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How small businesses can be allies to the LGBT+ community

2-minute read

How small businesses can be allies to the LGBT+ community
Anna Delves

Anna Delves

1 June 2021

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During Pride Month, many businesses start to think about how to show their support for the LGBT+ community.

We’ve put together a guide to help you both demonstrate your support, and back that support up with tangible action.

Take a look at the five steps below to help your business become a true ally to the LGBT+ community.

Focus on allyship over profit

This is particularly important during Pride month, as many LGBT+ people have become wary of what is colloquially known as “rainbow capitalism”, where businesses start producing Pride-themed products while not actually supporting LGBT+ people.

In order for your efforts to be sincere, make sure that you back up any statements you make or products you produce with action.

Listen to LGBT+ voices

If you aren’t part of the LGBT+ community yourself, the best course of action is to listen to those who are – both when you’re planning any activity for Pride month and if you get any feedback during it.

Becoming a more inclusive business is not always easy, and you may find you make mis-steps along the way. The important thing to do then is to stay humble, admit your mistake, and change course to do better in future. Sincere apologies go a long way.

Show your support

While it’s important to make sure the bulk of your allyship efforts focuses on action, it’s also great for your LGBT+ customers and employees to know that you support them.

Whether that’s a sticker in your window or a badge on your website, demonstrating that you’re LGBT+ friendly will be reassuring for members of the community.

There will, however, be people who are unhappy that you’re supporting the LGBT+ community, and it’s important that you respond to them appropriately. If you’re seen to pander to those who are actively hostile to LGBT+ people, then your support will come off as insincere.

Tangible support during Pride 2020

After showing their support for Pride 2020, social media publisher On The Tools refused to pander to those who stopped following them.

Consider your connections

It’s all very well you being LGBT+ friendly yourselves, but if you work with companies that are actively hostile to or discriminate against LGBT+ people, then you’re indirectly doing harm yourselves.

On the other side, could you stock or use more products from LGBT+ owned businesses? You could even consider partnering with them to co-create an item or experience.

Whether it’s selling cakes from an LGBT+ owned bakery or working with an LGBT+ owned events company for your next big bash, there are lots of options to put your money where your mouth is on LGBT+ allyship.

Keep it going all year round

Pride is an important moment in the year for LGBT+ people, but we still exist the other eleven months too. If you want to be a genuine ally to the LGBT+ community, make sure you take these actions into consideration year-round, not just during June.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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