Weekly Wrap-Up: March 22, 2019

From finalizing the finalist for the Business Awards to dealing with the many issues going on at the Legislature, this week flew by. 


There are 33 new people reading this, they were first-time attendees to a Brewing Up Business, and they are receiving this email this week to see what they get from us weekly if they join! Join today so you can take advantage of all the benefits the Chamber brings to its members. We were so happy to see so many new faces, and we had a record crowd overall. The Chamber is the place to meet new people and get involved in the community and grow professionally. Thank you all for being a part of this. 


Telling the incredible applicants we had for the business awards categories that they had not been named a finalist was one of the saddest things we have had to do in this job. We congratulate everyone nominated and hope they will apply again. It was a tough process to select the finalist, there were a record number and all the scores were so close. Huge congrats to the finalist, you all received an email earlier today from Lauren telling you about them. Now that nominations are complete we will really start to focus on the details of the Business Awards. Get your tickets! 


Lots of business development opportunities also took place this week. And a lot of work up at the capitol with the Legislative Session and the “Slate of Hate” we are fighting. Read more about everything below. 


This Week’s New Chamber Members-

We have so many new members signing up and getting involved, we wanted to start highlighting them in another way than just a social media post. Look for new members that join listed here every week and then all the members from the previous month to be listed in the monthly newsletter. 

We would like to welcome the following members who joined the Chamber this week-


Legislative Update-

It was another rough week for us down at the State Legislature. We had the Licence to Discriminate Bill pass the house and it will now move to the Senate. The Adoption Bill passed out of the House committee and will be up in calendar committee next week, we are not likely to stop it there and we expect a House floor vote the following week. Things are moving fast! 


If you own a small business or work for a large business, please be thinking about getting involved and voicing opposition to these bills. We are working on an event for the following week highlighting the business push back against discriminatory legislation. I continue to have conversations with several members about stepping out publicly to fight these. We need more. 


There was an excellent article written on Wednesday by the Tennessean. We have been working on it for some time and wished we could have had a corporate response in it. If you are interested please let me know. It must have struck a nerve as we received numerous calls and even a death threat, we take it seriously and it has been reported. What I think it shows is that the business argument against these bills is a strong one and the other side does not know how to counter it, so they lash out and attack. Let us stay united as a community and a business coalition opposed to discrimination and work with our other partners to defeat this hate. There was this story by WPLN and this Times Free Press story  that do a great review of the License to Discriminate Bill and where we stand. 


What you can do and what is upcoming- 

Here is a link to the phone call list for the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Here is a link to the Wear RED event for the Senate Judiciary meeting.


March Brewing Up Business-

As we mentioned at the start we had an incredible turn out at our March Brewing Up Business networking program yesterday, continuing our trend of 100+ attendees over the last 6 months. We announced the finalists for our Excellence in Business Awards. An unprecedented 33 first-time attendees joined us for this announcement. Congratulations to all finalists and nominees. We had a record number of applications and nominations. Our community is truly working towards inclusion and diversity and everyone is noticing. Check out photos and live feed video from the event! 


2019 Excellence in Business Awards-

So we announced the finalists, now we are collecting information from them and we will release information about voting next week. All current LGBT Chamber members will be able to vote for one deserving winner in each category to add to the judges’ scores of each finalist. Award winners will be announced at the 2019 Excellence in Business Awards on Friday, May 3rd. 


We still have sponsorship opportunities available. Please reach out to Lauren if you are interested in sponsoring the Business Awards. Tickets are 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 join us. Get your tickets now. Visit our event page to make all ticket and table purchases. Don’t miss this premier business event. It is also a lot of fun! 


LGBT Certified Businesses-

The NFL Draft coming to Nashville has opened so many doors, especially for our members and LGBT-owned businesses. There are 10 LGBTBEs in the NFL Draft Business Connect Guide from our Chamber. We are in the process of getting more than 20 more businesses certified. By becoming a certified LGBTBE, businesses are able to build relationships with America's leading corporations, generate prospective business and clients, and collectively team with each other for contracting opportunities. Our website has information for LGBT-owned businesses looking towards certification. The first step is filling out their business profile and application on the NGLCC’s website. If you are interested in getting your business certified, please send us an email. 


Small Business Administration (SBA)-

This week, we talked to SBA about our partnership. SBA is hosting a FREE Small Business Seminar on Tuesday, April 9th. This will be an opportunity for potential and current small business owners to learn about government contracting. Learn more about federal contracting and get questions answered in this exciting workshop.  Plus, hear more information about the upcoming Business Development Academy. Register here.


Women’s History Month Celebration-

The Nashville LGBT Chamber partnered with the Tennessee Latin American Chamber, the Nashville Black Chamber, and the Business Assistance Office of the Metro Nashville Government to bring a Women’s History Month networking mixer at Salsa Restaurant. This event was empowering and diversely attended. 


Airport Event-

We attended the Nashville International Airport’s Business Taking Off this morning at the Nashville Airport Marriott. This event is an annual presentation and networking event to learn more about upcoming contracts and business opportunities at Nashville International Airport (BNA) and John C. Tune Airport (JWN). BNA President and CEO Doug Kreulen was one of the many presenters. The Chamber is working with the Nashville Airport Authority to follow Metro’s lead by including LGBT certified businesses in their diversity spending.


Adult Mental Health First Aid-

There are only 8 spots available for Saturday’s Adult Mental Health First Aid class at Gaylord Opryland. Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. 

This is an incredible educational opportunity. You can still register today.


Last year the State Legislature passed a discriminatory counseling bill that allowed counselors to reject treatment to LGBT individuals based on the counselor’s faith. This legislation produced a boycott of Tennessee and Nashville by many organizations. The LGBT Chamber worked to stop the National Counseling conference from boycotting and not coming to Nashville this year.


The conference is coming to Nashville March 25-27 and this event was developed to try and give back to the LGBT community. It is being brought to Nashville by Mental Health First Aid USA in partnership with the Nashville LGBT Chamber. This is an excellent educational opportunity that you don't want to miss. Please forward this event to friends, family, and co-workers. It is free and open to anyone interested. 

Have a great weekend! It looks like it is going to be beautiful weather. We are both seeing a concert tonight and spending time with family, friends, and pets this weekend. We hope you enjoy it too and thank for all you so with the Chamber. 

Joe Woolley



Lauren Bland

Membership Manager

Powered By GrowthZone