The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ( www.uschamber.com/ ) has released its Special Report on Small Business and LGBTQ+ Inclusion, focusing on how the small business community has increased inclusivity initiatives, non-discrimination policies, and public activism.
The report illustrates an overwhelmingly supportive push amongst the small business community with 86% wanting to provide an inclusive company culture for customers and guests alike. And they are willing to put principles over profits as 72% say they are willing to lose customers as a result of their pro-LGBTQ+ policies if it means the LGBTQ+ members of their staff and customers feel welcome. Key findings from the report:
- Most small businesses are comfortable expressing their support for LGBTQ+ inclusion. Roughly two in three small businesses say it is a good idea for businesses to publicly share their beliefs on social issues like LGBTQ+ rights (69%), racial justice (66%), and crime and policing (66%). Furthermore, 72% say they are okay with losing customers as a result of supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
- Nearly all (86%) want to provide an inclusive culture for customers and guests, and 77% say it is important to have a formal workplace policy prohibiting discrimination based on LGBTQ+ status.
- Millennial and younger small business owners are especially eager to include LGBTQ+ inclusion actions in their business operations. The top three actions for millennial or younger businesses are: actively working to recruit LGBTQ+ employees (28%), having a formal workplace policy prohibiting discrimination based on LGBTQ+ status (24%), and donating to organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community (23%).
- Most small business owners think that LGBTQ+ owners face more challenges. Nearly three in four (73%) say LGBTQ+ owned small businesses face more challenges than non-LGBTQ+ owned businesses. More than two in three (69%) small businesses say it is important to do business with, or invest in, LGBTQ+ owned businesses.
The Chamber has also launched a LGBTQ+ Inclusion Hub ( www.uschamberfoundation.org/lgbt-inclusion-hub ) where small businesses can find the resources they need to build LQBTQ+ inclusive spaces such as workplace policy recommendations, reports on workplace allyship, and explanations on the unique impact COVID has on the LGBTQ+ community.