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How small businesses can be allies to the LGBTQ+ community

1-minute read

Anna Delves

Anna Delves

1 June 2023

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

1. Focus on allyship over profit

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

2. Listen to LGBTQ+ voices

If you aren’t part of the LGBTQ+ 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.

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3. 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 LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ friendly will be reassuring for members of the community.

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

4. Consider your connections

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

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

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

5. Keep it going all year round

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

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Anna Delves

Written by

Anna Delves

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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