Equality Virginia woking with Equality Carolina groups to promote LGBTQ supportive small businesses
Local LGBT business leaders and advocates met at Nacho Mama’s in Carytown to announce the new “Equality Means Business,” initiative – a program which aims to give small business in several states the chance to show their support for the LGBTQ community.
The proposed initiative unites three southern LGBT advocacy groups from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Press and patron alike were invited to meet with members of Equality Virginia (EV) and the Richmond Business Association (RBA) to discuss the multistage initiative and how it plans to showcase businesses that understand how important LGBT customers and employees are to their success.
“We are excited to be part of this effort to highlight LBGT-friendly businesses, who make up one of the Richmond Business Alliance’s core constituencies,” said Bary Hausrath, president of the RBA, Richmond’s local LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. “The realization that business interests are at stake in discussions of LGBT equality can be powerful. This effort helps to deliver that message.”
With the way the economy currently is, more and more businesses are realizing the benefits of fostering an LGBT-inclsuive client base. The “Equality Means Business” initiative plans on highlighting businesses with policies that protect LGBT employees and improve each state’s reputation.
“In North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, from the historic cobblestone streets of Alexandria, to the financial districts of Charlotte, to the bustling waterfront of Charleston, we’ve witnessed businesses taking the lead in this historic moment for LGBT equality,” said James Parrish, Executive Director of EV. “Through Equality Means Business, we are proud to highlight businesses that have commonsense policies in place to ensure their doors are open to LGBT clients, customers, and employees.”
“When you open a business, that business must be open to everybody – that’s the bottom line,” said Raul Cantu, owner of Nacho Mamas. “I believe in equality, and I welcome all people at my business.”
Any business that has an Equal Employment Opportunity policy that includes sexual orientation and gender identity and signs a a public accommodations pledge to guarantee LGBT customers and clients will not be denied services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity can join Equality Means Business.
Equality Virginia will provide an online directory of these businesses. Interested businesses can learn more at www.equalityvirignia.org/emb.
Tyler Hammel is a college student who has an unhealthy obsession with comic books. He’s a proud cinephile, owning a sizable film collection that lets you know he doesn't have any friends. An aspiring filmmaker, Tyler currently works with the VCU student organization The Horn RVA, a group of like-minded video journalists with a passion for Richmond based music. When not crafting his own bio Tyler can be found misusing commas,
From the job seeker’s perspective, having confidence that their sexual orientation or gender identity is neither a liability nor a threat to their livelihood is incredibly important.”March 10, 2017
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