NJ LGBT business group plans events this spring

Laura Seliger of the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Laura Seliger of the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce

by Dori Eitelberg and Bill Kieffer

The New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce is a statewide organization that creates opportunities by providing resources and programming to help grow and elevate businesses. It is an affiliate chapter of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

In this digital era, joining a chamber of commerce may seem antiquated. However, these business organizations remain one of the best ways to network with other entrepreneurs and corporate partners in virtually any community. In a world where hashtags and memes grab a fleeting moment of attention, it’s word of mouth, personal referrals and meaningful connections that really attract and you’re your business.

Here are some ways that members and their businesses can benefit from NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce membership:

  • Solving Business Problems: The Chamber is a diverse and integrated community. Perhaps you have a client who seeks a particular service that’s outside your expertise. Your membership could help to quickly put you in touch with a potential subcontractor.
  • Learn or Teach Something New: The Chamber hosts free educational seminars for members. Serving as a teacher can establish you as an expert to other members; when they need products or services that fall within your skill set, they’ll likely call you first.
  • Discounts From Other Members: The Chamber offers many discounts to members, and developing relationships with colleagues may  result in lower prices through our national partner, NGLCC.
  • Statewide Exposure: The Chamber is active on social media and provides a forum for getting members’ names known and they have a variety of networking events throughout the year.
Events coming up in June

The NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce will be hosting two inaugural Signature Pride Events:

  1. Out For Business is a networking breakfast designed to leverage and connect Chamber Members and allies with key contacts and decision-makers.
  2. NJ Night of Pride is a social and networking event in Asbury Park, NJ on June 2, 2018. It is the Saturday night before the 27th Annual Jersey Gay Pride Parade and Festival.

Complete details are not yet available, but visit the NJ LGBT Chamber website, or Out In Jersey website for updated details soon.

Become a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise 

If your business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a person who is LGBT you may benefit from becoming certified. NGLCC, the national certification body will waive all application fees for members of our chamber (a $400 value). Explore the benefits of certification and application process at nglcc. org/get-certified.

You can also visit Diversityinc.com’s website to view the top fifty national corporations looking to partner with supply-side companies as vendors and consultants. With certification, it is easier to get their attention and potential business.

In addition to the benefits listed above, the Chamber works indirectly to help the membership and the larger LGBT community. Their most recent effort was a collaboration with United Way to survey the LGBT community for their perspective on a host of issues. Participating in this study helps open doors and minds around the world, and is expected to influence positive changes for our community. Please take a few moments to complete the survey, and forward it to LGBT business owners who may be interested in participating.

The survey can be found online at: surveymonkey.com/r/LGT8WBC