Corporate members create opportunities for LGBT business enterprises to effectively compete in the procurement process for supply chain diversity.

Benefits of Corporate Membership include:

  • Access to a larger pool of qualified suppliers while maintaining the level of quality you require of all your vendors

  • Resources to help you achieve a supplier base that more closely reflects your customer demographics

  • Increased opportunity for greater savings and higher quality goods and services due to increased competition

  • Resources to make doing business with LGBTBEs easy and simple

  • Fulfillment of a criterion for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI) by using LGBT certified suppliers to achieve or maintain a 100 CEI score

  • Assistance in developing or improving your company’s supplier diversity programs

  • Meeting the demands of your customers, and/or government compliance requirements

  • Added recognition by stakeholders and the local community of your strong corporate citizenship

“Corporate members benefit by expanding their connection to the LGBT marketplace and by gaining greater access to qualified suppliers to source which reduces cost and improves quality while increasing competition.”

Supplier Diversity Events

Hosted by MB Financial

Why would you want your company to be LGBTQ certified?


Panel discussion on LGBTQ business certification. Discussion covered requirements and steps for certification, testimonials from LGBT certified businesses and an update on corporate and legislative initiatives to increase opportunities for LGBTQ certified businesses.

Hosted by Charles Schwab as an Out & Equal Citywide Pride Event

What is LGBT Certification?


How companies engage LGBT-owned businesses, the unique challenges faced by LGBT businesses in engaging companies and how LGBT BRGs/ERGs can effectively engage and influence supplier diversity decisions within their organizations.

Hosted by Baker McKenzie

Squaring the Supplier Diversity Circle


Supplier Diversity panel discussing procurement challenges for LGBTBEs. Important tips on how you and your ERGs/BRGs can influence, build support and promote active inclusion of LGBTBEs within supplier diversity strategy of organizations. Photo by Gretchen Rachel Hammond. Windy City Times article link.

Corporate Awards

Corporate Partner of the Year

Lettuce Entertain You Events

Lettuce Entertain You demonstrated their commitment to the LGBT community in a comprehensive and tangible way that paves the way for genuine progress to equality.

Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year

LaTonya Fourte’-Lyles, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois

For being our personal megaphone and ensuring that certified LGBT owned businesses have an equal say and seat at the table as every other qualified and diverse business that exists. Not only has she been one of our greatest advocates, but she most recently won a very prestigious at her company called the Internal Supplier Diversity Recognition award for her commitment to using diverse small businesses for all internal practices. This award is going to LaTonya Fourte’-Lyles, Manager of Supplier Diversity at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Health Care Service Corporation.

Business Case for LGBT Inclusion

Many companies, government and state agencies as well as local municipalities provide workplace benefits for LGBT employees, consciously market to LGBT customers, and provide support for LGBT non-profits; but it is a completely different level of commitment for these same organizations to not only BE LGBT-friendly, but to also BUY LGBT-friendly and be able to prove it through a LGBTBE database.

One of the primary initiatives of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois is advocating for the immediate inclusion of LGBTBEs in the supply chains of all corporations as well as local, state, and federal agencies.

The playing field is only level when corporations and government agencies, both large and small, determine not to discriminate against businesses based upon the business owner’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Increased inclusion efforts on the part of these corporations and government agencies help to bring more LGBTBEs better opportunities to bid on contracts and to become valued suppliers for their supplier diversity initiatives.

The economic impact of these new business opportunities help to build a more successful LGBT business community. As competent and capable LGBTBEs are awarded new corporate and government contracts, their growth fuels LGBTBEs to hire more staff and to contract with other LGBT and Allied businesses to provide secondary services to them.

These efforts, indirectly and directly create a more economically empowered LGBT community that benefits all.

Corporate Membership Requirements

To be a corporate member, the corporation must meet the following requirements:
1.) Have an existing Supplier Diversity Program or establish a Supplier Diversity Program within six (6) months of joining our Chamber that clearly indicates LGBTBEs are welcomed and encouraged to apply for possible business opportunities.
2.) Annually report aggregate dollar amount of purchases from LGBTBEs.
3.) Designate a representative as a point of contact.
4.) Participate in local activities of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Illinois.
5.) Commit to an annual support level.