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Six Ways to Support LGBTQIA-Owned Businesses

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2023 – To amplify and celebrate LGBTQIA-owned businesses during Pride Month and all year long, SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, asked LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs and allies for their best advice. From providing ongoing monetary support to partnering with firms that support gender equality, here are some top suggestions to support LGBTQIA-owned businesses.  

SCORE clients Kasia Piasecka (left) and Heather Mangione (right) started their pet sitting business Al Fresco Tails with the support of SCORE mentor Tom Soldini.

Support the Entire Community Year-Round  

The most important action someone can take is to support and uplift LGBTQIA-owned small businesses all year long, not just in June for Pride Month. Seek out local LGBTQIA-owned small businesses in your community and if you enjoy their products or services, write a supportive Google review! Follow these businesses on their social media channels and engage with their content. Prioritize using LGBTQIA-owned small businesses if you're looking for a service or specialized product. 

-Heather Mangione, Al Fresco Tails Pet Sitting 

Promote and Refer Their Services  

Consumers and companies can support LGBTQIA-owned businesses by: hiring LGBTQIA-owned businesses to support your supplier diversity programs, referring and promoting LGBTQIA-owned businesses to other new and potential clients, and writing testimonials or recommendations for LGBTQIA-owned businesses that you had great experiences with.  

-Sarah A. Scala, M. ED, PCC, Sarah Scala Consulting 

Develop Authentic Relationships 

By spending your time and energy developing authentic relationships with business owner(s) and their employees, you will help strengthen their business and the community. Whether you invest in the relationship by inviting the owner to your next networking event or simply having a conversation with them in their store, connections like these can be incredibly beneficial. Since word-of-mouth referrals are a way for LGBTQIA+ businesses to gain opportunities, these referrals become much more natural and genuine coming from authentic relationships. 

-Andrew Tessmer, Eddins Counseling Group 

Invite LGBTQIA+ Entrepreneurs to Your Network 

Inviting LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs to your professional network is one way to support their businesses. We encourage them to participate in our hosted events and casual gatherings to give them the platform to expand their networks and reach like-minded individuals in the industry. These events provide them the platform to promote themselves, their brand and their businesses while contributing to diversity initiatives. Not only do they offer a fresh perspective and firsthand experience as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, but they also help educate our members to be better professional allies of the community. 

-Nunzio Ross, Majesty Coffee 

Identify the Lesser-Known LGBTQIA-Owned Businesses 

Similar to the nonprofit space, where organizations like GLAAD and HRC are dominant (and important) forces, the gravitational pull of the larger LGBTQIA-owned businesses gets most of the attention. With a bit of extra effort, you can find businesses owned by those who identify as transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming. Many of these businesses are locally-owned, which means you can simultaneously shop locally, support small businesses, and amplify the most marginalized within the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s a win-win-win!  

-Brian McComak, Hummingbird Humanity 

Partner With Firms that Support Gender Equality 

Establish strong partnerships with LGBTQIA+ organizations that empower gender equality and advocate for eradicating gender biases. Doing this enables you to learn best practices to create a more diverse and inclusive culture in the workplace. Through genuine affiliations, you can encounter LGBTQIA+ experts and seek their advice. Invite them to your company programs and give them the spotlight to discuss topics related to gender equality at work, which includes showing respect to the LGBTQIA+ community in general. 

-Adam Garcia, The Stock Dork 

SCORE Offers Resources for LGBTQIA+ Entrepreneurs 

SCORE supports all entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business. Tools to support small business owners include free expert mentoring, resources and on-demand educational training. Visit SCORE.org to learn more. 

About SCORE: 

Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs start, grow or successfully exit a business. Visit SCORE at www.score.org

Funded [in part] through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

CONTACT: 

SCORE 

202-968-6428 

media@score.org 

Visit SCORE’s media resources to be connected with expert small business interview sources and news updates. 

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Copyright © 2024 SCORE Association, SCORE.org

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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