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Commemorating Pride Month with Export Resources for LGBTQ+ Businesses
June 04, 2024 Jane Lemons, Business Development Specialist

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) joins in celebrating Pride Month each June, recognizing and honoring the extraordinary contributions that LGBTQ+ Americans make to the nation and its economy.

To celebrate Pride Month and commemorate that legacy, EXIM is highlighting its trade finance tools for supporting the estimated 1.4 million businesses owned by LGBTQ+ Americans —  including a special webinar on June 13.

EXIM  remains committed to prioritizing equity and helping historically underserved businesses succeed, and President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis offers a special message of encouragement for small businesses.

EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month. You also can view her message here.

Generating Global Impact

When it comes to the financial effect, businesses owned by the LGBTQ+ community generate a substantial economic impact, supplying goods and services domestically as well as exporting them around the globe.

Approximately 20 million Americans identify as LGBTQ+, representing more than 7 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.”

Supporting 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.

To celebrate Pride Month, we invite you to participate in a virtual event bringing together representatives from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), EXIM's MWOB Division, and the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS). This free special event will be held Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 2 p.m. ET:

Trade & Pride 2024: Go Global with NGLCC, EXIM & USCS

This webinar will include welcoming and closing remarks from agency leaders as well as a panel discussion with LGBTQ+ owned or operated companies that are growing their business through exports. You also will learn about resources you can use to start selling your products abroad.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about the assistance available from the federal government and its partners — register today!

Honoring the History

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 celebrated generations of courageous LGBTQI+ people and praised the example they set in the United States and around the globe.  

"We reflect on the progress we have made so far in pursuit of equality, justice, and inclusion.  We recommit ourselves to do more to support LGBTQI+ rights at home and around the world," President Biden said.

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.

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.