SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —Today, leading influencer marketing company, Captiv8, is announcing its public pledge to help Cr8 Change through programs such as a grant for minority-owned SMBs as well as mindful product updates with the goal of taking concrete, small steps to help lead greater DEI momentum and progress within the influencer marketing industry.
Influence Change Grant: applications are now open for Captiv8’s inaugural Influence Change Grant, which is designed to be a twice-yearly SaaS grant to support BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ owned small- to mid-sized businesses who are positively impacting their communities. Those selected will be provided free access to Captiv8’s SaaS influencer marketing platform, including discovery, workflow, intelligence, insights and measurement capabilities, as well as dedicated hours for strategic consulting with a team of in-house experts. In order to qualify, applicants must also meet the following criteria: be located in the United States, be non-for-profit or be a for-profit business with less than $10 million in annual revenue. The first deadline to submit is October 29, 2021, with the first recipients to be announced in December of this year. Captiv8 is currently dedicating over a half of a million dollars of value to this program to help support 10 companies in 2022.
Mindful Product Mapping: Captiv8 is also building features directly into its platform to encourage creator representation through expanded gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation identification options. This will allow creators to self-identify in the most representative manner, and allow brands to partner with creators to diversify initiatives.
“The last few years have made it apparent that there is a need now more than ever for a culturally diverse and representative landscape in the influencer marketing industry. We know this change cannot happen overnight, but we want to make sure we’re dedicating ourselves to taking the right steps to ensure we’re making a positive impact for both creators, and the brands we work with,” said Krishna Subramanian, CEO, Captiv8. “Ultimately, we know that small steps lead to significant progress over time. As a minority-owned company ourselves, we have built our own foundation upon the diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, genders and excellence of our employees, and we want to help lay a similar, inclusive, foundation in others.”
Captiv8, itself, is a minority-owned company, with nearly 70 percent of the team identifying as BIPOC. Diversity extends to the highest levels, with 1 in 2 of its leadership team also identifying as BIPOC.
Those interested in learning more or applying for the Influence Change grant can visit here.
About Captiv8: Captiv8 is a full service influencer marketing solution that redefines end-to-end, inspiring you to think bigger, enabling you to plan smarter and empowering you to execute better. Through our intuitive workflow, brands can uncover actionable insights on trends, discover and vet influencers, seamlessly activate campaigns at scale, amplify branded content across the digital ecosystem, and prove business impact through our measurement dashboard. Our platform gives you the tools you need to build relationships and effective content, while our teams lend experiences and strategic services to steer you clear of common influencer marketing pitfalls.
National LGBT Chamber of Commerce Teams Up with Grubhub To Offer String-Free Funds for Struggling Restaurants Impacted by Covid
WASHINGTON and CHICAGO, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — America’s vulnerable LGBTQ+-owned restaurants and bars serving food will find a vital lifeline this fall stemming from the partnership formed by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Grubhub. These small business owners have been among hardest hit by Covid impact with loss of jobs and income over the past two years.
Grubhub, a leading U.S. food-ordering and delivery marketplace, and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBTQ+ community and certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses nationwide, have opened applications for their NGLCC/Grubhub Community Impact Grant Program. The grants are expected to range from $5,000 to $100,000.
“We often say at NGLCC that ‘If you can buy it, an LGBTQ+-owned business can supply it.’ That is especially true of the LGBTQ+-owned restaurants across America who kept our communities and first responders fed throughout the pandemic. We’re proud to partner with Grubhub in offering these grants to support these businesses throughout the nation. America’s 1.4 million LGBTQ+-owned business owners have shown incredible resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now, in turn, we can help them recover stronger than ever,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson.
Throughout June, NGLCC was named the official partner of Grubhub’s Donate the Change program, which has raised tens of millions of dollars for organizations in need since launching in late 2018. The partnership welcomed Grubhub and Seamless diners to opt-in, round up their order total, and donate the difference, with the company matching eligible donations from Grubhub+ members. The proceeds raised will now be made available through NGLCC to support the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+-owned restaurants.
“As the world starts to return to a new normal, we know many businesses are rebuilding and reopening, especially LGBTQ+-owned restaurants that are often the pillars of their communities,” said Kevin Kearns, senior vice president of restaurants at Grubhub. “We’re thrilled to partner with NGLCC and give back to the LGBTQ+ community – one that has shown incredible strength and support for those in need throughout the pandemic.”
Under the innovative grant program, the NGLCC has set a goal to allocate 30 percent of the funds to businesses owned by people of color and transgender/gender non-conforming individuals.
NGLCC and its partners will expertly evaluate applications after the October 12, 2021 closing date. Major grantees will be awarded onstage during the NGLCC Back To Business (B2B) Summit in Hollywood, Florida this November, as well as in local communities.
The NGLCC’s network of more than fifty Affiliate Chambers across America will help amplify this grant opportunity to support local restaurants. Those local chambers will also benefit from this initiative’s newly established “Affiliate Chamber Fund.” This fund will enable any establishment that receives a Community Impact Grant Program that is not currently a member of an NGLCC local affiliate chamber to have one year of membership paid. Additionally, many of NGLCC’s more than 300 corporate partners enhanced their Pride 2021 programming with food orders from Grubhub during their programming with Employee Resource Groups and community partners – a best practice expected to continue throughout future Pride celebrations.
For more information on the Community Impact Grant Program regarding restaurant eligibility requirements, timelines, how to apply, and more, please visit www.nglcc.org/ghgrant.
About NGLCC The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, known as Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers. www.nglcc.org @nglcc
About Grubhub Grubhub is part of Just Eat Takeaway.com (LSE: JET, AMS: TKWY, NASDAQ: GRUB), a leading global online food delivery marketplace. Dedicated to connecting more than 33 million diners with the food they love from their favorite local restaurants, Grubhub elevates food ordering through innovative restaurant technology, easy-to-use platforms and an improved delivery experience. Grubhub features more than 300,000 restaurant partners in over 4,000 U.S. cities.
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Sarah Lynn, an IT security professional focusing on LGBTQ+ owned small and midsized businesses and LGBTQ+ community non-profits.
Lynn has a 30-year career in technology with a significant portion of that career dedicated to information technology security. She is a partner in BPM CPA and leads the IT Security division. Lynn stated that she started focusing on IT security for small and medium businesses because in that industry they were and still are very underserved. She further explained that LGBTQ+ owned businesses and non-profits are even more underserved and she aims to do her part to correct that.
Join us OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies, and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality-focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco via our site’s Recommend an Interview Guest form. https://outburo.com/recommend-a-guest/
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Stephen Crawford a Business Coach who focuses on the end game.
Stephen Crawford throughout his career has been a teacher and/or coach in some manner. For the bulk of his career, he was a vocal coach helping his clients and students be pitch-perfect while performing and guiding their careers. He has owned two successful vocal studios and has clients who have gone on to reach prestigious positions.
17:30 Document your processes – even if you are a baker, document recipes so all things are repeatable by others
19:00 Stephen shares information about the methods and their profit accelerator business survey that covers 40 areas of a business
22:50 Stephen provides a prioritized approach so that business owners can incrementally work on what is the most important and growth-oriented
25:30 In the past you may have hired a coach and didn’t get the actionable results desired. Stephen’s tools provide actionable prioritized reports and guidance.
29:00 Stephen assists professionals with their webinars, presentation, and public speaking game. We further discuss how business owners should leverage video and audio to promote their knowledge, products, and services in an informational way.
Stephen focuses on the end game of what the client is wanting to achieve and then works systematically with them to help them shift their mindset to remove the stumbling blocks that are holding them back. Stephen has taken his past and realized his skills, knowledge, passion, and expertise can help small businesses. He launched Infinite Symmetry Business Strategies as an independent small business consulting agency under a national Business Services company that provides a researched methodology to structure his consulting practice with tools and resources.
One of those tools is a comprehensive business survey that helps Stephen and the business owner uncover underdeveloped or missing core business structures, processes, marketing channels, and key business documents. There are over 40 areas of insights in this survey and its personalized report. From completing it, along with the businesses owners’ stated goals, Stephen can then make prioritized recommendations.
In our conversation, Stephen provided an example of how a business owner due to a family unexpected health issue had to sell her business. She was not prepared and basically had to walk away from all her years of working to build and sustain it. Had she previously worked with Stephen, gotten prepared with the legal documents, documented business processes, a growth plan, a solid marketing plan, insurances, clear accounting, and an exit strategy, she would have been in a much better place financially and emotionally.
Having a business exit strategy is not just a single document. Think of it as an athlete whose goal is to compete in the Olympics. Writing on a piece of paper, “I want to compete in the Olympics” is great. But it won’t get you there. An effective business exit strategy relies on all the areas of the business to be strong, documented thoroughly, and in place right now. Waiting until you need or want to exit is likely too late.
Do you think you are leaving your business to your child/ren? Have they worked in the business long enough to know how it fully operates? A great exercise would be to have them assist in the forming of the exit strategy. As they assist in process documentation and all the other aspects they’ll gain a fuller knowledge and understanding along with being able to contribute to some of the decision makings. Having an exit strategy also prepares a business to raise capital from investors or secure a good business loan.
You owe it to yourself to have your business as strong and ready as it can be. Reach out to Stephen today to set up an initial conversation.
To connect with Stephen you can find him on OutBüro here. https://outburo.com/profile/stephengetsmorecash4u/ Join us on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online networking community for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies, and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality-focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/recommend-a-guest/
Study finds that gay villages have seen a disproportionate amount of closures, boarded up storefronts and high rents compared to the rest of the LGBTQ+ business community.
Women entrepreneurs and business owners are significantly underrepresented in LGBTQ+ businesses with greater attention needed to develop more opportunities and support for intersectionality amongst the community.
Canada is lagging behind the US in recognizing LGBTQ+ businesses as a minority group for preferential spending, procurement and relief funds.
MONTRÉAL, July 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Lightspeed (TSX: LSPD) (NYSE: LSPD), the one-stop commerce platform for merchants around the world to simplify, scale and create exceptional customer experiences, today announced the results of a study on the impacts of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ North American business community.
Lightspeed commissioned the exploratory study to Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business along with the support from Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC).This study is part of Lightspeed’s overarching Community through Commerce initiative, which serves as a tactical, data-driven approach to better understand the businesses Lightspeed powers with its one-stop commerce platform. As such, Lightspeed sought to gather actual data that would support some of the assumptions made about the true impacts of COVID-19 on this community. As a next step in this initiative, Lightspeed will engage with local North American LGBTQ+ Chambers of Commerce to identify ways of helping merchants continue to build thriving businesses.
Lightspeed’s inaugural Global Diversity and Inclusion survey revealed that 16.81% of its global employees identify as LGBTQ+ and 9 out of 10 report that they feel comfortable talking about their culture and background with their colleagues. 83% of survey respondents feel they can be their authentic selves in the workplace.
“Lightspeed was founded in 2005, in Montreal’s gay village and its original members were all part of the LGBTQ+ community. The ethos of our business has always been about diversity and inclusion from the very start, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this research was particularly important to us,” said Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed. “Both in the US and in Canada, majority-owned LGBTQ+ businesses generate trillions of dollars of contributions to the total GDP. Given their importance and influence on our economies, we wanted to understand exactly how the pandemic has affected this community and start a conversation with businesses and chambers of commerce, to help us build even better tools for resiliency.”
Purpose of the study:
To assess whether there has been a disproportionately negative or positive impact from the pandemic on LGBTQ+ businesses and entrepreneurs.
To explore whether LGBTQ+ businesses, in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, have explicitly turned to or benefited from gay villages/neighbourhoods and/or similar community organizations.
To explore the options for investment and support that respondents perceive as necessary or helpful for post-pandemic recovery.
According to qualitative data gathered from the study, gay villages saw a disproportionate amount of closures, boarded up storefronts and high rents compared to the rest of the LGBTQ+ led business community.
The types of businesses located in the villages are mostly retail, restaurants, bars and entertainment, which, according to Statistics Canada, were hardest hit during the pandemic.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) of food services and drinking places fell 39.5% in March 2020 and by another 40.8% in April 2020 as many of these businesses either closed completely or operated at a greatly reduced capacity, providing take-out or delivery services exclusively.
More than half (56%) of food service and drinking place operators reported being closed at some point last April, while 41% reported being closed for the entire month.
By the end of April 2020, sales in the food services and drinking places subsector fell 61.3% from pre-pandemic levels observed in February 2020.
Similarly in the United States, the National Restaurant Association reported that restaurant and food-service sales were $240 billion below their 2020 pre-pandemic forecasts.
110,000 eating and drinking establishments closed either temporarily or for good, and 2.5 million restaurant industry jobs disappeared.
Our study showed that villages were not seen to be fostering business and entrepreneurship or providing a community or resources for businesses outside of retail and hospitality.
Greater collaboration and partnership with Economic Development and the BIAs (Business Improvement Area) could bolster the opportunities in the gay villages.
There is an opportunity for villages to promote diversity within LGBTQ+ businesses in their services and outreach, and to become safe spaces and hubs of innovation.
Gay villages (areas or neighborhoods) are seen to have a strong social fabric, tight knit communities, with the potential to reach out to intersectional community members.
There is an opportunity for villages to reach out to and bring in young entrepreneurs and businesspeople, who value the community and opportunity to collaborate.
Women entrepreneurs and business owners are significantly underrepresented in LGBTQ+ businesses and greater attention is needed to develop more opportunities and support for intersectionality amongst the community.
Participants in the study were predominantly male (70%) reflecting nation-wide studies showing that 80% of businesses had majority male ownership in the United States (United States Census Bureau) and 79% in Canada (Statistics Canada).
The majority of respondents did not identify as intersectional (80%).
Study reveals that Canada is lagging behind the US in recognizing LGBTQ+ businesses for preferential spending, procurement and relief funds.
In the US, recognition is occurring at the city and state level, with strong movement toward federal recognition of LGBTQ+ businesses.
As of January 2021, New York City recognized LGBTQ-owned companies as minority-owned businesses, making them eligible for billions in city contracts, as well as access to consulting, mentorship, educational programs and other resources.
In Canada however, the federal government lags behind in recognition of the LGBTQ+ business community within the same categorization, which prevents them from benefiting from government funds.
Small businesses/new entrepreneurs want to have a range of finance options, including loans, grants and investment.
Intersectional business owners found it especially challenging to gain access to funding.
This exploratory study focused on businesses in six North American cities: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
There were two parts to the exploratory study:
A survey of business leaders
Interviews with leaders of organizations that represent, support or advocate for the LGBTQ+ business community.
Survey: The pilot survey was open to any senior executive or founder of a business that is majority owned by a self-identified member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Interviews: Structured interviews were conducted with leaders of the LGBT Chambers of Commerce, with leaders of similar advocacy organizations and with LGBTQ+ business leaders.
A wide range of businesses were included, varying in size and sector, mainly service and technology-based businesses.
The demographics presented in the findings may be reflective of our approach to participants through city business Chambers, with the Canadian Chambers as the main partners.
This study is replicable in more cities and across a greater number of industries.
The survey was available in both English and French with data being gathered from May 2021 and is current as of the publication date of this release.
“Our research team at Carleton University was pleased to undertake this exciting research. The findings of our exploratory study demonstrate the need to better understand the LGBTQ2S+ business community and the opportunities that exist to realize the full potential of LGBTQ2S+ entrepreneurs and businesses, which already make a significant contribution to the Canadian and American economies” said Dr. Dana Brown, Dean at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business along with Drs Alastair Summerlee, Adjunct Professor and Rick Colbourne, Assistant Dean, Equity and Inclusive Communities.
The study also confirmed trends that Lightspeed reported during its third quarter earnings regarding revenue growth in Australia which had recently re-opened its economy. Much like those findings revealed, LGBTQ+ respondents of our North American study said that they were intentionally buying local and supporting cities and neighborhoods to recover. This was also in line with our pan-European consumer behaviour results, which showed that Europeans have been returning to in-person dining and willing to pay more, tip more and prioritize local restaurants over chains.
It is also being extended to the UK where it will be led by the University of Southampton Center for Inclusive and Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in partnership with the Innovation Hub and Sprott School of Business at Carleton University.
Powering the businesses that are the backbone of the global economy, Lightspeed’s one-stop commerce platform helps merchants innovate to simplify, scale and provide exceptional customer experiences. The cloud solution transforms and unifies online and physical operations, multichannel sales, expansion to new locations, global payments, financing and connection to supplier networks.
Founded in Montréal, Canada in 2005, Lightspeed is dual-listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (NYSE: LSPD) (TSX: LSPD). With teams across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the company serves retail, hospitality and golf businesses in over 100 countries.
Carleton is a dynamic, research-intensive institution that engages in partnerships to address the world’s most pressing issues. The university’s corporate collaborations bring together world-class companies, researchers and a new generation of talent of more than 32,000 students to deliver innovations and results that are driving a more prosperous, sustainable future.
This news release may include forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements are statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions and are identified by words such as “will”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, “estimates” or similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Such statements are based on current expectations of Lightspeed’s management and inherently involve numerous risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, including economic factors. A number of risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, including, among other factors, those risk factors identified in our most recent Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, under “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Information Form, and in our other filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, all of which are available under our profiles on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. Readers are cautioned to consider these and other factors carefully when making decisions with respect to Lightspeed’s subordinate voting shares and not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are not guarantees of future performance and, while forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions that Lightspeed considers reasonable, actual events and results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made by Lightspeed. Except as may be expressly required by applicable law, Lightspeed does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Effort Directs Programmatic Ad Dollars To Black, Latinx, AAPI and LGBTQ+ Owned Companies
NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — TripleLift, one of the fastest-growing ad tech companies in the world, and GroupM, the world’s largest buyer of media, have partnered on TripleLift’s “Underrepresented Voices” Exchange Traded Deal to help buyers direct more spend to minority-owned publishers. The initiative is a curated deal of ad impressions that run solely on websites owned by Black, Latinx, AAPI, and LGBTQ+ media company operators. GroupM is the first holding company to formally support the effort. TripleLift is waiving their fees so that more dollars go directly to the publishers.
Support for minority-owned publishers has increased over the last year as social equality issues have become more important to media buyers. In recent months, multiple brands and holding companies have made commitments to spend more of their media budgets with these publishers. GroupM recently announced their Responsible Investment Framework that includes an invitation to clients to invest 2+% or more of their total media spend in Black-owned media companies. This is the first ad tech partnership GroupM has entered into to further that pledge.
“A key part of our mission is to be supportive of our publisher partners–when they thrive, we thrive along with them”Tweet this
TripleLift launched their Exchange Traded Deals (ETDs) – curated packages of programmatic ad impressions – late last year. Among the first ETDs to be released was Underrepresented Voices, made up of impressions running across 6,100 minority websites. The company prioritized its rollout largely due to the demand raised by buyers towards the end of a tumultuous year that witnessed increased awareness of social injustice. TripleLift noted that 20% of all sites on their platform are minority and/or women-owned.
“A key part of our mission is to be supportive of our publisher partners — when they thrive, we thrive along with them,” said Jordan Bitterman, Chief Marketing Officer of TripleLift. “Just as critical, this commitment is in support of our own DE&I company initiatives, often sparked by our passionate employee resource groups. So, this is a great way to support the ambitions of our publishers, our employees and GroupM, all at once.”
GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, is the first agency group participating in Underrepresented Voices and the holding company level. “The goal of our Media Inclusion Initiative and by extension, the Responsible Investment Framework is to direct media spend more equitably and deepen our DE&I commitments,” said Susan Schiekofer, GroupM’s U.S. Chief Digital Investment Officer. “For advertising to work better for people, we have to give our clients supplier diversity options to invest media dollars that in turn improve the ecosystem and drive positive cultural influence. The TripleLift initiative helps us reach this goal.”
GroupM will make Underrepresented Voices available to all of its brands. That spend can be meaningful to media companies. “As a black woman business owner, I have first-hand experience as to why initiatives such as this one are so important,” said Mediavine publisher Tanya Harris, owner of My Forking Life, a food blog with quick recipes for busy people. “I started my blog five years ago and I noticed a lack of diversity in the blogging industry. That’s starting to change, but much more could be done to level the playing field. Underrepresented Voices is a huge step in the right direction and I’m thankful that TripleLift and GroupM started this initiative.”
Underrepresented Voices will continue to be available to all ad buyers in perpetuity.
About TripleLift TripleLift, one of the fastest-growing ad tech companies in the world, is a technology company with products at the intersection of creative and media. Its mission is to make advertising better for everyone — publishers, advertisers and consumers — by reinventing ad placement one medium at a time. With direct inventory sources, diverse product lines, and creative designed for scale, TripleLift is leading the next generation of programmatic advertising from desktop to television. Working with 90% of the publishers on the comScore 200, 100% of the brands on the AdAge 100, and 100% of the top 20 global DSPs, TripleLift has grown its revenue by high double digits since inception and has now recorded five years of accelerating profitability. TripleLift, part of the Vista Equity Partners portfolio, has appeared on the Inc. 5000, Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and Crain’s New York Fast 50 for four consecutive years, and has been on Business Insider’s list of Hottest Ad Tech Companies for the last two years. Find out more information about how TripleLift is shaping the future of advertising at triplelift.com.
CHICAGO, June 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today Orbitz is introducing a new search capability that improves access to lodging partners that have signed an Inclusivity Pledge against discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual identity. More than 35,000 independent, boutique and name-brand hotels have opted in, making it a powerful search tool for LGBTQIA travelers.
Guests can explore LGBTQ-welcoming hotels via the dedicated search engine on Orbitz.com/Pride or check the LGBTQ-welcoming hotel filter during their search on Orbitz.com and mobile sites. Hotels that sign on agree at a minimum to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for discriminatory behavior. Some LGBTQ-welcoming hotels have adopted additional measures, such as training staff on gender identities and use of gender-neutral language. The search tool features U.S. and international properties.
A recent OnePoll survey commissioned by Orbitz finds that 58% of LGBTQIA Americans agree that they spend more time researching travel destinations and accommodations than cisgender or heterosexual travelers1. More than that, six in 10 respondents said they’ve canceled a trip or changed their travel plans due to feeling unsafe as a result of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Most of us plan a trip with the fundamental expectation that we’ll find a place to stay where we can be ourselves, but that’s not a reality for all travelers today,” says Carey Malloy, Orbitz Brand Director. “More than a quarter of respondents in our survey said that they feel the need to downplay their LGBTQIA identity while traveling. Today, we’re helping them start their trip search with a place where they’ll feel welcomed.”
Shop LGBTQ, Earn a Free Stay on Orbitz Orbitz is offering two limited-time incentives at Orbitz.com/Pride encouraging travelers to support LGBTQ-welcoming hotels and queer-owned businesses in exchange for up to $150 in free travel money from the site.
Visitors who reserve a stay at an LGBTQ-welcoming hotel on Orbitz June 15-21, 2021, will receive $50 back in Orbucks.2 Orbucks are travel dollars equal to $1 USD that can be redeemed on future hotel stays booked through Orbitz.3
Additionally, anyone who supports an LGBTQ-owned business this month is eligible to receive $100 in Orbucks.4 Celebrities Jonathan Bennett and Stacy London are collaborating with Orbitz to spotlight their favorite queer-owned shops and restaurants, including Chicken Ranch in Palm Springs and Blue Stocking Bookstore in NYC. The offer, available only at Orbitz.com/Pride, is capped at the first 500 participants.
“Coming out of the pandemic I think we’re all looking for ways to invest in the communities and people and places we care about more than ever,” says Malloy. “Whether it’s staying a property that shares your values or lifting up LGBTQIA-owned businesses, that’s what’s important right now.”
Nearly half of survey respondents said they are planning to participate in Pride this year (48%), and of those, 66% said their first big, post-COVID trip will be something to help them celebrate. To assist travelers making Pride travel plans, Orbitz released a list of top places to shop and stay in U.S. cities celebrating Pride this summer and fall. The travel brand is also donating to five LGBTQIA non-profits this month. For more information, follow Orbitz on Instagram.
About Orbitz For over 20 years, Orbitz has led the way in advocating for LGBTQIA equality and inclusion in travel. At Orbitz.com/Pride, travelers can find LGBTQIA-welcoming hotels that have signed our pledge of inclusivity, plan their next vacation with queer travel guides, products and advice, and earn free travel dollars through the award-winning Orbitz Rewards loyalty program. With Orbitz Rewards, travelers instantly earn Orbucks on bookings which can be redeemed on 385,000+ hotels worldwide. See Terms and Conditions. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Orbitz is owned by Expedia Group, one of the world’s foremost travel companies.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Porter Wright today announced an expansion of its services to include a group focused on LGBTQ+ businesses. Attorneys in the LGBTQ+ Business practice group will work with business owners in a wealth of areas to help their businesses succeed.
“LGBTQ+ business owners often face unique challenges when doing business,” said Ted Walters, co-chair of the group. “The attorneys in our group are members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community and bring the experience, understanding, and authenticity to partner with our clients to help them achieve their goals.”
“We recognized the need for this type of cross-disciplinary group to support LGBTQ+ businesses in all of our markets in Ohio, Florida, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.,” said co-chair Ron Hicks. “Regardless of location, industry, stage of business, or corporate structure, we will work with LGBTQ+ business owners to enable a path that avoids challenges, minimizes risk, and leverages opportunity.”
Porter Wright brings the bench strength of a full service law firm to provide counsel in:
LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE®) certification counseling;
Commercial and residential real estate advice (purchase and sale transactions, commercial and residential development, lease negotiation, title insurance, tax appeals);
Labor and employment counseling, and employment litigation;
Business competition (competitive interference claims, non-compete, non-solicitation, non-recruitment and non-disclosure agreements, non-competition and trade secret counseling and litigation);
Growth and operation (succession planning, compliance, including antitrust, licensing and franchising, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, family office, employee benefits and executive compensation);
Commercial contract review, negotiations, and drafting;
Wealth preservation, and trust and estate planning;
Intellectual property, including copyright and trademark protection and prosecution;
Commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution;
Nonprofit organizations (entity formation);
Tax planning and resolution;
Social media and website policy compliance review and drafting; and
Insurance coverage counseling and claims resolution.
Porter Wright is proud to be Mansfield Rule Certified and Mansfield Certified Plus for exceeding benchmarks in the national diversity, equity, and inclusion program aimed at better recruitment, retention, and promotion of underrepresented groups. The firm is currently taking part in cycle four of the program, which law firms to boost the representation of LGBTQ+ lawyers, along with women, lawyers of color, and lawyers with disabilities in leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.
The firm is a member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Business Coalition for Equality and was ranked by HRC as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Employees.” The firm also offers an employee resource group, the Equality Alliance, that focuses on outreach to the LGBTQ+ community, internal policies and procedures, professional and business development, and recruitment and retention among attorneys and staff.
More information on the LGBTQ+ Business Practice may be found on the firm’s website.
About Porter Wright
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP is a large law firm that traces its roots to 1846 in Ohio. With offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Dayton, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Naples, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C., Porter Wright provides strategic legal counsel to a worldwide base of clients. More info: porterwright.com.
As an LGBTQ entrepreneur with startup business should a competitor analysis to help you launch, remain focused, grow, adapt and own your market.
There are an estimated 1.4 million LGBTQ businesses total in the United States, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. As LGBTQ business owners we can face challenges others do not, Some of these include disclosing their sexuality to their angel and venture capital investors, traditional loan officers, staff, co-workers and customers, landlords perhaps, and being a victim of harassment and discrimination based on who they are. This could be an outright blatant, conscious yet not visible and simple unconscious bias of others.
Why bother? I know what I’m doing.
There are many things a LGBTQ entrepreneur with startup business should have to help them launch, remain focused and grow including a business plan, a clear understanding of your target audience, a clear mission & vision, general marketing, great content marketing in all forms and clear understanding of the direct and indirect competition to become the front runner in the competitive landscape you are trying to grow your business in.
Completing a competitive analysis will help you to better understand your industry market trends, identify your competitors, evaluate opportunities, analyze threats to your business or organization, adjust your go-to-market and positioning strategy accordingly. Looking at our competitors analytically uncovers what works and doesn’t work. It helps you find that golden nugget of how to differentiate yourself in the market. Unknowingly they are essentially being a mentor to you and your startup.
So, let’s get growing your LGBTQ owned business so you can create job opportunities for others and grow your personal financial freedom and hopefully give support to the great LGBTQ non-profits supporting our community.
How Gay is This?
Now is creating such documents uniquely GAY? Of course not. Your sexual orientation does not play a role in the mechanics of creating a business plan or doing competitive analysis. However, the individual(s) who are LGBTQ entrepreneurs can face challenges their heteronomative competitors may not. There is little entrepreneur content out there that is LGBTQ centric – so we are helping to create it and OutBüro is a publishing platform for you to add to the collective knowledge and resources via posting your own articles. It can be leveraged as marketing your knowledge, skills, products, and services targeting predominantly LGBTQ professionals and other entrepreneurs.
Perceived Competitor Maybe Synergy
I’d also like to add that we’d love to think that everyone in the LGBTQ community is open, welcoming and supportive of all other LGBTQ. That sadly is not the case. In business, it is the same. You may have other LGBTQ businesses and even non-profits view your business as a competitor. Maybe you are. Maybe there’s some overlap of products and services yet the majority is different. Unfortunately, even if another LGBTQ owned business or non-profit perceives you are in some way and scope encroaching on what they believe to be their domain – you are their competitor. So you might as well do a competitive analysis on them to better understand their mindset. Maybe you are a competitor. Or maybe it’s an opportunity to partner. After having done your homework, if they accept a call/meeting with you, you would be able to clearly articulate the synergies and joint opportunities and dispell their assumptions and maybe a partnership would improve both companies/organizations.
Your competitors can come in many forms depending on the type of business you have. Maybe you are a dentist opening an office in an underserved community. It’s a potential that a medical non-profit serving that area could view you as a competitor since their funding may be based on numbers served.
Your competitors have likely been operating for a while. They have clients/customers and therefore making money. Those clients/customers to some degree like them, find value in them and respect them. No matter if you are opening a new local ice cream shop, bar, legal office, dentist office, or launching a potential industry disruptive technology, in all cases, you must understand your real and perceived competitors to ensure:
What they’re doing better than you right now so that you can strive to do it better?
What are their marketing strategies and tactics that seem to be working>?
What mistakes in your humble opinion or that’s been publically reported that you can strive to avoid and possibly capitalize on?
Don’t be modest here. What do you believe you are doing better? How are you different? Leverage these in your marketing.
Competitor as a Mentor
Well, most competitors won’t sit down over coffee and share their entrepreneur journey or provide business advice to help you not make the mistakes they have made. But they have achieved, to a level of success, what you strive for serving a similar target audience. Think like that, they’d make the great mentor. You still can learn a lot from what you can observe through completing a competitive analysis.
Even just one insight into how your competitor operates can give you great ideas. But after a full competitive analysis, all the gathered can drive your competitive strategy.
Who are your competitors?
There are two kinds of competitors to consider:
Companies/organizations who have similar products or services – i.e. McDonald’s and Wendy’s
Companies/organizations that have different products or services but who compete for the same dollar – i.e. McDonald’s and Papa John’s Pizza
Consider the example of Hulu. They don’t just compete with other streaming services, they compete with movie theaters, cable TV, YouTube. They are competing for your couch time. So the gym, social events, social media, and gaming could all be considered competition. Focus on your direct competitors first and then expand to consider indirect competitors too.
Questions while completing a competitor analysis
Starting off with the big questions like:
Who are the major players serving this market?
Use internet searches and other resources to locate them for the geographic area you intend to cover
How is the market split up between them?
If there aren’t reports, you might find their revenue reported on their website, or in articles and lastly, you might find the company tax reports.
Next go a little deeper, with more specific questions like:
How does the market think about these competitors?
Check out online reviews. Search for articles online.
What is their target demographic? Do they market to a target age group or income level? If B2B what size and kind of company is their ideal client/customer?
What sort of experience are they offering?
If a physical location, check out their office/store. Interact with employees. How is their customer service?
If they offer professional services such as consulting, check out their employee profiles on sites like LinkedIn. To be a real sleuth, create a temporary account so the competitor employees don’t see that it’s you checking them out.
How does their product or service look and feel? How does it work?
If local, check them out. If online and you’d like to sign up for their email marketing newsletters and maybe have a sales discussion including a product demo then again being a sleuth, use a pseudo name (i.e. John Smith), create a new Gmail email account, get a Google Voice phone number to use.
How are they delivering?
What do they charge? How do customers order? What reviews do they get?
Search, search and then search more.
Along the way keep asking if your business can differentiate itself in some way.
Identify competitor strengths and weaknesses
You’ll begin to see which ones will challenge you most as you learn more about your competitors. They might be in your region, or they might target the exact same market segment as you. List the strengths and weaknesses of these competitors.
Strengths might include things like:
huge brand awareness – they’ve been around forever and people trust them
great distribution – they’re in all kinds of shops, all over the place
really good networks – they’ve built lots of great relationships with buyers
low price point – It may be impossible for you to compete on the price. However, in many markets leading on price can be perceived as low quality.
Weaknesses might include things like:
Reputation – clients/customers don’t get a thrill buying from or interacting with them
Cheap packaging – their product packaging is not aligned with the target audience’s expectations
Lack of depth – the competitor has remained limited in service or scope that you may offer
Bad reviews/perception – clients/customers aren’t have left bad reviews online or you hear industry talk of clients/customers desiring an alternative
Poor client/customer service – consumers don’t feel valued which may tie into bad reviews
Lack of innovation – their product or service offering has not improved or evolved over time
Poor messaging – their online and offline marketing content is dated, stale and lacks excitement.
By understanding your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can figure out what differentiates you – and where you fit in the
When doing a competitor analysis, it’s important to consider your advantages. There may be things about your business that others can’t replicate, like:
Patents or licenses: Are you the only business that can produce a certain product?
Exclusive supply arrangements: You might be the only business in your area that can sell certain products.
Special processes: You might have a way of working that others don’t know about.
Innovation: Maybe your product or service is an industry disruptor.
Costs: Maybe you offer a wider service or better products at a similar cost. Again, don’t just try to be the lowest-priced offering.
Social reach: Maybe you are good at social media and content creation to attract the attention of clients/customers/members.
Customer Happiness: Maybe you provide such a great service/product and in all touchpoints, you and your team excel at customer service creating happy customers/clients.
It’s important to know where you have advantages like these. Leverage them in your online and offline marketing.
Do it again and again
Be sure to schedule at least every 6 months to update your competitor analysis and ask:
Have new competitors popped up?
How difficult would it be for a current competitor or a new company/organization to replicate you product/service and strategy? If easy, what can you do to make it more difficult?
Have current competitors made changes to their business/organization?
Have they improved on their weaknesses?
Have they added new products or services?
Have they updated their marketing?
Have these changes affected your own competitive advantage positively or negatively? If so, adjust to the evolving market in whatever manner is most effective to regain your competitive advantage.
Start your competitor analysis today
You don’t have to have an exhaustive competitor analysis to get started. It can take weeks to complete your first version working it into your business daily and weekly schedule. But, put it on your calendar so you are to be sure to get it done with as many competitors as possible at first, even if that is only 2-5. Fill in what you can find easily and then add to it as you go to learn more. It won’t complete itself and is a vital tool to understand your competitors and ensure your product/service and marketing is on target.