During Pride Month, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) honors the significant contributions that LGBTQ+ Americans make to our nation and our economy.
“Every year, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Uprising and honors the extraordinary contributions that LGBTQ+ Americans have made to our nation and our economy,” said EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis. “Here at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, we are proud to join in celebrating Pride Month, which provides an opportunity to reflect on that history and to recognize the resilience of LGBTQ+ Americans."
To celebrate Pride Month and honor that legacy, EXIM is highlighting its trade finance tools for supporting the estimated 1.4 million businesses owned by LGBTQ+ Americans.
EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month. You also can view her message here.
Generating Substantial Economic Impact
When it comes to financial impact, the LGBTQ+ community has a major effect. Approximately 20 million Americans identify as LGBTQ+, representing about 8 percent of the U.S. population, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. That results in purchasing power of $917 billion, according to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).
“Think about this: if the total contributed value of the estimated 1.4 million businesses owned by LGBTQ Americans is considered, our input to the national economy is over $1.7 trillion,” said Justin Nelson, NGLCC’s Co-Founder & President. “That would make LGBT Americans the tenth largest economy in the world. For a little perspective, that’s bigger than the economies of Australia, Spain, and Mexico, and the combined economies of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.”
Not only are those businesses owned by the LGBTQ+ community providing their goods and services domestically, they are exporting them to the global marketplace.
"We’re proving every day that if you can buy it, an LGBT-owned business can supply it. And if you can supply it, you can export it,” Nelson said.
Those comment came during a previous EXIM Pride Month webinar, which you can watch here.
Providing Resources to Strengthen LGBTQ+ Businesses
EXIM is committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. To help spread the word about EXIM financing to underserved communities, EXIM’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Division (MWOB) works closely with organizations that have a minority trade focus to create opportunities for U.S. companies that are owned by minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community along with rural and startup businesses.
In celebration of Pride Month, you’re invited to join EXIM’s MWOB team for a free special event on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at 2 p.m. ET:
You will learn about EXIM’s financing tools and services as well as strategies for successful exporting. The event is being held in partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS).
Don't miss this opportunity to learn about the help available from the federal government and its partners — register today!
Celebrating the Pride that Powers the Movement
The roots of Pride Month date to 1969 in honor of the Stonewall Uprising, which was a turning point for the gay rights movement that stemmed from a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City. That was followed by the first Gay Pride Day in 1970, an annual commemoration that has grown to encompass a month-long series of events held in June.
In the decades since then, anti-discrimination efforts have continued, with the first March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights occurring in 1979, the U.S. military ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2011, and the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015.
This year, in proclaiming June as Pride Month, President Joe Biden praised the courage of the Stonewall protestors for sparking a civil rights movement and changing the nation forever.
“During Pride Month, we honor a movement that has grown stronger, more vibrant, and more inclusive with every passing year,” President Biden said. “Pride is a celebration of generations of LGBTQI+ people, who have fought bravely to live openly and authentically. And it is a reminder that we still have generational work to do to ensure that everyone enjoys the full promise of equity, dignity, protection, and freedom.”
To find out how EXIM can help your business compete in the global marketplace, schedule a free consultation with a member of the MWOB team and launch your export journey today.