You can find a lot of articles about what the LGBTQIA+ community can do to thrive in this big world of small businesses.
But let’s turn the table this time and look at what others can do to show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Here are 5 simple things that can have a huge impact.
How to be an LGBTQIA+ ally
1. Educate yourself and others
Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Understand equality. The second paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence starts as follows: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal […]”. People nowadays are prone to talking about equality without understanding that it works not only when they need it, but at all times and among all people regardless of their race, gender, or sexuality.
- Respect other people’s identity. Asking which pronouns to use when referring to someone is a simple way we can respect others and a step toward helping the LGBTQIA+ community feel safer and valued.
- Remember what support means. Your support of the LGBTQIA+ community demonstrates your humanity and respect. Being kind and compassionate is that simple.
2. Share the list of grants and loans for LGBTQIA+ small businesses
There are many websites that collect general information about the most well-known grants and loans for the LGBTQIA+ community. Sharing this information won’t take longer than a few seconds, but can have a big impact on small businesses. Even small actions are better than silence.
Here are some options that we’ve found:
- The David Bohnett Foundation (Grant) – since 1999 this foundation has been giving grants to LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs in the amount from $500 to $10,000 (depending on the grant type).
- Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (Grant) – the organization fights not only for LGBTQIA+ rights, but also for racial, gender and economic justice. They provide grants in the amount from $5.000 to $30.000.
- Accion Opportunity Fund (Loan) – a great alternative to the traditional loans. The fund can give you a loan in the amount from $500 to $150,000, but you need a decent credit score to get their most affordable loan products.
3. Offer financial support
Thanks to the GLAAD LGBTQ Resource List you can offer financial support to help many in the LGBTQIA+ community. Resources can be geared toward:
4. Collaborate with LGBTQIA+ influencers/companies
It’s not difficult to find an LGBTQIA+ owned company or an influencer. By making collaborations with them, you’re not only supporting them directly, but also presenting yourself as an ally.
The other option is to produce and sell products in collaboration with other LGBTQIA+ e-commerce businesses.
5. Support LGBTQIA+ e-commerce businesses directly
Here are some ways to find LGBTQIA+ businesses to support:
- Search through Twitter/other social media. LGBTQIA+ e-commerce businesses often advertise their shops through Twitter and by using hashtags.
- Searching through the Internet. Many people have created lists with LGBTQIA+ e-commerce businesses that you might want to support. You can try searching “LGBTQIA+ owned small businesses to support” and you’ll find several lists.
- Searching through a particular sales platform. No matter what you prefer – Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, etc., you can always search “Queer owned” on every platform and find thousands of LGBTQIA+ shops.