By Krystal Drwencke and Aaron Lander
As the world pushes through the middle of 2020, it has become apparent that our relationships and communities are more important than ever. With national leadership nowhere to be found, now more than ever, it is our community strings that will get us through these trying times. The Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA)—the nation’s first LGBT chamber of commerce—wants to help you build meaningful and long-lasting business during this time and beyond.
With any connection, it takes continued attention and care to develop business relations. The GGBA is here to assist you in this process, but just like any relationship, you have to put in time and be present to really feel the impact the GGBA has on our business community.
Here are five ways to get the most out of your GGBA membership:
Get to know the board members.
The GGBA has a working volunteer Board of Directors that is here to help. If there is a specific way your business needs to grow or an introduction that you need, the GGBA board members are a great resource and can point you in the right direction. Introduce yourself to a board member and tell them what you do; they might know the perfect person to connect with you!
Fill out your online membership profile.
Make sure that your member profile is complete in our online directory. Completing your profile helps to boost your online SEO and it allows our community and people looking to for LGBTQIA2+ owned or allied businesses to find you.
Attend events (virtual now and in-person hopefully soon).
People do business with people whom they like, know, and trust. If you consistently show up and further the mission of the community, it will be difficult not to cultivate meaningful relationships—professional and personal. The GGBA hosts monthly networking events (Make Contacts) and a variety of other workshops and events throughout the year. Our signature Power Lunch event (for 2020, held before this year’s shelter-in-place) hosts an expo and business pitch that can help to boost your presence to our corporate partners.
Sponsor a networking event or other member programming.
One positive outcome of the current climate is that it makes partnering for virtual events easier than ever and has made our events more diverse. If you have an idea for an event or program that helps to educate our membership on business or community, this is a great time to partner with the GGBA.
Do business with members in our directory.
While positive change has come to the LGBTQ+ community over the last decade, the work for equality is far from over. By going to our online member directory, you can discover LGBTQ+ and allied organizations to do business with. Supporting those that are driving for socioeconomic change helps to elevate LGBTQ+ presence in the business community and also drives the relationships that will get us through to the other side of 2020.
Growing your business during COVID-19 can be tough and the GGBA is here to help. We look forward to seeing the LGBTQ+ and allied business community snap back from this setback and build a more sustainable and just future.
The GGBA is a leading advocate for LGBTQ+ businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1974. Our mission is to champion opportunity, development, and advocacy for our LGBTQ & allied business community.
Krystal Drwencke (Vice President) and Aaron Lander are GGBA Board Members.