In 2012, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) supported 300 certified LGBT businesses. Today that number has tripled to over 900. The big reason is the support from multiple corporations like Facebook, Apple, and others. As the supplier diversity industry is seeing organizations hit record purchasing numbers, LGBT-certified suppliers are looking to take full advantage of the new opportunities. Supplier diversity is the purchasing program which sets organizational goals for the purchasing of products and services from minority-owned, women-owned, LGBT owned, veteran-owned, and disabled-owned people. Unlike many within that list, the LGBT community seems to be fighting on multiple fronts as some states are looking to decrease the level of protections awarded in the past. For example, in the state of Texas, a debate is underway as to the rights of LGBT employees and their spouses. These restricts may have actually decreased the amount of possible LGBT businesses due to its taboo nature in some states.
The need for equal rights is important for the LGBT community but sadly it seems far away. The recent administration has already scaled back a few Obama era protections and may look to further that agenda soon. Still the rise of the LGBT business community is not an anomaly and should see great increases in the coming years. It has been estimated that around 10% of the American population identifies as LGBT so the opportunity to grow suppliers is there.