The following Editorial contribution by Chris Lugo, Executive Director of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance, was featured in Georgia Voice on August 13, 2020.
At the beginning of 2020, OUT Georgia Business Alliance — serving as our state’s only LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce — was in line for one of our most successful years to date.
After a 25-year history of serving Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ business community, OUT Georgia started the year with incredible energy after the successful rebrand of the organization (formerly known as the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) and the expansion of our scope to intentionally serve businesses and professionals beyond Metro Atlanta, reaching across the state of Georgia with open arms.
While our LGBTQ+ chamber was able to quickly pivot as COVID-19 took its unrelenting hold, many businesses across Georgia, including several of our members, weren’t able to survive the devastating health and economic crisis, which has now claimed more than 4,000 lives right here in Georgia.
The coronavirus pandemic has without a doubt changed the course of our organization and every Georgian, especially our LGBTQ+ residents of color who have been disproportionately impacted versus their white counterparts.
So, what’s next for Georgia’s LGBTQ+ business community after navigating challenging reopening plans, evolving health and safety measures, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, the Paycheck Protection Program, loan forgiveness, and the growing spotlight on systemic racism and racial violence?
I believe now is the time to use education, collaboration, and generosity to radically advance Georgia’s LGBTQ+ momentum.
Read the full Editorial at TheGAVoice.com.
About Georgia Voice
Georgia Voice is the media outlet of record for the LGBTQ community in Atlanta and throughout the state. With a twice-monthly print edition and a 24/7 updated website, Georgia Voice has proven to be indispensable to its readers since it launched in March, 2010. In its short history, Georgia Voice has earned numerous awards for its journalism and its design. In addition to its core products, Georgia Voice also annually publishes “Destination: Gay Atlanta,” the city’s official LGBTQ travel guide, in partnership with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB).
About OUT Georgia Business Alliance
OUT Georgia Business Alliance proudly serves as Georgia’s only LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce.
Since 1994, OUT Georgia Business Alliance (formerly the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) has served the LGBTQ+ and Allied business community by advocating for the most inclusive and equitable business environment; providing support and resources to fuel economic growth; and driving meaningful community connections and impact across the State of Georgia.
OUT Georgia Business Alliance is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., and is a proud affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact us at OUTGeorgia.org or info@OUTGeorgia.org.