Expansion Ushers-in New Offerings to Support Business Growth
HAUPPAUGE (July 11, 2022) – The LGBT Network announces the launch of the Long Island LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Island’s first and only local LGBT Chamber of Commerce as a new economic driver for the region. The mission of the Long Island LGBT Chamber of Commerce is to promote and foster growth for LGBT-affirming and welcoming businesses of all types and sizes, especially LGBT-owned businesses, through networking, education, and uniting the broader business community.
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The Long Island LGBT Chamber will hold networking events, coordinate a member directory, and organize informational programs to support businesses growth as it fills a gap in the business community. The Long Island LGBT Chamber of Commerce will give businesses of all types and sizes the opportunity to connect to the LGBT community on Long Island and will be a resource for LGBT consumers who want to patronize LGBT-friendly and LGBT-owned businesses.
“The LGBT Chamber has been ‘years-in-the-making,” says LGBT Network President/CEO David Kilmnick. “This is a logical next step to meet the growing needs of our community. LGBT-owned small businesses on Long Island lack a way to connect, lack support to grow their businesses, and lack a way to promote their products and services to the broader community – each of which LGBT Network can help with locally.” A focus of the Chamber will be to help LGBT-owned small businesses grow.
In the Fall of 2021, the LGBT Network conducted a series of virtual round table programs with LGBT-owned small businesses to understand the need. “Our existing Workplace Initiative helps larger corporations advance their LGBT diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and our assessment showed that, in order for the organization to help small businesses and connect professionals, we needed a different approach, and the approach was to have an LGBT Chamber. The responses from the round tables was universal: ‘We want a Long Island LGBT Chamber.’”
“LGBT-owned business owners continue to face unique obstacles that limit economic attainment and business success” says LGBT Network founder and President/CEO. “Anti-LGBT discrimination still exists, and it impacts the ability of LGBT people to start, grow, and sustain businesses. The Long Island LGBT Chamber of Commerce will break down those barriers by providing supports and by incorporating the broader business community.” Membership to the Long Island LGBT Chamber of Commerce is open to any and all types of businesses interested in supporting LGBT-owned businesses and the LGBT community.
With the launch of the Long Island Chamber of Commerce, the LGBT Network is also launching “LGBT Network Certified,” a program that recognizes companies and organizations for their LGBT diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) efforts and community involvement in support of their employees and their customers and clients. “LGBT people want to know if the businesses they patronize support them, and that’s why we created LGBT Network Certified – a simple way for businesses to be recognized for their LGBT-inclusion, and an easy and quick way for LGBT people to access that information,” says Kilmnick.
Chamber members will benefit from exclusive networking, business development support, access to educational programming, and business connections. Membership also introduces reduced rate access to meeting space (LGBT Meet) as well as a new flex office space program (LGBT Desk) at the LGBT Network Hauppauge Center. These two programs will provide emerging LGBT-owned small businesses an opportunity for low-cost meeting and office space within an LGBT-affirming space.
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