Who is the NGLCC

 
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBT business community.

NGLCC is the exclusive third-party certifying body for LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs). Over 1/3 of Fortune 500 recognize this certification and partner with NGLCC to create fully LGBT-inclusive supply-chains.

The LGBT business owners NGLCC represents generate over $1.7 trillion in economic impact, create jobs and innovate business solutions nationwide. Additionally, NGLCC is the leading public policy advocate working to include certified LGBT businesses in procurement opportunities at the federal, state and local level. NGLCC Global is expanding its reach to five continents, bridging economic opportunity and LGBTI human rights worldwide.

 
 

The NGLCC Founding Story

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) started in November 2002 when co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell realized that the impact of LGBT people on the American economy had gone largely unnoticed despite economic equality being an important component of the LGBT equality movement. The two co-founders sought to showcase that as in addition to being LGBT, many LGBT people were also business owners, employers, taxpayers, providers of healthcare and a vibrant, essential part of the small business engine that makes the U.S. economy run.

An organization literally launched around a coffee table is now the voice for the nation’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners and the $1.7 trillion those enterprises add to the national economy each year. NGLCC enjoys the support and participation of more than 200 corporate partners as well as prominent executive leadership in striving to promote pro-business and LGBT-inclusive policies.

“Back in 2002 we realized that too few government leaders and corporate executives had considered the economic equality of LGBT people or the impact economics could have on the future of the equality movement,” notes NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. “So with a few forward-thinking corporate partners and a small network of LGBT business owners willing to tell their story, NGLCC was born.”

Co-founder & CEO Chance Mitchell describes those early days, recalling that “word began to spread about NGLCC very quickly, thanks to outlets like the Washington Blade and Out magazine recognizing the previously underreported strength and promise of the LGBT business community. That proved what we, and our NGLCC corporate partners, always believed: economic and social visibility go hand-in-hand as we march toward equality and opportunity for all.”

“We needed a way to showcase that LGBT people were a vital part of America as business owners and employers,” Nelson emphasizes. “LGBT business owners were, and are, an essential part of the engine that makes the U.S. economy run and therefore deserve an equal place at the table.”

“Business ownership thrives in the LGBT community because we have all learned to be the entrepreneurs of our own lives,” explains Mitchell. “LGBT business owners prove that being out and being successful does not have to be mutually exclusive.”

Their goal was to create an organization that could support LGBT business owners and showcase the diversity of talent in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. NGLCC has succeeded in large part due to an amazing team and board combined with the caliber of businesses, corporate partners, and individuals that have become involved over the years. In early 2004, NGLCC created a best-in-class diversity certification program, making the organization the exclusive national third-party certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses.

 

NGLCC MILESTONE TIMELINE

2002

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce when Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell realized no one had really considered the economic equality of LGBT people or the impact economics could have on the equality movement. The two co-founders sought to showcase that LGBT people were business owners, employers, taxpayers, providers of healthcare – that they were a vibrant, essential part of the small business engine that makes the U.S. economy run and therefore, deserved a place at the equality table. Their goal was to create an organization that could support LGBT business owners and showcase the diversity of talent in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. NGLCC has succeeded in large part due to an amazing team and board combined with the caliber of businesses, corporate partners, and individuals that have become involved over the years. 

 

2003 

First NGLCC Conference held in Washington, D.C.  Over 80 LGBT and allied business leaders attended. The conference has since grown to serving over 1,000 attendees and includes guests from around the world.

2004

NGLCC created a best-in-class diversity certification program, making the organization the exclusive national third-party certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. The LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) Certification is now in use by over 1/3 of Fortune 500 and federal, state, and local government supply chains nationwide.\

2008

NGLCC exceeds 250 LGBTBE in first four years of certifying, achieving over 500% growth in the LGBT Business Enterprise supplier base.

2011

Launched National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), forming working group of executive leaders from diverse agencies including: Women’s Business Enterprise National Council; U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.; U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Business Leadership Network: Disability at Work; and WEConnect International

2012

HRC Corporate Equality Index includes LGBT Supplier Diversity

2013

NGLCC Global launched. NGLCC Global™, a division of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, promotes the growth of small businesses and provides the quickest and most effective path to broad-based economic advancement and empowerment of the global LGBT community. Through a variety of resources, we connect LGBT-owned and -allied companies, multinational corporations, and international affiliate chamber leaders and members. 

2014

Passage of California’s AB1678. First-in-the-nation public mandate requiring the intentional inclusion of certified LGBT Business Enterprises in contracting with CA Public Utilities

2015

-LGBT Business Builder forms partnership with Small Business Administration

-Massachusetts Becomes First State to Include LGBTBEs in Contracting.  First-in-the-Nation Statewide Inclusion of LGBT Business Enterprises Enacted by MA’s Governor Charlie Baker with the Guidance of the NGLCC

2016

HRC Corporate Equality Index Changed to Make LGBT Supplier Diversity a Stand Alone Scored Criteria

2016

-Memorandum of Understanding signed expanding access to over $13.8 billion in federal contracts for LGBTBEs with USDA (2016); proceeded by similar MOUs with HUD (2015), Transportation (2014), Labor (2013), SBA (2012), Commerce (2011)

-An NGLCC certified LGBTBE becomes the first ever LGBT winner of the SBA's Small Business of the Year

-Pennsylvania becomes the third state to recognize NGLCC's LGBTBE certification for statewide contracting

2017

-NGLCC celebrates 15 years of LGBT business success with 52 Affiliate Chambers, 964 Certified LGBT Business partners and 157 Corporate Partnerships.

-NGLCC releases groundbreaking America’s LGBT Economy Report, the first ever exploration of the economic impact of LGBT-owned businesses on the U.S. economy.  Over $1.7 TRILLION dollars is added to the GDP by LGBT-owned businesses, and NGLCC certified LGBTBEs alone have created over 33,000 jobs.  (*Current statistics reported by the NGLCC as of July 2017)

2018

-NGLCC certifies its 1,000th LGBT Business Enterprise

-NGLCC and NMSDC make history with the first ever LGBT reception held at the National Minority Supplier Development Council conference

-NGLCC wins LGBTBE inclusion in Baltimore, MD; Jersey City, NJ; and Hoboken, NJ, while also advancing statewide bills in New York and New Jersey

-NGLCC Global hosts first ever UK/EU Global LGBTI Business Summit

2019

-Nashville becomes the first city in the south to welcome NGLCC certified LGBTBEs