At a Rittenhouse luncheon today, the owners of Philly AIDS Thrift received $10,000 from PNC Bank and the Independence Business Alliance, the region’s LGBT chamber of commerce.
“This is going to give us an opportunity to promote PAT @ Giovanni’s Room and optimize our presence on the web so we can get to as many LGBT folks as possible,” said Michael Byrne, PAT board president.
PAT’s flagship store stands in East Passyunk, and two years ago it opened a second location, called Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room, at the longtime LGBT bookstore in the Gayborhood.
“We believe in Giovanni’s Room,” Byrne said. “We love Giovanni’s Room. We’d love to take this opportunity to keep it successful.”
Philly AIDS Thrift will put the $10,000 award toward improving the look and function of its website, www.queerbooks.com; enhancing its search prominence with advanced search engine optimization; and exploring targeted ad buys in online and print media. The thrift store wants to grow the location at Giovanni’s Room in part by increasing online awareness.
The IBA presented Philly AIDS Thrift with the PNC Bank LGBT Business Award at the annual Business Leader Luncheon May 13 at Sofitel Hotel. The award recognizes innovative business practices.
Zach Wilcha, IBA executive director, called the team at Philly AIDS Thrift “leaders in community commitment and impact,” and commended them for their innovative plan “to bolster the future viability and growth of their second location … by taking their online business to scale.”
The money that customers spend at Philly AIDS Thrift gets distributed to HIV/AIDS organizations throughout the Delaware Valley. This year, the store gave a total of $146,000 in grants to 17 organizations, bringing its total contributions to HIV/AIDS causes since its 2005 founding to more than $1.5 million.