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 Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) companies. 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 LGBTBE® 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 MAJOR MILESTONE TIMELINE

2002
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (original title) was established when Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell realized no one had considered the economic equality of LGBTQ2+ people or the impact economics could have on the equality movement. The two co-founders sought to showcase LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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 the businesses, corporate partners and individuals that have become involved over the years. 
 
2003 
First NGLCC Conference held in Washington, D.C. Over 80 LGBTQ2+ and allied business leaders attended. The conference has since grown to serve over 1,000 attendees and includes guests from around the world; helped launch the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CAGLCC)
 
2004
NGLCC created a best-in-class diversity certification program, making the organization the exclusive national third-party certifying body for LGBTQ2+-owned businesses. The Certified LGBTQ2+ Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTQ2+BE®) certification is now in use by over 1/3 of Fortune 500 and federal, state, and local government supply chains nationwide.
 
2007
nglccNY, the New York Metro regional office and business hub of NGLCC, is launched; NGLCC becomes first-ever LGBTQ organization ever to ring the closing bell at the NY Stock Exchange
 
2008
NGLCC exceeds 250 Certified LGBTQ2+BE® suppliers in its first four (4) years of certifying, achieving over 500% growth in the LGBTQ2+ Business Enterprise supplier base.
 
2011
NGLCC launched the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), formed working group of executive leaders from diverse agencies including: Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC); U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC); U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC); U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC); Disability:IN (formerly USBLN); and WEConnect International; which now also  includes National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA), and Women Impacting Public Policy (WiPP)
 
2012
HRC Corporate Equality Index includes LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ community. Through a variety of resources, we connect LGBTQ2+-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 LGBTQ2+ Business Enterprise® companies in contracting with CA Public Utilities;
-NGLCC awarded US Agency for International Development (USAID) Grant to establish LGBT+ chambers of commerce in Latin America, the Caribbean, South Africa, and India over a multi-year term
 
2015
-LGBTQ2+ Business Builder forms partnership with Small Business Administration and brings LGBTQ2+ economic opportunity training to 20+ cities across America 
 
-Massachusetts becomes the first state to include Certified LGBTQ2+BE® suppliers in contracting. First-in-the-nation statewide inclusion of Certified LGBTQ2+ Business Enterprise® suppliers enacted by MA’s Governor Charlie Baker with the guidance of the NGLCC
 
2016
-HRC Corporate Equality Index Changed to Make LGBTQ2+ Supplier Diversity a Stand Alone Scored Criteria
 
2016
-Memorandum of Understanding signed expanding access to over $13.8 billion in federal contracts for Certified LGBTBE® suppliers with USDA (2016); proceeded by similar MOUs with HUD (2015), Transportation (2014), Labor (2013), SBA (2012), Commerce (2011)
 
-An NGLCC Certified LGBTQ2+BE® becomes the first-ever LGBTQ2+ winner of the SBA's Small Business of the Year
 
-Pennsylvania becomes the third state to recognize NGLCC's Certified LGBTQ2+BE® certification for statewide contracting
 
-NGLCC Co-Founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell recognized by Candian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CAGLCC) for Global Leadership and pioneering efforts to build global recognition for LGBT+ businesses with the CAGLCC’s first-ever Chairperson’s Award
 
2017
-NGLCC celebrates 15 years of LGBTQ2+ business success with 52 Affiliate Chambers, 964 Certified LGBTQ2+BE® Business partners and 157 Corporate Partnerships.
 
-NGLCC releases groundbreaking America’s LGBTQ2+ Economy Report, the first-ever exploration of the economic impact of LGBTQ2+-owned businesses on the U.S. economy.  Over $1.7 TRILLION dollars is added to the GDP by LGBTQ2+-owned businesses, and NGLCC Certified LGBTQ2+BE® suppliers alone have created over 33,000 jobs.  (*Current statistics reported by the NGLCC as of July 2017)
 
-Harvard Ash Center
Bright Idea in Government awarded to the SBA’s Office of Field Operations for its collaboration with the NGLCC on the LGBTQ2+ Business Builder Outreach Initiative.
 
-Renamed the “National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.” This change, which is accompanied by an organizational visual rebranding, moves to better include the bisexual and transgender members of the LGBTQ2+ business community for which NGLCC has fiercely advocated over the previous 15 years. 
 
2018
-NGLCC certifies its 1,000th Certified LGBTQ2+ Business Enterprise®
 
-NGLCC and NMSDC make history with the first-ever LGBTQ2+ reception held at the National Minority Supplier Development Council conference
 
-NGLCC wins Certified LGBTQ2+BE® 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 LGBTQ2+I Business Summit
 
-NGLCC Co-Founders Honored by Matthew Shepard Foundation for LGBTQ2+Q Community Leadership
 
-NGLCC formally establishes the Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Task Force; sees 400% growth in the first two (2) months of operation
 
2019
-NGLCC passes Certified LGBTBE® inclusion in 13 additional cities, counties, and government agencies (www.nglcc.org/public-sector
 
-NGLCC formally establishes Communities of Color Initiative 
 
2020
-NGLCC launches 18th global affiliate LGBT chamber of commerce in Japan, 
 
-In response to COVID-19, NGLCC immediately pivots to virtual programming ensuring financial literacy and small business training, including the NGLCC LGBT Sip & PItch program; Webinar Wednesdays; virtual matchmakers, and more.  NGLCC establishes an extensive COVID-19 Resource Hub for the LGBT Business Community.