by Joe Woolley, CEO Nashville LGBT Chamber
As we close out 2020, advocating, educating, and connecting our members, the LGBTQ+ community, and Nashville as a whole in this uncertain business climate created by COVID-19, remains a priority for the Nashville LGBT Chamber. Every business and person, from our corporate members down to our small businesses and gig-workers, to our networking members and followers, have all been affected and are hurting more and more as the pandemic wears on. We want you to know: We’re here for YOU.
Our membership and programming remains open to everyone during these times; we are asking for members to pay if they can but no one is turned away or dropped as a member. Please join us at any of our events, or subscribe to our newsletter for more information. We’re proud to showcase some of our work below. Special thanks to Focus for letting us highlight our work and our members!
BE A MEMBER AND FIND OUR MEMBERS
In honor of this month’s issue, we are celebrating women- owned businesses. It is impossible to highlight every deserving company, but here is a list of a few members from several different industries:
• Rubenfeld Law Office
• LA Security
• And 3 Foods
• MAYDAY! Computers
• Diversity Builder
• TN Event Designs
• Tonda McKay Photography
• STF Events & Catering/EV Originals
If your business fits this category and you’re not listed, please consider joining our chamber and taking advantage of membership perks. We want to help you promote and grow your business! If you’re interested in joining the Chamber, go to nashvilleLGBTchamber.org to learn more about membership levels and benefits.
We’ve proudly added several new businesses and individuals to our membership, even during the pandemic. A great way to support the LGBT+ community during a difficult time is to frequent chamber member businesses—just look for our OPEN and EQUAL membership sticker on windows and next to cash registers when you’re out shopping (with a mask of course!). A full list of members and certified LGBT-owned businesses can be found on our website directory.
STOPPING THE SPREAD, KEEPING THE VIRUS NUMBERS DOWN
Even with a new vaccine on the way and continuing to follow CDC guidelines, new cases continue to rise. We can stop the surge and protect our economy, flattening the curve—again. Please remember: Wear masks. Stay at least 6 feet apart. Wash your hands. Get a flu shot. Thank you for being part of the solution. We will beat this virus.
NashvilleHealth and community partners, including the Nashville LGBT Chamber, launched #MaskForNash, or #ÚselaPorNash—a community-wide effort to encourage citizens to care for our hometown by wearing a mask or cloth face covering when in public.
We’re also a partner in the #MaskNowPartyLater campaign. Help us have fun, and enjoy concerts, and more in Music City as your mask and following CDC guidelines! The Nashville LGBT Chamber is a proud participant in, and encourages members to be part of, the Good to Go Program, a hospitality safety program created by the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp to help businesses in every industry implement health and safety guidelines.
WEBSITE RESOURCES FOR COVID-19
Members continue to enjoy our new and improved website and member portal. These upgrades help members and the community find information and communicate with each other. If you haven’t visited our website in a while, check out the new features!
While you are on the new site, make sure to check out the COVID-19 resources page, where we share all the news and information our members need to know about. There, you can find out things like: webinars, news releases, hospitality members offering takeout dining services, hot deals exclusive to members, and more.
THE RAINBOW CONNECTION
The Nashville LGBT Chamber will continue The Rainbow Connection Series virtually in 2021. Each month, we offer two networking events, a member highlight session, and an educational opportunity. This series will help our members and community stay connected and informed as we navigate the pandemic.
Network Connect is just that: networking events for you to connect to others for business or personal needs. To complement our traditional PM Brewing Up Business, we now offer additional morning networking opportunities, called AM Brewing Up Business. These events include a short program of announcements from our chamber’s staff and then small group networking.
Member Connect gives an in-depth highlight of one of our corporate members and one of our small business members. In these webinars, there is a Q&A session wherein members have the opportunity to talk about what they’re working on, questions or issues they need help with, or anything else they want to address.
Classroom Connect is designed to help LGBT+ and allied business owners expand their entrepreneurial skill set with educational webinars that connect participants to trusted experts. The Classroom Connect Series is made possible thanks to HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health, who joined as the title sponsor of the Classroom Connect Series. We will start 2021 with a session on LGBT Business Enterprise Certification and Metro Procurement Policy and Opportunities on January 28, 2021. Future dates include:
February 25, 2021
March 25, 2021
April 22, 2021
May 27, 2021
Check our website for topic and presenter information.
Our virtual programs will continue even after the crisis subsides, in addition to resuming in-person events, such as advocating against discrimination at the state capitol, rainbow ribbon- cuttings, and more events. We can’t wait to see people in person! If you need assistance or are interested in learning more about what we do, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our website for more details on these programs: nashvillelgbtchamber.org.