boost they need to take their businesses to the next level.”
The event will bring together local executives, state officials and Philadelphia business owners for an important discussion. In addition, the event will feature panel discussions with participation from:
- A. Bruce Crawley, APR, MJ, President, CEO and Principal Owner, Millennium 3 Management, Inc.
- Kerry Kirkland, Deputy Secretary for Diversity, Inclusion & Small Business Opportunities, Pennsylvania Department of General Services
- Senator Sharif Street, 3rd Senatorial District of Philadelphia
- Iola Harper, Deputy Commerce Director, Office of Economic Opportunity, City of Philadelphia
- Valarie Cofield, President and CEO, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council
- Anna Bohl-Fabian, Manager of Civic Affairs, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
- Mia Mendoza, CEO, Mendoza Group, Inc.
- Ron Baldwin, Director of Supplier Management and Diversity, AmeriHealth Caritas
“Small and diverse businesses across Pennsylvania are powering the state economy and bringing vibrancy to local communities. When faced with challenges to grow and expand their businesses, whether that be accessing capital or applying for state contracts, it is imperative that we, as a community, stand up and help offer solutions,” said Kerry Kirkland, Deputy Secretary for Diversity, Inclusion & Small Business Opportunities. “I am happy to work alongside AmeriHealth Caritas to bring this important discussion to life so we can better support Small Diverse Businesses and enhance the overall economic stability of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
AmeriHealth Caritas is invested in the neighborhoods its members call home, where populations are increasingly multicultural, multilingual and multidimensional. The company partners with local businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans with disabilities – many of whom are the fabric of its membership – to position them for success.
This forum is the third in a series that AmeriHealth Caritas is hosting. The first and second, held in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh respectively, were a great success.