LGBTBE in the Spotlight: YIKES, Inc.

| By Natalie Rojas
YIKES, Inc. is a web design and development certified LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) located in Philadelphia. YIKES, Inc. specializes in custom WordPress theme and plugin development, site maintenance, eCommerce, custom-built web-based applications and more. In addition to building great websites, YIKES, Inc. is dedicated to sustainable business practices by observing the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. With these principles, YIKES, Inc. is committed to building a more socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable local economy. 
 
When the Independence Business Alliance (IBA), Greater Philadelphia’s LGBT Chamber and NGLCC affiliate chamber, began the process of redesigning their image and website, they looked to source within their own membership; YIKES, Inc. was a natural fit. 

Oftentimes, we forget that supplier diversity doesn’t live solely in the corporate realm. IBA set an important example of reminding our small businesses to look at their own supply chains to utilize LGBTBEs. This also shows how the relationships made within chambers contain ingenuity and creativity for the end product. Tom Cavanaugh, Executive Administrator with IBA, thought they were shooting for the stars when they began discussing the changes they were hoping to make on the website; better connecting IBA members, communicating the benefits available, streamlining the renewal process, creating interactive and useful business profiles, and having this all materialize into an increase in IBA membership.

YIKES, Inc. originally joined IBA in their effort to shop and use services that are LGBT friendly. Having been around since the 1990s, YIKES, Inc. has always been on the lookout for an LGBT business organization. With their love of making things better and intimate knowledge of the chamber and the needs of the chamber members, they were able to meet Tom’s expectations and more. Tracy Levesque, Co-President of YIKES, Inc., wanted to make the best member directory possible, as she knows the importance of having these local connections readily available to businesses who have the desire to support Philadelphia’s LGBT friendly business community. In addition to working on the member directory, Tracy took a proactive role in reconfiguring IBA’s events registration, allowing the system to handle different benefits based on an individual’s membership level. All the information member organizations put in their profiles are shared on other parts of the site. Job listings, RFPs, and member-to-member discounts are all connected and automatically updated as new information is made available. 
 
At a time when local and national policy threatens the security of our LGBT businesses, it is this type of partnership that exemplifies the ways our LGBT business community can come together to create a supportive and pro-business network for the greater LGBT community. 
 
As you navigate to the new website, the brand hits you right off the bat as you type in their new web address: thinkiba.com. As a member, you are able to search for LGBT friendly business quickly, with sortable information at your fingertips. By connecting our businesses through cutting edge and creative technology, we foster growth, innovation, and success at every level.