Certification SPOTLIGHT

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the national business voice of the LGBTQ community, has surpassed a landmark milestone of 2,000 Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers nationwide. The LGBTQ+ business community has grown significantly over the last two decades, with LGBTBE certification giving entrepreneurs an advantage to succeed in a competitive business environment, often mixed with a tumultuous economy.

“When we launched NGLCC in 2002, too few corporate leaders and government executives in America had considered the significant impact of LGBTQ+ people on the nation’s economy,” said Justin Nelson, Co-Founder & President of NGLCC. “Now, with nearly 450 Fortune 500 corporate partners, 53 domestic affiliate chambers, 27 global chambers, and over 2,000 certified businesses, our voices and success stories are finally being heard and accepted.”

Certified LGBTBE® companies are routinely sought after by NGLCC Corporate Partners who are looking to increase their spend with diverse communities, including the LGBTQ+ business community. In turn, Certified LGBTBE® companies have access to hundreds of corporate and government supplier diversity professionals. Through these contacts, companies can begin building strategic relationships and meet at NGLCC matchmaking and networking events, which are held across the country throughout the year, including at NGLCC’s annual International Business & Leadership Conference. Certified LGBTBE® companies are also eligible for scholarship programs, mentorship & leadership training, and other business development tools.

“LGBTQ-owned businesses contribute nearly $2 trillion to the U.S. economy, and have created tens of thousands of jobs nationwide,” said Chance Mitchell, Co-Founder & CEO of NGLCC. “As the number of Certified LGBTBE® suppliers continues to grow, so will our positive impact on the nation.”

Thanks to increased resources and opportunities, Certified LGBTBE® suppliers stay in business for over twice as long as the average American small business. The LGBTQ community spends more than $917 billion every year on goods and services, and they are more than 75% likely to change brands when they know they are LGBTQ-inclusive or owned. As entrepreneurs continue to obtain and advertise their LGBTBE certification, LGBTQ+ businesses stand to become go-to suppliers of products and services in their communities.

“The LGBTQ+ community is a self-supportive group where, whether people are business owners or simply consumers, community members are excited to support businesses in led by people in the community,” said Jayson Mamaclay, founder of Think Quick Events, a Certified LGBTBE® supplier.

“Our professional network and our LGBTQ+ connections overlap more than ever since we became a Certified LGBTBE®,” said Katie Staab, co-founder of Certified LGBTBE® Punch Card Films. “We’ve forged relationships with business owners across industries, and I don’t know that we would have met many of them outside of the Chamber.”

NGLCC certified its 1,000th LGBTBE in September of 2017. Co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell attributed this milestone to the unwavering support of NGLCC’s corporate partners, affiliate chambers, friends, and allies; as well as the resilience demonstrated by LGBTQ+ business owners nationwide. 

To learn more about the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, visit nglcc.org.