Small business owners broadly support businesses that take action to ensure LGBTQ + inclusion, new survey finds

WASHINGTON – According to new poll published today from the US Chamber of Commerce and MetLife.

More than eight out of 10 small business owners (86%) say it is important to provide an inclusive culture for customers and guests. Two out of three (67%) say it is important to make a public statement in support of equality and justice for members of the LGBTQ + community.

“By employing nearly half of the nation’s workforce, small businesses are essential to promoting inclusive jobs,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The study shows that small businesses care about the inclusion of LGBTQ + for their employees, their customers and their community, but they often lack the bandwidth or experience to operate. That’s why the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation built online platform which makes it easier for small business owners to access the information they need to build jobs that include LGBTQ +. ”

The survey shows that several actions that small businesses could take to support the LGBTQ + community, such as creating inclusive advertising, having a formal workplace policy prohibiting discrimination based on LGBTQ + status and donating to LGBTQ + organizations community, most small businesses – in some cases more than three in four – feel that action is important.

Additional findings

  • 84% from small business owners say that having employees from different backgrounds makes a company stronger.
  • 69% say it is important to take more direct actions to support, such as doing business or investing in a business owned by LGBTQ +.
  • 77% small business owners say it is important to have a formal workplace policy that prohibits discrimination based on LGBTQ + status.
  • 73% small business owners say that small businesses owned by LGBTQ + face more challenges than businesses not owned by LGBTQ +.
  • 69% they say it is a good idea for businesses to share publicly their beliefs about LGBTQ + rights.
  • 72% from small business owners say they are good at losing customers as a result of the support of the LGBTQ + community.

“Ensuring that employees feel included and supported is essential to building a successful business,” said Cynthia Smith, senior vice president, regional business at MetLife. “As one of the backbones of our economy, it is positive to see the commitment of small business owners to engage with their employees and customers, as well as their support for publicly sharing their beliefs about LGBTQ + rights.”

American Chamber of Commerce Foundation LGBT Inclusion Center for Small Business provides tools, resources and best practices for workplace inclusion, as well as individual expertise on how to build programs and policies involving LGBT people. And in 2021 report from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation is further researching what small businesses need to promote inclusion.

About the US Chamber of Commerce

The US Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization, representing companies of all sizes in every sector of the economy. Our members range from small businesses and local chambers of commerce on America’s main streets to leading industry associations and large corporations.

They all share one thing: they rely on the US House of Representatives to be their voice in Washington, D.C., and around the world. For more than 100 years, we have advocated for pro-business policies that help businesses create jobs and grow our economy.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (MetLife), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee income and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers to navigate a changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets worldwide and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information visit www.metlife.com.

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