ABOVE PHOTO: Hosted by AmeriHealth Caritas and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, the Small & Diverse Business Forum included interactive panel discussions and audience networking. Pictured on-stage from left to right: Valarie Cofield, president and CEO, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council; Ron Baldwin, director of supplier management and diversity, AmeriHealth Caritas; Mia Mendoza, CEO and president, Mendoza Group, Inc.; Anna Bohl-Fabian, manager of civic affairs, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia; A. Bruce Crawley, APR, MJ, president, CEO and principal owner, Millennium 3 Management, Inc.
AmeriHealth Caritas — a national leader in Medicaid managed care — partnered with the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia to host a small and diverse business forum that addressed the challenges facing small and minority-owned businesses recently.
The event took place on September 19 at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing.
The forum brought together local executives, state officials and Philadelphia-based business owners for this important discussion. It also featured panel discussions featuring: A. Bruce Crawley, APR, MJ, president, CEO and principal owner, Millennium 3 Management, Inc.; Kerry Kirkland, deputy secretary for diversity, inclusion and small business opportunities, Pennsylvania Department of General Services; State Senator Sharif Street, 3rd Senatorial District; 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. and 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,” Kirkland said. “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.”
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 spending 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,” 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.”
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 has hosted. The first and second, held in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh respectively, were a great success. For more information on the Philadelphia event, please visit: http://bit.lv/PHLBizForum. To learn more about AmeriHealth Caritas’ programs to support small and diverse businesses, please visit: https://www.amerihealthcaritas.com/smallbusiness.
About AmeriHealth Caritas
AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the nation’s leaders in health care solutions for those most in need. Operating in 12 states and the District of Columbia, AmeriHealth Caritas serves more than 5 million Medicaid, Medicare, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management and specialty pharmacy services, and behavioral health services.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, AmeriHealth Caritas is a mission-driven organization with more than 35 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. AmeriHealth Caritas is part of the Independence Health Group in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. For more information, visit: www.amerihealthcaritas.com.
About the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia brings area businesses and civic leaders together to promote growth and create opportunity in our region. Our members represent eleven counties, three states, and roughly 600,000 employees from thousands of member companies and organizations.
And by bringing all kinds of businesses and leaders to the table—the new, the established, the big, the small, the growing, the thriving, the perennial, the innovative, and the experimental — they build community and find commonalities among us all.
They advocate for regional development, business-friendly public policies, and economic prosperity and support their members with practical, inspiring programs, resources, and events All that they do serves one clear, bold goal: to make Greater Philadelphia a great place for good business. For more information, visit: www.chamberphl.com.