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Subjects: LGB, SBS, DEI

CGLCC Emphasizes the Importance of Supporting 2SLGBTQI+-Owned Businesses Beyond Pride Season

Increased discrimination, barriers threaten success and economic impact of queer and trans businesses.

TORONTO, June 13, 2024 /CNW/ - Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) is calling on Canadians to support queer and trans-owned businesses not only during Pride season, but year-round. CGLCC is encouraging Canadians to take this month to become aware of the barriers these organizations and entrepreneurs continually face and how the impact extends to the national economy and their local communities.

Stats Canada says that over 99 per cent of Canadian businesses are small and medium sized. A 2021 study by CGLCC and Deloitte estimated that 8 per cent of them are 2SLGBTQI+ owned and operated, representing over 100,000 businesses in Canada. They generate over $22 billion in economic activity.

"2SLGBTQI+-owned businesses have a larger impact on the Canadian economy than many people realize, so supporting them benefits everyone," said Darrell Schuurman, Co-Founder and CEO of CGLCC. "We need to see Canadians extend their support for these businesses beyond the month of June. Many of the queer and trans entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs we work with face unique barriers when starting and growing their businesses because discrimination and harassment to the community continue to be prevalent in Canadian society. Purchasing goods and services from these businesses throughout the year significantly impacts their growth and benefits the 2SLGBTQI+ community as a whole."

The CGLCC and Deloitte study reported 20 per cent of respondents experienced challenges scaling their business as a result of being part of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. Additionally, 25 per cent said they intentionally did not disclose their 2SLGBTQI+ identity, and 25 per cent said they lost opportunities to some extent due to their 2SLGBTQI+ identity.

"Research like this is often surprising to Canadians who embrace the message and the spirit of Pride but may not fully grasp the impact of rising hate and ingrained stigma. It serves as a reminder that there's still a lot of work to do to achieve true inclusivity and representation for the queer and trans community," said Ashleigh Brown, Director of Business Development at CGLCC. "We educate the public about the pain points in the business community, but most importantly, we are engaging people with lived experience and allies to ensure that our results-based programs meet the needs of today's entrepreneurs. Equity is achievable when we strive to create a world where the 2SLGBTQI+ community is fully integrated into the economic fabric of society, and we can't do that by ourselves."

CGLCC offers programs to support 2SLGBTQI+-owned businesses, including the Supplier Diversity Program, the Mentorship (Out for Business) Program and the LGBTQI+ Newcomers Program. CGLCC also has a Global Program that helps 2SLGBTQI+-owned enterprises reach new markets outside Canada. The CGLCC's capacity has been strengthened by the support of the Government of Canada's creation of the world's first-ever 2SLGBTQI+ Entrepreneurship Program. 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs across all provinces and territories can access free or low-cost programming, including a free year of certification as a diverse supplier for eligible businesses.

"It's great to see the support 2SLGBTQI+-owned businesses receive during Pride month, but it also shows us the gaps during the rest of the year," said Dre Choi, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CGLCC. "Our goal isn't just for 2SLGBTQI+ owned businesses to exist ? we want to see them thrive. Individuals and allies make a difference when they consciously support, purchase from, and make contracts with 2SLGBTQI+-owned businesses all year around."

For downloadable media assets, including success stories about 2SLGBTQI+-owned businesses, click here.

Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) links 2SLGBTQI+ businesses in Canada to the wider business and corporate community. It fosters economic growth by supporting and nurturing 2SLGBTQI+ businesses, entrepreneurs, students and allies, and by helping Canada's corporate world connect with the 2SLGBTQI+ business community. For more information, visit https://cglcc.ca/.

SOURCE Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce

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