By: Jenn Tracz*/CABO’s Executive Director-
Are you LGBT? Do you own a business? Did you know there is LGBT business certification you can receive that provides you with access to corporations that are looking to do business with you? This concept is called “supplier diversity” and there are many certifications available, for example: women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, disability-owned and veteran-owned businesses, among others. The LGBT business certification is recognized by hundreds of major corporations who are looking to buy goods or services from small-business owners like you.
If you are reading The Rainbow Times, I’m willing to bet you are familiar with the Human Rights Campaign and their Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI ranks corporations on their policies and practices as they relate to LGBT employees. On the 2012 index, part of the scoring criteria is whether or not a corporation is actively seeking out LGBT businesses in their supplier-diversity initiatives. This translates into big business for those business owners with a product or service that a corporation may need.
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the certifying body for this program and any local affiliate can assist you in becoming certified. I am your resource in Connecticut and there are resources in each other state you may reside in. If you want to be pointed in the right direction, please e-mail me, [email protected] There are huge business opportunities to be had through these initiatives, so please take advantage of them!
CABO is able to provide services to its member in large part due to our corporate partnerships, which include Aetna, Foxwoods, Murtha Cullina LLP, Comcast Business Class, Bearingstar Insurance, Nutmeg State Federal Credit Union, Clear Channel Radio, The Rainbow Times, MAD Digital Print Solutions and Barmont Productions. Each of these businesses has something great to offer and their commitment and support to the LGBT community is what separates them from the rest. We highly encourage you to do business with one or all of them.
*In her role as Executive Director, Jenn is responsible for maintaining and growing membership, developing strategic business partnerships and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization. In addition to being CABO’s executive director, she also is a small business owner specializing in planning, branding, social media and design services.