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How to Support LGBTQ-Owned Small Businesses & Resources

— August 17, 2020

Social media is a powerful tool for helping out underprivileged groups who do not have an active presence or voice.

LGBTQ is a movement designed to represent people of various gender identifications and sexual orientations so they have equality in society, especially in a business context. The acronym itself stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer.

As a group, the LGBTQ community has been somewhat overlooked in comparison to other social demographics – for instance, there are relatively few resources available in comparison to African Americans or female entrepreneurs.

However, the group of LGBTQ-owned enterprises is growing and their impact is accelerating. This guide will inform you as to how to support the LGBTQ community. We’ll also run through some of the top resources for LGBTQ business-owners for business, legal, workforce, and other spheres.

Supporting LGBTQ-owned enterprises is especially important in the current situation. With COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movements, it’s time to turn attention to all of the underprivileged groups and to generate a better world at large.

How to Support LGBTQ Businesses

With increased awareness surrounding these issues, now is the perfect opportunity for expansion. LGBTQ owners need support at a time when people are becoming aware of different demographics that do not have an equal platform to excel in the world of business.

The following are some of the best ways to support LGBTQ-owned businesses right now.

Buy from Them

The most simple and obvious way to support LGBTQ-owned businesses is to shop at their stores. This is a direct financial contribution to this cause. If they are helped out financially, it will give them more empowerment and a larger voice in business and commerce. And with COVID-19 making it more difficult right now, the financial assistance is badly needed.

While LGBTQ-owned businesses are not as numerous as other groups, such as Blacks or female entrepreneurs, they are there. You can also check an online resource for a register of LGTBQ-owned enterprises. Three ways you can investigate LGBTQ-owned enterprises include:

  1. MyRainbowPages
  2. Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce
  3. Outword Magazine

Use Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for helping out underprivileged groups who do not have an active presence or voice. It has been instrumental in bringing social issues to the public awareness across many different spheres – third world poverty, racism, animal cruelty, the destruction of the Amazon rainforest – all of these vital issues are being brought to public attention through social media.

Whether you are on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, use a social media platform to highlight important statistics and facts about the plight of the LGBTQ community. You could even share this post to help people get informed about the topic at hand and to generate awareness.

Do Your Research

There is little point in launching a campaign for this social demographic if you are not made aware of the statistics and the data surrounding it. Have you talked to people in the community? How do they feel about it? What studies have you looked into? What are your data sources? How many data sources are you drawing from?

The more research you do, the more information you will have. You can then answer questions and outline your reasons for supporting this particular group. It will make you sound more intelligent – because you will actually be more intelligent. At least with regard to this topic. You can then educate others and see where the real problems lie, instead of adding blind support to a cause you know little about.

Take an Active Role

You can champion the cause and take an active role in terms of helping out. Form groups, attend parades, go to seminars, get active on online forums, etc. You can also ally your business with the movement. There are media outlets that list LGBTQ-allied businesses. If your business is more than 51% LGBTW-owned, then you can get LGBTBE certified (‘BE’ standing for ‘Business Enterprise’). There are many ways to actively support the campaign.


Instead of buying from the many LGBT-owned businesses, you could also consider a direct donation. Donations do not have to be large. As little as $5 a month can be of assistance. Every little helps, and if a lot of people donate a large amount, it can really make a difference. Most people prefer to buy from LGBT businesses as opposed to making a donation – we don’t want to make them into a charity group, but we do want to lend them support.

What’s an LGBT-Owned Business Anyway?

In order to qualify as an LGBT-owned business, the enterprise must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be at least 51% owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBT person.
  • LGBT owner must be either U.S. citizen or lawful permanent residents.
  • Enterprise has independence from any non-LGBT business enterprise.
  • Enterprise has headquarters in the US.
  • Enterprise has been formed as a legal entity in the United States.

There is no criteria for the LGBT criteria other than that the person identifies as a member of the LGBT community. It is a subjective measure.

LGBT Business Owner? Keep Reading and Learning

There is a mind-boggling amount of things to learn in order to run a successful business in the US. Taxes, insurance, software, accountancy, best business practices, marketing, building an online presence, SEO, blogging, HR, maximizing employee productivity – the list goes on and on and on.

You need to make sure that you learn each and every day in order to stay competitive. Get some good books and read through them each day. You don’t have to spend an excessive time doing this, just make a list of good books and blogs that you can learn from. Even 20 minutes a day should be enough, as you long as you intend to learn and apply that knowledge.

Image by Ludovic Bertron/Wikimedia Commons/Flickr. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Speaking of continuing to read and learn, we encourage you to click on the rainbow flag above to see the rest of this informative guide from our friends at Finimpact. Our thanks to them for permission to publish this portion of their guide.

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