Weekly Wrap-Up: March 15, 2019

NFL Draft

Wednesday we attended a reception that the NFL held for minority-owned businesses that were selected for the NFL Business Connect Program. Business Connect is the NFL’s special event supplier diversity and inclusion program. The Business Connect team works proactively to create opportunities for experienced, qualified and certified business owners from local, diverse communities to compete for contracting opportunities related to NFL signature events while encouraging NFL contractors, partners and primary suppliers to source products and services from talented, local suppliers. 


This program has opened so many doors for our members and has driven the discussion around diversity and inclusion in the city. I attended the first planning meeting around Business Connect my first week on the job back in August, it is incredible to see it all come together and see SO MANY of our members included in Business Connect. We are so proud of them. The LGBT Chamber has 23 members in the guide, and 10 of those are LGBT owned businesses (LGBTBEs). Below is a list of our Members and here is a copy of the NFL Draft Business Connect Guide. A big thank you to the NFL and congrats to our members! 


Legislative Update

It was another tough week at the Legislature. We thank our partners Tennessee Equality Project, ACLU, Freedom For All Americans, and HRC, for all their hard work this week fighting back against the Slate of Hate. 

An Update of where we are and where we are going- 

  • HB563, the Business License to Discriminate bill, is reset for the coming week after being rolled a week because of questions raised on the floor by Rep. Larry Miller of Memphis.  It is reset for the next available calendar, but the motion was for one week. So we expect it to be on the House floor again on March 21.  We will have another email campaign on that. This is the bill mentioned last week that has several incentive ramifications. 

  • HB836, Adoption Discrimination bill, by Rep. Rudd is up in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in House Hearing Room 1. The bill advanced from the Family & Children Subcommittee on Tuesday this week.

  • Also note that in the same Judiciary Committee meeting above, we continue to watch HB1151, the Locker Room bill, as amended.  We want to make sure the amendment stays on the bill. The amendment removes the language targeting the transgender community and it was put on the bill in subcommittee this week.

  • HB563, the Business License to Discriminate bill, is reset for the coming week after being rolled a week because of questions raised on the floor by Rep. Larry Miller of Memphis.  It is reset for the next available calendar, but the motion was for one week. So we expect it to be on the House floor again on March 21. We will have another email campaign on that.


We continue to have several conversations with members of all sizes on how they can oppose these bills as it makes Nashville and Tennessee less attractive to do business. If your company is interested, please contact me and we can discuss joint statements and strategy of when to come out with opposition. 


Stay engaged: sign up for TEP and Tennessee Thrive action alerts, and you are on ours, and you will know when it’s time to take action. 


Metro Elections- 

We will be returning to the ballot on August 1st to elect a Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and all Metro Councilmembers. The campaigns are gearing up and many of you have met candidates at our Brewing Up Business events. The LGBT Chamber will not be endorsing any candidate, but we will help you meet and have access to candidates and their stance on issues. We will be hosting a Brewing Up Business in July focused on meeting the candidates for all the races. We will host a Mayoral Forum with other community partners in July to hear from the candidates in that race. There is also a PAC being formed to support candidates that will protect and advocate for diversity and inclusion policy, more information on that coming soon. If you are interested in more information or how to get involved with these issues please reach out to us. 


Minority Caucus Reception

On Thursday, the Minority Caucus of the Council hosted a reception to call attention to the impact of historic legislation that the Council passed unanimously in January, and was subsequently signed into law by Mayor David Briley. Rodney K. Strong, chief executive officer of Griffin & Strong, PC, the firm that produced the disparity study gave the keynote address. LGBT diversity and the LGBT Certified Business Executive Order was highlighted as well. We applaud the work of the Minority Caucus and all Councilmembers for striving to make Nashville the most equitable and fair place for all to do business. 


Brewing Up Business

Wednesday we did a site visit at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in the Gulch, they are hosting March’s Brewing Up Business on Thursday. Fairfield’s beautiful rooftop restaurant & bar, UP, will create the perfect backdrop for our Excellence in Business Awards finalist announcements. 

We will meet at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Nashville Downtown/The Gulch on Thursday, March 21st from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. We expect this to be our heaviest attended networking event of the year. Don’t miss out, look at more pics of the space, and register here.


Excellence in Business Awards 2019

As mentioned before, Excellence in Business Awards finalists will be announced at Brewing Up Business on Thursday, March 21st. We appreciate everyone who made a nomination, we had over 79 nominations made for a lot of deserving candidates! The judging panel has the nominations packets and is working on choosing the finalists, then you will vote. 


We still have just a few sponsorship opportunities available. Please reach out to Lauren if you are interested in sponsoring the Business Awards. Tickets are already selling fast. This will be an event not to miss. We bet every person running for local office will be in attendance, we know all the major corporate businesses that care about diversity and Inclusion will be there, and we hope YOU will be there. Get your tickets now. Visit our event page to make all ticket and table purchases. Don’t miss this premier business event.


Collaboration for Excellence: Women's History Month Celebration

Please join members of the Collaboration for Excellence as we celebrate Women's History Month. There will be a Women’s History Month networking mixer on Wednesday, March 20th from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at Salsa Restaurant (818 Palmer Place, Nashville, TN 37203). You can register for this free event here. We want you to build new relationships and foster old ones.


Let us know if we can help you and thanks for your membership.



Joe and Lauren


Joe Woolley



Lauren Bland

Membership Manager

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