Ethan Jong • Published April 24, 2024

Fuelling Optimism The NGLCC's Effect on American Business Outlook

The future of American businesses has never looked more promising, and that’s according to the people. Americans are confident that the current and next wave of businesses are sure to provide a whole host of expanding economic opportunities and economic empowerment.

But what exactly is fuelling this positive American business outlook? Though there are various driving factors, the NGLCC (National LGBT Chamber of Commerce) has been acting as a positive contributor to the American business outlook. Read on to learn how the NGLCC has been promoting entrepreneurship through their various development and scholarship programs.

Key Takeaways

  • Americans are feeling a great deal of optimism and confidence about the future of entrepreneurs and business owners in America
  • Part of the driving American business outlook has been the NGLCC’s leadership training and networking opportunities catered towards LGBTQ+ owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

Expect Consumer Spending Growth

All communities benefit from expanding labor markets. The NGLCC aims to help businesses in the LGBTQ+ community especially.

According to a survey conducted on 5,458 Americans by Bentley University and Gallup, 63% of Americans say that businesses have an extremely important effect on people’s lives. This figure represents a 7% increase from 2022.

Despite higher interest rates, social and political polarity, and inflation, the US economy is still witnessing a rise in consumer spending growth. Investors, startups, and entrepreneurs are continuing to succeed in a mutual relationship whereby quality services and capital are being exchanged.

Where there is economic confidence and optimism, there is economic growth to follow. Corporations are able to connect with consumers in a positive manner that is fuelling economic empowerment, and not just for the country, but for the world.

Given the heated social, economic, and political climate over the past couple of years, contrasted with the yet positive American business outlook, you may begin to wonder why consumers are siding with corporations at an unprecedented level. The NGLCC has an answer to that.

LGBTQ+ Owned Businesses and the NGLCC Entrepreneurship Programs

The NGLCC's Programs and Initiatives Large

Since 2002, the NGLCC has been promoting corporations within the LGBTQ+ community through the provision of financing, support, resources, education, investments, and certification to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.

Some of the business development tools offered by the NGLCC to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs are access to networking opportunities, a network full of like-minded individuals, educational resources, the option to join the NGLCC as an official LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) through certification, and many other business development tools.

The NGLCC promotes underrepresented founders identifying as LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with the opportunity to achieve business success within a community and network of love, support, and respect. But how do these programs operate, and how does the NGLCC determine which entrepreneurs and companies are eligible for financing and support?

The following is an overview of every NGLCC program that you can gain access to, and how each program can help provide the resources and financing that an LGBTQ+ business may want access to.

The NGLCC has teamed up with the Grubhub Community Fund to provide support for LGBTQ+-owned and allied restaurants, cafes, bars serving food, and other eating establishments. Business owners may receive capital ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.

To be eligible for this grant program:

  • Businesses must be LGBTQ+-owned or LGBTQ+ ally-owned restaurant, bar or café that serves food.

  • Businesses must provide proof that the business is an LGBTQ+-owned or allied establishment.


As a member of this initiative, business owners will gain access to a network of partners that will advise and improve upon efforts to purchase goods and services from transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and gender expansive business owners.

An LGBTQ+ business can receive access by following these steps:

As of 2024:

  • 116 LGBTQ+-owned businesses have become Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® TGX Suppliers.

  • 8 large companies have become TGX Initiative Corporate Partners including: Bank of America, EY, and Wells Fargo.

  • 53 chambers have become Affiliate Chambers Supporting TGX Businesses.


The CoCI aims to support LGBTQ-owned businesses by providing certification and business development tools while fostering a community of equal opportunities and economic empowerment.

As a part of the CoCI community, you will gain access to CoCi’s business development web-series, have the opportunity to participate in CoCi activities and events on the local and national level, and get to network with other LGBTQ+ owned businesses with the LGBTBE certification within the NGLCC.

To get in touch with the CoCI, please visit here.

NGLCC XLR8 Certified LGBTBE® Capacity Development Program

The XLR8 program is partnered with Wells Fargo and aims to promote LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship through educational means. LGBTQ+ business owners will have the chance to work with industry professionals, academic institutions, and private sector companies over the course of a six-week period.

An LGBTQ+ owned business part of the XLR8 program will receive the following benefits:

  • Access to financial literacy education and capital.
  • Mentoring opportunities.
  • Communications, marketing and branding help.
  • Access to other members within the LGBTQ+ business community

To learn more about the XLR8 program, please click here.

The NGLCC Mentorship Program

The NGLCC Mentorship Program is a development program aiming to match organizations with the LGBTBE certification status with corporate representatives from NGLCC’s corporate partners list. Given that the NGLCC is America’s largest advocacy organization dedicated to serving LGBTQ+ people, participating business owners can expect a thorough variety of LGBTQ+ companies with which to network.

In gaining mentorship, business owners will acquire the experiential resources needed to succeed in today’s market economy. Regardless of whether you are a small business or a multi-million dollar business, the NGLCC would love to connect.

The NBIC is a community of organizations advocating for the parity and justice for any LGBTQ+ owned business in America. Members of the NBIC look for opportunities for collaboration among diverse businesses with hopes of creating a more equitable future.

Starting in 2011, the NBIC’s network consists of organizations representing all different types of communities. The business interests of ethnic minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and many more communities are served by the efforts of the NBIC.

On an annual basis, the NBIC recognizes the “Best-of-the-Best Corporations for Inclusion.” Some business establishments to win this coveted award are Google, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and The Walt Disney Company.


The focus of the NLIC is to promote diversity efforts of suppliers in relation to legal professions, identify and promote business opportunities for Certified LGBTBE® law firms and legal service providers, and create a referral network of legal services within the LGBTQ+ business community.

Some of the benefits that an LGBTQ+ business in the NLIC may receive are:

  • The opportunity to be part of legal pitch competitions & training programs.

  • Support services on developing, expanding, or promoting D&I programs at your firm.

  • The opportunity to receive leadership training from other law services

  • The chance to engage in NLIC meetings at conferences

  • The opportunity to be in Matchmakers and Marketplace Expo at the conferences

The NLIC is an ambitious council with huge goals for the coming quarters. Some of the goals that the NLIC has set forth to help LGBTQ+ people and their businesses are:

  • To expand the NLIC’s geographic territories to the West Coast and the South.

  • Increase the corporate partner participation and engagement opportunities within the NLIC community.

  • Host a series of legal industry roundtables, CLEs, and networking opportunities.


The Construction & Related Services Council aims to create a safer and more diverse space for any construction and related business. As a result of the council’s work, more than a third of Fortune 500 companies now make an active effort to include NGLCC Certified LGBTBE® construction and related industry companies.


Given the vast array of programs offered by the NGLCC that are helping to develop the LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders of tomorrow, there is no wonder that Americans are feeling more optimistic about the American business outlook than ever before.

Even with inflation, poor commerce conditions, and a never-ending battle between political justice and chaos, Americans are still finding ways to remain prideful and confident of the country they reside in. All thanks to the communities and support networks built by organizations like the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce that are giving hope to Americans for future generations to come.

frequently asked questions

Who is the founder of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce?

The NGLCC was co-founded by Justin G. Nelson and Chance E. Mitchell. Nelson serves as the current president of the NGLCC while Mitchel serves as the current CEO.

What is a queer enterprise?

A queer enterprise is usually defined as an LGBTQ+ business that is at least 51% owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBT person or persons. Queer enterprises are routinely sought after by the NGLCC for engagement and partnership opportunities.

How many LGBTQ CEOs are there?

Out of the Fortune 500 companies, there are currently four companies led by openly LGBTQ+ CEOs. This figure may be taken with a grain of salt as certain stigmas revolving the LGBTQ+ community may hinder closeted LGBTQ+ members from coming out. Two well-known CEOs currently are Apple’s Tim Cook and OpenAI’s Sam Altman.

Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon is an SEO Specialist and Organic Content Marketer who uses search engine optimization tactics to generate more website traffic and leads for his clients. Calan has worked with companies such as Cohere and Canada Life and has been a guest on the "Online Marketing Made Easy" podcast with Amy Porterfield as well as featured in publications like Authority Magazine and CourseMethod.

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