The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, has released the first ever snapshot demonstrating the economic and social impact of America’s LGBT business owners and entrepreneurs. The “America’s LGBT Economy” report explores the revenues, types, sizes, and geography of LGBT-owned businesses currently certified by the NGLCC, as well as the number of jobs they create and the personal narratives of successful LGBT business owners who reflect the very best about America’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Key findings in the “America’s LGBT Economy” report include:
- In 2015, NGLCC certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) alone contributed over $1.15 billon to the US economy; if all estimated LGBT-owned businesses in America are projected, their contribution to the economy exceeds $1.7 trillion;
- Over 900 Certified LGBTBEs have created over 33,000 jobs in the United States;
- LGBTBEs have an average revenue of $2,475,642, with at least one LGBTBE reporting $180,000,000 in annual gross;
- Average LGBT enterprises have been in business at least 12 years— far above national average, as some reports state nearly half of small businesses fail in their first five years;
- The number of non-white LGBT business owners continues to increase annually—now at over 17%, bolstered by NGLCC’s leadership in the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) which brings together all minority business communities;
“The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is elated to be able to evidence through this report what we’ve observed since our founding fifteen years ago: that America’s LGBT business owners are driving our economy upward and deserve every opportunity to keep creating jobs and innovating our industries. The estimated 1.4 million LGBT business owners NGLCC advocates for have truly earned a place at the equality table,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson. “If you are an LGBT business owner and not yet certified, you’re leaving opportunities on the table to help your business and our economy grow. For the LGBT community, this also means we are missing out more accurate data, role models, job creators, and future success stories that prove ‘If you can buy it, a Certified LGBTBE can supply it.’”
In early 2004, NGLCC created a best-in-class diversity certification program, making the organization the exclusive national third-party certifying body for LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs). Because of NGLCC’s advocacy, over a third of the Fortune 500, many top federal agencies (including the Small Business Administration, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Agriculture), the Commonwealths of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, major urban municipalities (including King County, WA; Essex County, NJ; and San Francisco, CA), and the Public Utilities Commission of California actively seek out certified LGBT businesses.
“These numbers tell the real story,” said Bob Witeck, President of Witeck Communications, a certified LGBTBE that served as the analyst for this report. “While our community’s $917 billion spending power highlights our market clout, the jobs, tax revenues and profits we create as employers and entrepreneurs define our full economic value to America. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of our potential.”
“At NGLCC, we have nearly 200 corporate and government partners that understand not only the value of the LGBT dollar, but the economic imperative of inclusivity and LGBT visibility in their supply chains and marketplace. This groundbreaking report proves our NGLCC philosophy that economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and CEO Chance Mitchell.
The “America’s LGBT Economy” report can be viewed and downloaded at www.nglcc.org/report