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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          

January 15, 2021

Charlotte, NC – The Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce announces Sonoco as their first Sustaining Corporate Partner,.  Sonoco is a global packaging solutions leader, committed to improving the lives of their customers, teammates, and communities they serve.

Sonoco believes that to achieve their goals relating to sustainability, it is critical that they establish a capable, qualified, competitive, and diverse team of suppliers.

The strategic placement of this partnership with the Chamber will provide better access for LGBT Business Enterprises for contracting opportunities and encourage other LGBT owned businesses to certify as an LGBTBE®.  Sonoco’s commitment will assist with expanding the Chamber’s footprint as they move forward with a regional plan.  The plan will broaden the pool of candidates available and also provide valuable education, training and opportunities to LGBT business owners throughout North and South Carolina. 

In addition to supplier diversity initiatives, the sustaining partnership will strengthen the Chamber’s ability to super charge its efforts to address small business resilience and be a convener of voices to harness the collective buying power of the LGBT community and the businesses that support them. 

“While there are many ways to ensure economic opportunity, the Chamber is committed to utilizing procurement as an equity tool. We have a growing network of LGBT businesses with the capacity, experience and financial strength necessary to add value to corporate supply chains. However, it is equally important that we have corporate partners, like Sonoco, that value the contributions of LGBT businesses and want to support their growth and development. We look forward to the great work we will accomplish together,” said Ciara Lilly, board chair of the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce.   

“Adding Sonoco as our inaugural Sustaining Partner is a flashpoint in our Chamber’s history. Their demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity is second to none. And the timing could not be better! With the new Chamber statewide expansion, we are unlocking the buying power across the state to substantially increase the opportunities for minority owned businesses. By leveraging our strong network, we can close the minority business gap in our community and create long-lasting systematic opportunity,” said Chad Turner, president and chief executive officer of the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

“People build businesses by doing the right thing. Those words form the foundation of Sonoco’s Guiding Principle. We are committed to, not just the words themselves, but the spirit of what they stand for, the behaviors they encourage and the philosophy they represent,” said Debra White, Director of Global Category Management at Sonoco.”

CONTACT – Erin Barbee, Public Relations (

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