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Darrell Schuurman speaking at CGLCC Gala 2022

Inclusive Business Practices: The Best Way for Small Businesses to Grow

January 9, 2023
Originally published in Canadian SME, January 5, 2023.
Written by Darrell Schuurman, CEO and Founder of CGLCC.

Creating an inclusive Canadian economy is at the heart of what we do at Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. We are working to create access and opportunities for the more than 100,000 LGBT+ owned businesses across the country.

2022 demonstrated the need to continue to work, and fight, for LGBT+ inclusion. Research showed that LGBT+ businesses continue to face significant challenges and barriers, including access to financing and mentorship and ongoing discrimination. Rights for members of the LGBT+ community in some places around the world were stripped away. And acts of violence against the LGBT+ community, both here in Canada and around the world, continued.

So that’s why, for 2023, we’re committed to continuing to advocate for Canada’s LGBT+ business community, working to drive economic empowerment and ultimately driving social change. We’ll be delivering programming and creating connections in an effort to support continued economic growth for the LGBT+ community, and our communities at large.

If you’re an LGBT+ owned businesses, 2023 is the year for you step out, step up and become certified. As a certified LGBT+ business, CGLCC is able to open doors and create opportunities for you with a growing number of corporations and governments actively looking to do business with LGBT+ companies. The more companies that become certified, the more opportunities are made available, and the more economic impact we’re creating.

For other SMEs and corporations across the country, I encourage you to explore ways that you can engage more LGBT+ suppliers into your procurement activities. There is significant value in diversifying your supply chain, no matter what size of business you operate.

And for all SMEs, 2023 will continue to see the importance of having inclusive workplaces. With the ongoing war for top talent, companies need to outwardly demonstrate inclusive policies and practices. CGLCC’s Rainbow Registered program is there to support those companies that
have made that commitment to ensuring an inclusive and welcoming space for LGBT+ employees and customers.

CGLCC is looking forward to the year ahead. We’re here to support all SMEs, corporations, and governments that are working to ensure that an inclusive economy includes the LGBT+ community.