HBA serves as an advocate for the preservation and retention of Harlem's business community. The Harlem Business Alliance was founded in 1980 by a group of prominent Harlem business leaders who recognized the void that had resulted from years of disinvestment and abandonment in Harlem and the critical need to mobilize the existing businesses and organizations to come together as a collective voice. Incorporated in 1990 as a class 402 501(c)(3) corporation, HBA has worked diligently to establish Harlem as an economically self-sustaining community. “Leading the Way through Partnership” is not just a slogan, but HBA’s core philosophy. Over the years, HBA has developed cohesive public/private partnerships to assist existing and emerging businesses, community residents and youth. The high level of participation by our board and members enables us to impact the quality of life in the Harlem community and to make the collective voice of our membership a valuable part of the decision making process at the local, state and federal levels. HBA's membership is diverse and representative of the most influential minority owned businesses in the New York City Metropolitan area. Major institutions and corporations operating in and around the Harlem community also share membership within HBA. Collaborative efforts with local and out-of-state organizations occur regularly. For thirty one years, HBA existed from the financial support of its membership and fundraising activities.