Right now, neither Columbus, GA, nor the Chattahoochee Valley has a network for LGBT and allied business owners and freelancers. There are the generally-audienced Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce as well as the recently-established Columbus Minority Chamber of Commerce (which serves African-American and other PoC-owned establishments in the metro area), but not one for LGBT-owned or targeted establishments.
Such a chamber would help further the importance of the LGBT community to the economy of the region, and provide LGBT business owners, no matter how big or small, a network with which to build connections and support each other.
This would be of great importance to the region’s LGBT community due to:
- the high rate of unemployment among LGBT people
- the local necessity of the workplace closet for LGBT workers, even (or especially) among those who volunteer some of their off-hours to support LGBT community institutions
- the threat of RFRA against LGBT business owners, workers and consumers.
I propose that a Columbus Georgia LGBT Chamber of Commerce be formed, hopefully within 2015. I also propose that such a chamber can become an affiliate of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.