The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is an advocacy group that certifies LGBTQ-owned businesses. With 62 affiliate chambers representing over 1.4 million businesses across the United States, the NGLCC is the only advocacy group dedicated to expanding the economic opportunities of the LGBTQ business community.

You can either certify your business with the NGLCC or become a corporate partner. NGLCC certification will make your business an LGBT Business Enterprise, or LGBTBE. Benefits of NGLCC Certification include training and mentorship, scholarships, and networking events for LGBTQ business owners and procurement representatives. This is part of their Supplier Diversity initiative, which seeks to create an LGBTQ-inclusive supply chain.

NGLCC Certification is modeled after similar diverse certification bodies for women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans. To qualify as an NGLCC certified business, your business must be majority owned, operated, and managed by US citizens or permanent residents who are members of the LGBTQ community. Your business must be independent from any non-LGBTQ business, and it must be formed and headquartered in the United States as a legal, for-profit entity. The NGLCC requires that applicants provide one or more LGBT Status Qualifiers. Some examples include three letters of reference on company letterhead from contacts who have known you for more than a year and can verify your LGBTQ status, a copy of a marriage certificate with a same-sex partner, proof of completed or attempted family building efforts with a same-sex partner, or a letter from a physician indicating gender reassignment to name a few types of documentation.

Networking and Advertising

The NGLCC is one of the largest resources available to LGBTQ business owners, but it’s important to reach out to other organizations for networking and advertising opportunities. Some of these organizations include:

  • Out Professionals, a networking organization for LGBTQ professionals.
  • TransTech, an incubator dedicated to the economic empowerment of transgender people. They provide members of the LGBTQ community with career skills.
  • StartOut, an organization promoting LGTBQ entrepreneurship.

You can also join Gay Pages or the Gay Lesbian Directory. These websites connect members of the LGBTQ community with LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-friendly businesses.

But one of the easiest ways to advertise your LGBTQ business is through social media. You can use Facebook ads to specifically target LGBTQ individuals who are natural allies in supporting your LGBTQ-owned business. And when LGBT Pride Month comes around in June, you can use your social media pages to share LGBTQ-themed content. Nowadays even straight companies are using Pride Month as a marketing gimmick, so there’s no reason you should be missing out on this opportunity!

Partner with Gulf Management Systems and Join rhino.lgbt

We’ve talked about things you can do to grow your LGBTQ business, but there’s also something we can do for you! Some of the most challenging aspects of running any business include handling ACH payments, credit card transactions, payroll, and website integrations. At Gulf Management Systems (GMS), we have been providing these services since 1992. We can simplify these processes for you, provide you with the personal service you expect, and save you money.

GMS is a certified LGBTE, and our services are now branded under the rhino.lgbt label. By joining rhino.lgbt, you can display with pride our decal showing you are a proud member of our inclusive payment network. At GMS, we understand the challenges of running a small business, and the additional obstacles LGBTQ owners face. We work with companies of all sizes including restaurants, salons, retailers, gym facilities, tourism partners, and more. Together we can build a stronger community, one transaction at a time!


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