By Joe Woolley
Are you as excited for Spring as I am? As the weather starts to warm and we transition into a new season, the Nashville LGBT Chamber is working hard for our members, the LGBT community, and Nashville as a whole, to be the best place to do business that is equal and open for all.
We are so excited that Focus© asked us to contribute by talking about what the Chamber is working on at the moment and anything you need to know about related to the Chamber and our work. We advocate and educate on behalf of our individual, small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share the values of promoting equality and diversity in business and society.
We also pride ourselves as being the “connector” within the community. We help connect the LGBT community to itself. We connect the ally community to the LGBT community and we connect individuals and organizations to opportunities. We hope you are already familiar with the Chamber, but if not, please look at our website at www.nashvillelgbtchamber.org and follow us on social media to see what else we are doing. We would love for you to join as a member as well.
Metro Nashville Recognizes LGBT Certified Businesses
On Monday, February 11, Mayor David Briley signed a historic executive order for LGBT-owned businesses, affirming their inclusion as a recognized category for Metro Procurement. By signing the executive order, Mayor Briley made Nashville the first city in the South to recognize LGBT-owned businesses. The signing was part of Mayor Briley’s mission to have Metro Government reflect the diversity of Nashville in its hiring practices, contracting and economic development opportunities, and through the delivery of equitable programs, services, and policies.
The executive order will result in the consistent provision of critical capacity-building services for all vendors as well as Metro’s better understanding of the firms with which it does and could do business. By tracking LGBT-owned and certified businesses – and the contracts they bid for –
Metro will be able to better understand the availability of LGBT firms and assess if it is contracting with them equitably. This change also sets the foundation for LGBT firms to be included in future official disparity studies.
We are thrilled that Mayor Briley signed this much-needed executive order. This has been at the top of our advocacy initiatives for the last six years. Mayor Briley embraced the idea and even put in a $25,000 grant to the Chamber so we could grow LGBT-certified businesses that were ready to do business with Metro. We are proud to see Nashville become the first city in the South to recognize LGBT-certified businesses.
To find out even more information, read the history of how we got here, and see the video and pictures of the day, check out our website.
LGBT Certified Businesses
With certification being recognized by Metro and so many other businesses, now is the time to get certified. We certified five LGBT Business Enterprises in 2018, bringing our total certifications to 30. Certification is a great way to level the playing field for LGBT businesses through the procurement process. Certification is normally $400 but waived if you are a Chamber member. Contact me to get certified. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about getting your business LGBT certified.
Excellence In Business Awards-
Save the Date! The Nashville LGBT Chamber will present its annual business awards at a high-profile event on Friday, May 3, 2019, at one of our newest members, the beautiful JW Marriott Nashville. Support the Nashville LGBT Chamber Foundation at our annual Excellence in Business Awards, which includes a ‘who’s who’ of corporate leaders, small business owners, civic leaders and professionals. Over 400 guests will attend this high-energy event that has become known for its powerful audience, emotional acceptance speeches, and optimism among those committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Membership Campaign – Spring Cleaning
Spring has sprung and it’s time to freshen up your life. This March and April, the Nashville LGBT Chamber is driving new membership with businesses who can help our community spruce things up. We are specifically seeking companies surrounding homeownership and upkeep. Realtors, contractors, painters, decorators, cleaners, designers, movers, and more are encouraged to join as members of our Chamber and take advantage of all the benefits we have to offer. With homeownership and home improvement in the top 5 searches within our directory, people in our community want to find you! Visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about joining today.
Brewing Up Business
Check out our website to find out where we are having our Brewing Up Businesses and come network. We have had incredible events this year at Clean Eatz in January and Adventure Science Center in February. March’s event is sure to be exciting as we will be announcing the finalist for the Excellence in Business Awards. The venue is going to be at a corporate members office space with incredible views of downtown. Please join us. Brewing Up Business is free for members and first-time attendees and $10 for returning guests. Be ready to network with members of our community and learn about exciting businesses in Nashville and the surrounding region.
I hope to see you at one, if not all the opportunities that I mentioned above. The Chamber is here for you and we look forward to continuing to work for our members. Join us!