How Chambers of Commerce Can Support Your LGBTQ-Owned Business

PRIDE flag with blue sky background
Photo by: Getty Images

In the Valley, diversity is not just a buzzword. It is a dynamic reality that enriches our communities in so many ways. From cultural festivals to business districts bustling with people, Greater Phoenix thrives on the contributions of individuals from all walks of life. Amidst this diverse landscape of nearly five million people, the importance of minority and LGBTQ chambers of commerce cannot be overstated. 

But first, what is a chamber of commerce and why are they important?

Historically, chambers of commerce were designed to protect the interests of merchants and business owners and to increase networking potential between like-minded individuals, local and national governing bodies. These organizations still play a pivotal role in fostering economic growth but now also promote inclusivity and empower underrepresented minorities as part of a larger community of entrepreneurs. By facilitating access to capital, business development support and advocacy, chambers of commerce, such as the one in Greater Phoenix play a crucial role in leveling the playing field and promoting economic equity.

Promoting Economic Empowerment and Advocating for Equity and Social Justice

Minority and LGBTQ chambers of commerce serve as catalysts for the community, focusing on both local and national initiatives. Their advocacy efforts influence policy changes, creating a more welcoming space for minority and LGBTQ-owned businesses. Beyond the realm of business, minority and LGBTQ chambers of commerce are instrumental in advocating for equity and social justice. They serve as advocates for policy changes that promote equality, fairness, and anti-discrimination measures in the workplace and beyond. Through education, outreach and grassroots activism, the members of these chambers support and empower through the connections made within the chamber as well as those they interact with.

By providing programs, networking opportunities, and advocacy opportunities, these chambers empower minority-owned and LGBTQ-owned businesses to thrive in a competitive market. Access to mentorship, funding and business development programs equips entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed. One example is the LGBTBE Certification, a national certification that qualifies an LGBTQ+-owned business as a diverse supplier. This certification is available to any and all queer-owned businesses as a perk of membership with the Greater Phoenix Equality Chamber of Commerce (or affiliate member of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)).


A person holding an open sign in front of a retail sign
Photo by JARAMA

Fostering Inclusivity and Representation

In a world where representation matters, minority and LGBTQ chambers of commerce serve as centers of inclusivity by providing a platform for queer voices to be heard, celebrated and supported. By amplifying these voices, chambers help bridge the gap between diverse communities, mainstream industries and governing bodies. Through collaboration and partnership, they promote diversity in leadership, fostering a more inclusive ecosystem where everyone has the opportunity to see a future with leaders who reflect that diversity.

Building Stronger Communities

At their core, minority and LGBTQ chambers of commerce are about building stronger, more resilient communities. By nurturing a sense of belonging and solidarity among diverse entrepreneurs, they create a support network that extends far beyond the business realm. Through community events, cultural celebrations, and collaborative initiatives, these chambers foster a sense of pride and unity that enriches the fabric of our city.

“We joined the Greater Phoenix Equality Chamber of Commerce [GPECC] in 2022, shortly after opening our restaurant,” said Alexis Carbajal, the founder of Phoenix Coqui and graduate of the Edson E+I Prepped program. “The chamber was a perfect source for support from our fellow LGBTQ+ and ally business leaders, as well as increasing our brand awareness. We felt right at home from the beginning as our mentor from the ASU Prepped program in 2017 is the chair of the chamber and helped us instantly make new and meaningful connections. GPECC lives true to its mission of promoting an equitable business community for the LGBTQ+ businesses in the Greater Phoenix area. We’ve seen an increase in business and name recognition, but best of all, we received LGBTBE certification from the NGLC through our membership with GPECC. I currently serve on the board for the chamber and love welcoming new businesses and helping them build relationships within our community. My favorite part is helping certify other LGBTQ+ businesses that join the chamber.”


Two people in a kitchen in black chef jackets with Phoenix Coqui embroidered on the jackets
Photo by David Apeji, Phoenix Magazine

Minority and LGBTQ chambers of commerce are not just business organizations. They are agents of change, empowerment and progress. In Greater Phoenix, they play a vital role in shaping a future where diversity is celebrated, inclusion is the norm, and everyone has the opportunity to succeed. As we continue to navigate the complexities of our rapidly evolving world, let us embrace the invaluable contributions of these chambers and support their mission to create a more equitable and inclusive society for generations to come. 

During Pride Month, we encourage you to check out one of the hundreds of businesses listed (by category) in their business directory to find local LGBTQ+ and minority-owned businesses.

For more information about the Greater Phoenix Equality Chamber of Commerce, visit  If you’re looking for entrepreneurial resources designed to help you create products and services that add value to society, start here.

Emory Ibarra (They/Them/He/Him)

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