Entrepreneurs once often sought to downplay their personal identification as LGBT+ when starting or building their businesses. But as acceptance grows, more and more businesses are taking steps to identify themselves as inclusive, or as owned and operated by LGBT+ people.
The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, NGLCC, offers a certification for LGBT+ owned businesses, which roughly 500 companies completed in 2013. Comparatively, as of July of this year, 896 companies have completed the certification. Companies like Target, General Mills, and Delta can all be found among NGLCC’s LGBT+ businesses. Large corporations look for certified vendors to bolster diversity.
“While people may be out in their personal lives, connecting it to their business is a relatively new phenomenon,” said Jonathan Lovitz, VP at the NGLCC. “But doing so has been incredibly beneficial for them.”