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by Joe Woolley, CEO Nashville LGBT Chamber

Advocating, educating, and connecting our members, the LGBTQ+ community, and Nashville as a whole in this uncertain business climate created by COVID-19 remains a priority for the Nashville LGBT Chamber. Every business and person, from our corporate members down to our small businesses and gig-workers, to our networking members and followers, have all been affected and are hurting more and more as the pandemic wears on. We want you to know: We’re here for YOU.

Our membership and programming remains open to everyone during these times; we are asking for members to pay if they can but no one is turned away or dropped as a member. Please join us at any of our events, or subscribe to our newsletter for more information. We’re proud to showcase some of our work below. Special thanks to Focus for letting us highlight our work and our members!

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
We are monitoring several bills introduced in the State Legislature for the 2021 session that have been identified as discriminatory towards LGBT people. We organized an open letter of Tennessee Businesses Against Discrimination. We are asking for businesses to join this letter. Make sure you are connected with our Chamber to hear about the latest progress with these laws and Action Alerts to act on.

BE A MEMBER AND FIND OUR MEMBERS
We’ve proudly added several new businesses and individuals to our membership, even during the pandemic. A great way to support the LGBT+ community during a difficult time is to frequent chamber member businesses—just look for our OPEN and EQUAL membership sticker on windows and next to cash registers when you’re out shopping (with a mask of course!). A full list of members and certified LGBT-owned businesses can be found on our website directory.

In honor of this month’s issue, we are celebrating Home Sweet Home. Our directory is full of members who can help you find or update your forever home. Take a look at some of these amazing members:

Are you looking to remodel your home? CONSTRUCTION AND CONTRACTOR MEMBERS

Do you need plumbing repair? PLUMBING MEMBERS

Are you looking for interior or garden design? HOME AND GARDEN MEMBERS

Are you moving to the area or looking for a new home? REAL ESTATE AND MOVING MEMBERS

If your business fits any of these categories and you’re not listed, please consider joining our chamber and taking advantage of membership perks. We want to help you promote and grow your business! If you’re interested in joining the Chamber, visit our website at nashvilleLGBTchamber.org to learn more about membership levels and benefits.

WEBSITE RESOURCES FOR COVID-19
Members continue to enjoy our new and improved website and member portal. These upgrades help members and the community find information and communicate with each other. If you haven’t visited our website in a while, check out the new features!

While you are on the new site, make sure to check out the COVID-19 resources page, where we share all the news and information our members need to know about. There, you can find out things like: webinars, news releases, hospitality members offering takeout dining services, hot deals exclusive to members, and more.

THE RAINBOW CONNECTION
The Nashville LGBT Chamber will continue The Rainbow Connection Series virtually in 2021. Each month, we offer two networking events, a member highlight session, and an educational opportunity. This series will help our members and community stay connected and informed as we navigate the pandemic.

We are thrilled to announce the newest program in this series, Benefit Connect. Join us the last Monday of each month to meet our Membership Manager, learn about what membership can do for you, and how to utilize our growing list of benefits. This program is an opportunity for new members to learn about their member benefits, existing members who want to maximize their membership, or anyone who is considering joining the Nashville LGBT Chamber.

Network Connect is just that: networking events for you to connect to others for business or personal needs. To complement our traditional PM Brewing Up Business, we now offer additional morning networking opportunities, called AM Brewing Up Business. These events include a short program of announcements from our chamber’s staff and then small group networking.

Member Connect gives an in-depth highlight of one of our corporate members and one of our small business members. In these webinars, there is a Q&A session wherein members have the opportunity to talk about what they’re working on, questions or issues they need help with, or anything else they want to address.

Classroom Connect is designed to help LGBT+ and allied business owners expand their entrepreneurial skill set with educational webinars that connect participants to trusted experts. The Classroom Connect Series is made possible thanks to HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health, who joined as the title sponsor of the Classroom Connect Series.

Check our website for topic and presenter information.

Our virtual programs will continue even after the crisis subsides, in addition to resuming in-person events, such as advocating against discrimination at the state capitol, rainbow ribbon- cuttings, and more events. We can’t wait to see people in person! If you need assistance or are interested in learning more about what we do, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our website for more details on these programs: nashvillelgbtchamber.org.