The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBTQ+ business community, has officially endorsed Joe Biden for president of the United States.
This is only the second presidential endorsement in the NGLCC’s 20-year history and was approved unanimously by the organization’s board of directors.
The endorsement reflects a commitment to pass the Equality Act under a Biden administration, which the group says would grant all LGBTQ+ Americans access to pursue their small business dreams free of discrimination. As it stands, 35 states still have no laws preventing a bank loan officer from denying loans simply because applicants are LGBTQ+. The Equality Act would ban such discrimination in employment, credit, housing, public accommodations, and more.
“The NGLCC is proud to endorse a champion for inclusion. We need to elect a president with a commitment to LGBTQ equality, ending racism and racial violence, promoting small businesses and entrepreneurship, and ensuring a safe and equitable society for every American. Joe Biden is that candidate,” NGLCC cofounder and president Justin Nelson said in a statement. “Joe Biden proudly affirms an essential core value of the NGLCC: that we all deserve our shot at the American Dream, and that our economy only succeeds when it is available to all LGBT and allied Americans.”
Biden has continually denounced anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination as not only ethically wrong but fundamentally bad for business.
The NGLCC considers a Biden victory imperative for the well-being of America’s economy and preserving and building on the gains achieved in recent years for the LGBTQ+ community — such as workplace protections (through a Supreme Court decision), the passage of the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives (it has not yet passed the Senate), the upholding of DACA, and more.
Additionally, Biden has committed to a post-COVID economic recovery plan that strengthens small businesses. He also plans on preserving and expanding President Barack Obama’s LGBTQ+ equality executive actions, which are essential to the NGLCC’s work toward the inclusion of certified LGBTQ+ business suppliers in federal contracts.
“The stakes have never been so high for the future of our country and the LGBT business community. Joe Biden is the champion our businesses and our families need to thrive,” NGLCC cofounder and CEO Chance Mitchell added. “The LGBT community has come too far to lose its seat at the table, and we are certain that a President Biden will continue fighting for the collective economic and social longevity of America’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners and the more than $1.7 trillion they add to the U.S. economy despite ongoing discrimination.”
According to 2017’s NGLCC America’s LGBT Economy Report, if all 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses in America are federally recognized, their contribution to the economy is approximately $1.7 trillion, making American LGBTQ+ businesses the 10th wealthiest economy in the world. In 2015 alone, NGLCC-certified LGBTQ+ businesses contributed $1.15 billion to the U.S. economy. LGBTQ+ consumers spend $917 billion every year on goods and services, including donations.
Furthermore, the report shows the average LGBTQ+ enterprise has been in business at least 12 years — far above the national average, as some reports state nearly half of small businesses fail in their first five years.
Under the Obama administration, the NGLCC secured agreements with major federal agencies — like the Department of Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Agriculture — to include LGBTQ+ businesses in the billions of dollars in federal contracts. The organization was in its final hours of completing an executive order with the White House that would finally include certified LGBTQ-owned companies in federal contracting nationwide before Obama left office. However, when Donald Trump became president, that effort stalled.
Looking ahead to the election of Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, the NGLCC intends to support the new administration in its efforts to pass the Equality Act.
"Our campaign is deeply honored to receive the endorsement of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce," Reggie Greer, the Biden campaign's LGBTQ+ vote director, wrote in a statement following the endorsement. "LGBTQ+ businesses add $1.7 trillion to the economy each year, making LGBTQ+ business owners central to Vice President Biden's plans to build a stronger, more equitable economy, promote entrepreneurship, tackle structural racism, fight systemic injustice, and end discrimination against LGBTQ+ people once and for all."