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Local Carrboro Businesses Featured in National LGBT Inclusion Forum and Celebrate Launch of New LGBT Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses

Local Carrboro Businesses Featured in National LGBT Inclusion Forum and Celebrate Launch of New LGBT Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses

Carrboro Business Alliance Member News

Local Carrboro Businesses Featured in National LGBT Inclusion Forum and Celebrate Launch of New LGBT Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses

CARRBORO, NC: Last week, several Carrboro Business Alliance (CBA) members were featured in a national LGBT inclusion forum coordinated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. During the forum, local Carrboro leaders discussed the value of LGBT-inclusive workplaces and celebrated the launch of the new online LGBT inclusion hub

“The local Carrboro business community has demonstrated a strong commitment to LGBT inclusion, acceptance, and empowerment,” said Lawrence Bowdish, Senior Director, Research and Issue Networks, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is pleased to work with the Carrboro Business Alliance to share their promising practices and the value that inclusion brings to Carrboro businesses and the Carrboro community.”

Forum: The forum, called "Incorporating Inclusion: LGBT Inclusion for Small Businesses"(#incinc), was a conversation on how small businesses can develop more LGBT-inclusive workplaces and make inclusion a core part of their cultures that extends beyond Pride Month

Featured Carrboro speakers included Kevin Callaghan, Chef/Owner of Acme Food and Beverage; Crystal Fisher, Partner/Broker at Weaver Street Realty; and Windy Willer, Training and Development Manager for Weaver Street Market. In addition, Laurie Paolicelli, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau provided framing remarks about the Carrboro "feel free" spirit and how Carrboro has a long-standing reputation as one of the most welcoming places in the state for the LGBT community. The forum took place on June 3, 2021. Watch the video.

Hub: During the forum, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched the "LGBT Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses." This new hub is a centralized online platform featuring LGBT inclusion promising practices for small business owners as well as access to one-on-one expert assistance. These resources are critical as many small business owners have the desire, but lack the time or tools to build an LGBT inclusion program from scratch.  

Report: The forum and hub were the culmination of two years of study led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to better understand the LGBT inclusionary practices and programs of small, midsize, and large businesses. The most recent report, called LGBT Inclusion in Small Businesses, includes the findings from several business focus groups across the country, including one with local Carrboro business leaders. The focus groups helped the researchers understand current challenges to creating an inclusionary culture, the benefits of introducing smarter practices and policies, and eight key themes of inclusivity for small businesses going forward.  

About Incorporating Inclusion: "Incorporating Inclusion" is a first-of-its-kind research and education initiative, established by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and with support from the Gill Foundation, to demonstrate the corporate and community value of LGBT-inclusive workplaces. The initiative goes beyond existing research to identify the characteristics of companies that incorporate LGBT-inclusive policies, the facets of corporate culture that help companies benefit from these policies, and the importance of businesses engaging in external efforts that support LGBT inclusion.

About the Carrboro Business Alliance: The Carrboro Business Alliance (CBA), founded in 2014 on the shared belief that "local matters," is now more than 100 local businesses collaborating to help Carrboro thrive. The CBA mission is to 1) connect members with information and customers, 2) promote members and the Carrboro community, and 3) represent local business interests with policy makers. The success of the CBA is made possible by CBA Founding Champions: Carr Mill Mall, The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, and the Town of Carrboro; and CBA Founding Investors: Atma Hotel Group, Carrboro Creative, Chapel Hill Tire, Coastal Credit Union, CommunityWorx, Duke Energy, Eller Capital Partners, I-40 Films, New Media Campaigns, Weaver Street Market, and Wrenn Works. Follow the CBA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and join the conversation with #LocalMatters.

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