What You Need To Know About How To Get Your Business LGBT Business Enterprise Certified
Jamie Nabozny is a man who loves to talk, help and empathize with people. This was one of the reasons he decided to go into finance and become an independent agent with American Family Insurance.
It’s also a reason he decided to obtain the LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) Certification through the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).
“It’s about people,” Nabozny said. “I love people; I understand people and no matter what kind of business you’re in, you have to be good at that and showing empathy.”
Businesses can apply to become LGBTBE certified by being at least 51% owned, operated, managed and controlled by an LGBTQ+ person who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Other criteria include exercising independence from any non-LGBTQ+ business enterprise and having its headquarters in the U.S.
After the application is turned in, it will take 60 to 90 days to be processed by the NGLCC. Once granted, the certification lasts for three years before having to be renewed.
According to the NGLCC’s website, “certified LGBTBE companies are routinely sought after by NGLCC Corporate Partners who are looking to increase their spend with the LGBTQ business community through our internal, proprietary database.”
There are several benefits for having the certificate, including giving businesses the opportunity to compete for sourcing contracts with NGLCC’s partners, gaining access to billions of dollars in life-changing business opportunities and national recognition by America’s top corporations as a LGBTBE supplier, according to the NGLCC’s website.
“[Businesses] benefit from having this certificate because they have access to business they wouldn’t otherwise,” Nabozny said.
Nabozny said he is “proud to be gay” and to have the business certification to show others he is a LGBTE owned business. To him, it is important for people to know.
In a broader context, Nabozny believes this certification is important because it demonstrates businesses that are supportive of the LGBT community. He has had friends and clients who have gone to other agents, later finding out they are unsupportive of the LGBT community.
“It’s important to support businesses that support us,” Nabozny said. “It’s important to me, as a consumer, that I know who I’m doing business with and that I’m giving my business to someone that’s not just supportive of me, but also isn’t working against my rights.”
He added it is crucial to have awareness regarding who they do business with because when dealing with the more serious aspects of life, clients should be able to go to someone they trust and know is looking out for their best interests.
Nabozny gave the example of how he represents several trans people as an agent. One of his clients was setting up life insurance but did not know if they needed to write down their gender at birth or if they could write down the gender they identify as. After being told they could go forward with the life insurance process by writing down the gender they identify as, Nabozny said the client felt “so at ease” about the rest of the process.
“Part of being a certified business means that people can feel safe and comfortable coming here for their insurance needs without worrying about how they’re going to be perceived or judged,” Nabozny said.
Part of being in the business world means being seen by those around you. Nabozny added the more people feel seen by a business, the more likely they are to work with them when it comes down to their personal business.
The LGBTQ community spends more than $917 billion every year on goods and services, and they are more than 75% likely to change brands when they know they are LGBTQ-inclusive, according to the NGLCC’s website. This is especially important due to the fact that 4% of Minnesota’s workforce identifies as part of the LGBT community, that number being around 135,000 people in the state.
Very few businesses in Minnesota have the LGBTBE certification, and Nabozny hopes that the more he talks about the certification, the more businesses will go through the process of getting their own certificate.
“We as a community can know where we’re spending our dollars,” Nabozny said. “LGBT certification is a way for our community to know what businesses, small businesses in our community, are part of the community and are supportive of the community.”
Despite the long process of being certified, Nabozny encourages businesses to proceed with becoming certified. Applying for the certification is free if you are a part of Quorum, Minnesota’s LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce.
He added there is “a light at the end of the tunnel” and sticking with the process of the application is worth getting because it matters to the community.
Along with Nabozny, ImageHaus, OutLoud Promotions and WonderWoman Construction are some of the Twin Cities businesses that are LGBTBE certified. You can find other businesses here.
Nabozny has gained more access to clients because of his certification and has been happy to help give back to the LGBTQ+ community when it comes to personal business affairs. It is one of his favorite parts of his job, according to Nabozny, since he loves being able to give back to the community in any way he can.
“I want to be recognized in the community as someone who cares about the community and gives back to the community, and I hope other people will see that,” Nabozny said.
For more information on how to become LGBTBE certified, visit the NGLCC website: www.nglcc.org/lgbtbe-certification