Two men stand smiling in a fabric store among shelves and racks of various brightly colored swatches of cloth. The man on the left stands with his hands behind his back and wears jeans and a gray-and-white polo shirt. He has bright yellow measuring tape draped around his neck. The man on the right wears jeans and a long-sleeved flannel shirt. Near him in the foreground is a table with a cut-out piece of khaki fabric, a yardstick and other measuring tools on top.
LGBTQ-owned businesses are a growing part of the American economy, and many organizations have been formed to ensure they receive the resources they need to succeed. — Getty Images/A&J Fotos

There are 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses in the United States, and these companies bring in an estimated $1.7 trillion in revenue. But LGBTQ-owned companies often don’t receive the same resources as other companies. Here are the six best resources for LGBTQ businesses.

[Read more: The Language of DEI and the Terms Every Business Owner Should Know]

LGBT Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses

Inclusion in the workplace is still a big problem for LGBT professionals. According to a survey by the Boston Consulting Group, 75% have experienced a negative workplace interaction related to their identity.

The LGBT Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses is an online platform helping business owners create inclusive workplaces. The U.S. Chamber Foundation created it as part of its Incorporating Inclusion initiative.

The platform provides information on diversity and why it’s essential to focus on inclusion in the workplace. There are also guides for creating inclusive workplace practices and leadership tips for LGTBQ professionals.

[Read more: Top Diversity Executives Offer Tips on Building and Retaining Inclusive Teams]

National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) (also known as the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce) is an advocacy organization and the business voice of the LGBTQ community. It’s also the largest certifying body for LGBTQ-owned businesses.

The NGLCC has 62 affiliate chambers across the country and 1,702 certified LGBTQ business enterprises. You can either certify your business or become a corporate partner.

When you certify your business with the NGLCC, you’ll open yourself up to new business opportunities and customers. And partnering with the NGLCC is a great way to expand the diversity of your supplier program.

Affinity Inc.

Affinity Inc. is a print and digital magazine that focuses on the LGBTQ business community. Affinity Inc is a member of the NGLCC, and its mission is to support and promote LGBTQ equality in the workforce.

In this quarterly magazine, you’ll find news about corporations that are committed to diversity and inclusion. It also provides a forum to discuss the value that the LGBTQ community adds to the corporate bottom line.

If you’re looking for opportunities to connect with other LGBTQ business owners, you might consider attending LGBTQ Week.

Open for Business

Open for Business is a coalition of businesses that are vocal supporters of LGBTQ inclusion. This list includes companies like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Open for Business provides reports that highlight academic studies, data and business reports showing that LGBTQ inclusion helps business and economic growth. The organization also focuses on local and global programs to create change.

The Local Influencer Programs build support for inclusion around the world. It does this by conducting country-specific research about inclusion and building support for LGBTQ rights. Open for Business’s Global Influencer Program focuses on creating a collective global voice for LGBTQ inclusion in business.

[Read more: LinkedIn’s VP of Diversity Explains Why Diverse Companies Are More Profitable]

LGBTQ Week

If you’re looking for opportunities to connect with other LGBTQ business owners, you might consider attending LGBTQ Week. This event is held each spring in New York and features a series of conferences.

The event is produced and hosted by various LGBTQ organizations and provides workshops, networking events and speakers. If you’re interested in participating, you can sign up to speak at or host an event. Your business can also sign up as a sponsor.

OutProfessionals

OutProfessionals is the country’s leading LGBTQ networking organization. There are monthly virtual and in-person networking opportunities and community service activities.

You can either become a member for free or become a supporting member and gain access to year-round events. You can become a supporting member for just $65 per year and connect with other LGBTQ professionals.

OutProfessionals also focuses on growing its network of city chapters. City chapters are available in New York, Los Angeles and Houston, with more cities coming. You can reach out to the organization if you’re interested in starting your own city chapter.

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Published November 03, 2021