The Queer Equity Impact Program will focus on business resources connections and communication, information platforms, and practical technical assistance. Business owners will progress through a 12-week program that will hit all aspects of their business. The participants will have the opportunity for grants, will receive a membership to the chamber (if not already a member), and apply for LGBTQ business certification as incentives to fully complete the program.
This program addresses a core objective of the NEI Inclusive Small Business Support Fund. One goal of our chamber and NEI is to support disconnected businesses from capital, resources, and strategic social networks that equip them to adapt, survive and grow. Our LGBTQ community is not considered a federally-protected class which comes with several disadvantages including but not limited to; discrimination, limited legal recourse, unequal treatment, social exclusion, and lack of representation. These disadvantages are exacerbated when considering intersectional identities, even those identities that are protected classes such as race and gender.
Through this program, we will be able to strategically invest and develop a vulnerable community within Wayne County, connect them to our robust LGBTQ business members and corporate partners within our chamber, NEI community partners, and provide resources that promote the scalability of their business.
In addition to this Queer Equity Impact program, the program will support expanding the capacity of existing programs. These include our annual COLOURS Spring and Fall Business Summits including the COLOURS Pride Awards Gala. Where next year two graduates of the program will go head to head in a pitch competition live on stage to win some serious cash for their business.
- Fall Session: September – December | Application Closes August 21, 2023
- Spring Session: February – April | Application Opens: November 1, 2023