For many years, the LGBTQ consumer has been a powerful economic voice. According to a recent report by NGLCC, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Now worth approximately $1 trillion dollars in spending and economic influence, the rainbow economy in the US represents unprecedented spending power.
Corporate America recognizes this at the supplier diversity level, with over 200 companies spending millions of dollars each year with over 1,000 Certified LGBT Business Enterprises across the nation.
For the consumer, this means choosing companies that support the LGBTQ community. Each year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases their Corporate Equality Index, a survey of businesses and their attitudes and actions for and against the LGBTQ community. Brands like Apple, Amazon, Google, Starbucks, Home Depot, and Target continually score 100 in the CEI and in brand loyalty among LGBTQ consumers,
NGLCC and HRC help identify major corporations, but how do consumers know where to spend their dollars locally?
Many local LGBTQ Chambers of Commerce provide valuable business directories that help consumers and businesses locate LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-friendly businesses. Dozens of LGBTQ chambers across the country serve local business communities.
In 2017, the Western Business Alliance, a consortium of LGBTQ chambers of commerce across the western United States kicked off the first LGBT Economic Summit in Seattle, hosted by the Greater Seattle Business Association, attracting over 200 participants for a luncheon and panel discussions. This year Golden Gate Business Association hosted the second annual summit, with over 700 attending This coming March, LAGLCC will host the 3rd Annual LGBT Economic Summit in Los Angeles.
Perhaps even more important than shopping at LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-friendly businesses would be to become an LGBTQ-owned business. This year, QLife received its LGBTBE certification from NGLCC and we have interviewed dozens of other LGBTQ business owners like Hanna Levon–owner of Pal Socks, Robert Gaskill–owner of MOTEV, Kempe Scanlan, Serafina Palandech–co-founder of HipChick Farms, and Iron Chef Cat Cora.
The Rainbow Economy supports the businesses that support the LGBTQ community. Make an effort to choose them when you open your wallet.
And if you see them advertising in QLife, thank them for making our community resource possible.
Russ White is the co-founder and co-publisher of QLife. Russ also serves as the Executive Director for Lambda Business Association in Las Vegas.