Justin Nelson
Chance E. Mitchell


June 16, 2021


As the business voice of the LGBT community, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. The LGBT business owners that NGLCC represents generate over $1.7 trillion in economic impact, create jobs and innovate business solutions nationwide. Representing every industry from retail to food to construction to medical supplies, if you can buy it, an LGBT-owned business can supply it.

Now more than ever, the collective voice of the LGBT community is growing, along with our economic influence. We have fought hard to secure our rights in the name of equality, and our ability to continue to bring about change for our community lies with our economic power. As is true with our social visibility, economic visibility is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society — and the power of the LGBT dollar is becoming more and more visible every day.

With the arrival of LGBTQ Pride Month in the United States, the question then turns to where the LGBT dollar should be directed. More than 75 percent of LGBT adults and their friends, family, and relatives say they would switch to brands that are known to be LGBT friendly. Several years back, slapping a rainbow on a liquor bottle (or social media profile) one month a year was enough for a brand to consider themselves “gay-friendly.” Now, more and more consumers are holding brands accountable by demanding that they stand behind the LGBT community year-round. By purchasing Pride celebration products like snacks, T-shirts, and additional regalia from our Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers and NGLCC partners, you are giving directly back to the LGBT community rather than falling prey to the phenomenon of rainbow-washing.

Pride Month is a recognition and celebration of the ongoing fight for justice for the LGBTQ+ community. From Marsha P. Johnson to Harvey Milk, Jim Obergefell and Billy Porter, from Tim Cooke to Beth Ford and Im Fitterling, June is a time to honor the legacies of LGBT freedom fighters and carry them forward by continuing to create opportunities for justice and equality for the LGBT community. Our fight for equality is year-round, but our increased visibility during this month allows our voices to carry far and wide and become more powerful than ever. By actively supporting LGBT-owned businesses, allies can help to spread the community’s message.

True LGBT allyship also requires advocacy beyond Pride Month. When you examine a price tag, look for an indication that the company is an LGBT-inclusive corporation or an NGLCC Certified LGBTBE®. It has never been easier to go online or check with us at nglcc.org/corporatepartners or your local LGBT Chamber of Commerce affiliate to make sure you support the brands that have our community’s back. When you support or join the NGLCC community, you help us to provide business owners with professional development resources, interactive year-round programming, and special channels of city and corporate procurement.

When it comes to diverse communities — LGBT people, women, people of color, people with disabilities, and more — we must stand in solidarity as a business force and a force for good in a nation of diverse citizens. That is exactly what drove us at the NGLCC to bring our friends from other diverse business organizations to one collaborative table. In 2011, we spearheaded the creation of the National Business Inclusion Consortium, the NBIC. Collectively, our organizations represent over $9 trillion in economic impact, as well as tens of thousands of tax-paying, industry-innovating jobs. That kind of strength through unity is what helps open doors and change if not always hearts, certainly minds along the way.

We have never seen greater cooperation and solidarity than we have in right now, and a great deal of that sense of unity is due to the recognition that LGBT people are also part of every other community. Happy Pride - this month and every month.

Learn more about the NGLCC at nglcc.org.

About the authors

Justin Nelson

Chance E. Mitchell