At Backabl, we believe efforts to support diversity and inclusion create environments where people thrive, local economies grow, and new ideas blossom. Whether it’s chasing growth or challenging adversity, we support LGBTQI+ individuals and businesses during Pride Month and beyond.
Like many socially disadvantaged groups, LGBTQI+ entrepreneurs can face unique challenges in establishing and growing their company as they may face discrimination. Through rulings from the Supreme Court and efforts of pro-LGBTQI+ organizations, however, we are winning the battle on the journey toward a more equitable society.
Fortunately, there are vast amounts of resources, both locally and nationally, that provide new opportunities for LGBTQI+ to grow in ways that not long ago seemed out of reach. Below are our top 3 recommended resources for LGBTQI+ businesses.
8(a) Business Development Program
Through the 8(a) program, the federal government awards at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to small socially and economically disadvantaged businesses each year. Any LGBTQI+ business that has been in business for at least two years and is interested in doing business in the federal marketplace is encouraged to gain an 8(a) certification. While it doesn’t guarantee contract awards, it opens up the opportunity for sole source contracts with the federal government and years of networking opportunities with other 8(a) businesses and federal customers.
Local LGBTQI+ Chambers of Commerce
Joining a chamber of commerce and participating in its events is a great way to get your business noticed, network with other entrepreneurs, and introduce your business to potential customers. Fortunately, numerous chambers exist to support the LGBTQI+ community across the country. Below are a few of these organizations:
- Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Seattle Business Association
- La Camera de Comercio LGBTTQ de Puerto Rico
- Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
- Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The National LBGT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) helps LGBTQI+ businesses grow and access opportunities that may have seemed out of reach. NGLCC offers a certification that is recognized and recommended by the U.S. Small Business Administration, called the LGBT Business Enterprise Certification (LGBTBE). As an LGBTBE, you can gain access to NGLCC’s network of resources and partners, including a large list of 200+ corporate partners who often look to do business with LGBTBE companies to increase their investment in this community.