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Response to the Fall Economic Statement – Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce

December 1, 2020

Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) listened with great interest as the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, delivered the Fall Economic Statement yesterday.

We are encouraged by the government’s ongoing commitment to supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs. Specifically, the announcement of priority applicants for grant funding consideration under the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund initiative will include businesses owned by Indigenous people, women, racialized Canadians, LGBT+ people and persons with disabilities. This, along with the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and the recently announced Black Entrepreneurship Strategy, proves that targeted policies addressing systemic barriers to minority and diverse-owned businesses and entrepreneurs are the right policy approach and result in strong economic growth.

We welcome the announcement of a pilot program to open bidding opportunities for Black owned/operated businesses, building off the Procurement Strategy for Indigenous Business. From its inception, Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce has been a strong advocate for supplier diversity in Canada, promoting economic empowerment and opportunity for all Canadians. This includes other vulnerable business owners, such as LGBT+, and it is essential that the federal government leads the expansion of these efforts as we build back better from COVID-19. Anything less than a fully inclusive economic response risks an unequal recovery and even more vulnerable business owners falling through the cracks.

We look forward to connecting the federal government with Canada’s over 28,000 LGBT+-owned businesses as they continue delivering increased targeted support to some of our nation’s most vulnerable communities. Collectively, these businesses generate $22 billion in economic activity in communities from coast to coast to coast, and employ over 435,000 Canadians.

Further, we are pleased to see continued support to businesses operating in the tourism sector, with the expanded Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program. Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce has a long history supporting businesses in the tourism sector, including recently partnering with Tourism HR Canada to offer LGBT+ Diversity & Inclusion Workshops and LGBT+ Travel Market-Ready Seminars, made possible with the support of the Government of Canada.

CGLCC will continue supporting LGBT+ businesses, which have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with all levels of government to further grow LGBT+ entrepreneurship in Canada.