Each year, SBN brings together members of the local business community to celebrate our accomplishments over the past year, share plans for the year ahead, elect new Board Members, and provide networking opportunities. This year’s meeting featured speakers and content that celebrated our 20th Anniversary and highlighted the challenges local independent businesses faced throughout 2020.
On February 4, over 100 local independent business owners, industry leaders and experts, elected officials, and the general business community of the Greater Philadelphia area gathered online for SBN’s Annual Members Meeting.
- Announcement of a new member benefit: SBN-sponsored 401K plans to launch this year
- Celebratory remarks on our 20th Anniversary from SBN founder Judy Wicks and past executive directors PA State Representative Leanne Krueger and Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier
- Changes in Board of Directors bylaws: the chair of the board and at least ⅔ of the board’s makeup must be local independent business owners
- Election of new Board Members
2021 marks SBN’s 20-year strong commitment to lifting our local independent business community. We were delighted to have Judy Wicks, founder of SBN and All Together Now PA, and former executive directors PA State Representative Leanne Krueger and Philadelphia Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, provide their remarks.
“Your voices as local business owners are powerful, unique, and you need to use them more. Now more than ever, it’s best to be aligned with SBN. SBN is your amplifier to make sure your voice is heard.”– PA State Representative Leanne Krueger
“SBN is setting the path and determining the future of Philadelphia and sending an example to cities everywhere around the country.”– Councilmember Jamie Gauthier
SBN’s Executive Director, Anna Shipp, shared her reflections on the impact that COVID-19 has had on local businesses, research and data on the legacy of inequity in our economic ecosystem, and the effects of climate change and extreme weather events that wreaked havoc on our communities.
SBN’s work in 2020 was focused on ensuring that members had the necessary information, resources, and supportive peer community to weather the year while advocating for more and better resources and a more supportive ecosystem. Some key initiatives and highlights that SBN launched in 2020 included:
- Updating our membership structure to a revenue-based sliding-scale, so all local businesses receive equal membership benefits
- Launched our new program series, Rebuilding with Equity and Climate Resilience, designed to help local businesses stabilize and recover with better fiscal, social, and environmental practices.
- Began our strategic planning, a robust local business-informed and heavily researched process that will result in a road map for SBN’s next several years
We shared our plans for the year ahead:
- Continuing to strengthen and diversify our community equitably and inclusively
- Making improvements to better serve business owners of color and other historically marginalized groups
- The launch of our Policy Agenda and our Strategic Plan
We also announced our new member benefit during the event: Retirement plans for local businesses focused on impact investments. SBN, along with our partner and member Entrust Financial, is launching 401k and retirement options for companies in our network that invest in social and environmental good. We will be offering webinars throughout the year, so please stay tuned for invitations to attend. Recordings will become available for those who cannot make the live webinars.
At the event’s close, we announced our new Board Members that our general member body voted to approve these additions. See below for SBN’s new Board Members:
- Jamila Medley, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA)
- Jezabel Careaga, Chef and Owner of Jezabel’s
- Kimberly McGlonn, PhD, Founder and CEO of Grant Blvd
- Noah Glassman, President of Philadelphia Life and Health Inc.
Guests also participated in virtual breakout room sessions to get to know other members, discuss their needs, and share resources.
SBN thanks all of the community members, Board Members, and staff who made this year’s virtual Annual Meeting possible. We could not have experienced the progress and success that we were fortunate to enjoy in 2020 without our community’s support. We look forward to continuing to work together in building a just, green, and thriving economy in the region.