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We’ve previously explained the benefits and processes associated with becoming a WBE. In this blog, we’ll cover LGBTBEs.
Certification is provided by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), a national advocacy organization working to expand economic opportunities to the LGBT community. Over ⅓ of Fortune 500 companies recognize the certification and partner with NGLCC to create LGBT-inclusive supply chains. It is the leading public policy advocate pushing to include Certified LGBTBE businesses in procurement opportunities at the local, state and federal levels.
In order to become a certified LGBTBE, states that businesses must be at least 51 percent owned, operated, managed and controlled by U.S. Citizens or lawful permanent residents who are members of the LGBT community, including those who are transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming. The business must be headquartered in the United States and recognized by the government as a legal, for-profit entity. Companies ranging from sole-proprietors to multinational LGBT-owned corporations can be certified. Additionally, The NGLCC has programs specifically for those who are trans/non-binary, as well as business owners of Color who are looking to become certified.
According to the NGLCC, certified LGBTBEs stay in business for over twice as long as the typical small business. Much of this could be attributed to the network, opportunities and resources that the organization provides.
Those who are certified become part of a network of more than 1,000 members (325 of whom are in California) who are seeking B2B opportunities and partnerships as well as more than 300 corporate and government members who are looking to do business specifically with LGBTBEs.
Educational, matchmaking and networking events take place across the country. Additionally, members are eligible for scholarship programs, mentorship and leadership training, as well as other business development tools.
Beyond B2B opportunities, data has shown that the LGBT community spends more than $917 billion every year on goods, services and donations. Community Marketing & Insights’ 14th Annual 2020 LGBT Community Market Survey found that 72 percent of LGBTQ participants reported making a conscious decision to make a purchase in the last 12 months partially because of a company’s LGBTQ inclusion, and 80 percent agreed that companies supporting LGBTQ equality will get more of their business this year. Additionally, respondents reported that they are 75 percent more likely to change brands when they find one that is LGBTQ-inclusive.
The Certification Process
To obtain your certification, visit ny.nglcc.org to create a profile. There, you’ll have a chance to submit information about you and your business. Next, you will be contacted by a member of the NGLCC who will assist you in submitting supporting documents.
After that, an NGLCC trained site visitor will stop by your headquarters to corroborate your application and learn more about your business. After that, your information will be reviewed by the organization’s National Certification Committee which will result in a decision regarding your application. This can take up to 90 days.
Once approved, you’ll be invited to participate in an orientation webinar that will show you how to embrace your Certified LGBTBE status! Here are some additional resources you may find useful if you are an LGBTQ+ business owner:
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