by Angela D. Giampolo
Originally published: September 8, 2017
In recent years, when the terms "LGBTQ" and "small business" are discussed in the media, it's usually in response to a small but vocal minority demanding religious freedom to refuse service to members of the LGBTQ community, and the legal battles that follow. However, perhaps there are more important discussions revolving around business and the LGBTQ community—the discussion of the power LGBTQ-owned businesses have in further equality.
The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce reported recently that LGBTQ-owned businesses contribute a whopping $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy, and businesses certified by the NGLCC account for more than 33,000 jobs a year. Certification by the NGLCC helps ensure small business owners in the LGBTQ community can compete for contracts with the federal government in a more meaningful way, opening doors to those who would otherwise not get a seat at the table.
This is critical given that there are no laws regulating the percentage of business the federal government conducts with LGBTQ business owners as there are with women and people of color.