Appears in May + June issue of Focus Middle Tennessee
by Joe Woolley | photos courtesy of Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The Nashville LGBT Chamber is working hard for our members, the LGBT+ community, and Nashville as a whole in this very uncertain business environment created by COVID-19. We all know how huge an event this has been and businesses, from our corporate members down to our small businesses and gig-workers, have been affected in major ways.
You can expect COVID-19 to be a factor in every business going forward. Businesses will talk about how they responded and how it changed what they do and who they employ. We at the chamber are no different. Every program we have has had to adapt and deal with a COVID-19 world.
When the outbreak started and the city went into quarantine, we went back to our core principles of advocacy, education, and connection. We had just encountered this with reference to the tornado response and recovery but even that refocus was nothing compared with the challenges we would face with COVID-19 and continuing forward.
We needed to take care of our members before anything else. The chamber adapted to make sure we serve our members and the community and will continue to do so when we get through this (and we will get through this).
The chamber created a COVID-19 resources page where we shared all the news and information we felt our members needed to know about. We put all that information on our social media as well. A webinar section was created to connect our members to the countless webinars our community partners were putting out. We reached out to all of our members and asked them to share their information with us to specifically help reach the LGBT+ population and our news section quickly filled up. Directories were created that highlighted members that were ordering takeout, or members that had changed their business to sell their product in a new way. Our Hot Deals section was promoted and soon filled up with specials to other members and the community on a number of items.
Pause in Membership Dues
We knew these were tough times for everyone. With the financial impact of the tornado followed by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and people across Nashville were looking for ways to lower expenses. We wanted to do our part to help.
The chamber decided to suspend all membership billing until the crisis is over. No member will need to pay any dues or fees. We also extended all memberships for our networking members and added additional time to their membership for all the months that we had to cancel our networking events.
After the announcement of the pause in membership, we heard the thanks from members that really appreciated it, but we also saw the continued and increased support of other members that could continue to give.
Titanium Member- Music City PrEP Clinic
The chamber is pleased to announce that Rod Bragg Music City PrEP Clinic bolstered its investment in the chamber becoming the first-ever Titanium level member.
Previously a Gold member, Music City PrEP’s Titanium membership highlights the tremendous growth of the Nashville LGBT Chamber, which currently represents over 500 Nashville area small businesses, corporations, nonprofits and entrepreneurs committed to promoting equity and diversity in business and society.
New Programming- The Rainbow Connection
With the tremendous successes and feedback from members after
our first virtual event in April, we are excited to announce our expanded programming with the Rainbow Connection.
This is a series which includes webinars, networking events, and other educational meetings to help our members and community stay connected and informed while we navigate the “new normal.”
To complement our traditional Brewing Up Business, we now offer additional morning networking opportunities, AM Brewing Up Business. These events include a short program of announcements from our chamber’s staff and then small group networking.
Member Connect gives an in-depth highlight of one of our corporate members and one of our small business members. There is a Q&A session and members have the opportunity to talk about what they’re working on, questions or issues they need help with or anything else they want to address.
Classroom Connections is designed to assist our members with topics ranging from LGBTBE certification, navigating PPP and CARES Act, marketing, HR, etc.
Our virtual programs will continue even after the crisis subsides in addition to resuming in-person events like advocating against discrimination at the state capitol, rainbow ribbon-cuttings, and events like the Pride in Business Awards and TASTE.
If you need assistance or are interested in learning more about what we do, we would love to hear from you. Visit our website for more details on these programs: nashvillelgbtchamber.org
To learn more about Joe Woolley and the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, please visit nashvillelgbtchamber.org.