Welcome to the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CLGBTCC). We are a dynamic organization with a rich history whose origins began as the Charlotte Business Guild in 1992. Born out of a need for a safe space for LGBT+ business owners and professionals to network and thrive, the Guild provided a haven where individuals could connect without being defined solely by their sexual orientation or gender identity. Following their first meeting at a small cafe' in downtown Charlotte, the founding board was formed. John Williams served as President and assembled a team including Susan Bulloch as Secretary/Treasurer, Alan Smith as Vice President, and Bill Helms for Marketing.
As the Guild's influence grew, its hidden status gave way to visibility and acceptance. In 2013 the Guild celebrated a milestone by welcoming its first corporate partner, Fifth Third Bank. This pivotal moment signaled a new era, with numerous partners eagerly joining the movement and aligning themselves with the Guild's mission. Additionally, the Guild proudly affiliated with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), reinforcing its commitment to advancing LGBT+ business interests on a national scale.
On October 21, 2015, a momentous transformation occurred: the Charlotte Business Guild became the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce. It was a defining moment for the LGBT+ and ally business community who collectively recognized that "coming out is good for business." Fueled by a fresh vision and remarkable growth of over 150% in just two years, the Chamber emerged as the voice of LGBT+ and ally businesses in the greater Charlotte region.
Throughout the years, the Chamber has garnered recognition for its impactful work in public policy, LGBT+ advocacy, and its unwavering commitment to elevating LGBT+ businesses and equity-supporting organizations. With an impressive roster of over forty-five corporate partners, we stand as one of the largest LGBT+ chambers in the southeast. Together we drive change and advocate for equitable workplaces and marketplaces.
Our reach extends throughout the region and beyond. Our transformative journey reached new heights on May 6, 2021, as we proudly evolved into the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, expanding our footprint to encompass seven networks across two states. This powerfully vibrant network continues to grow, empowering small businesses, owners, and professionals within the LGBT+ and ally community.
The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for change as we drive economic growth, foster inclusivity, and inspire generations to come. Join us on this incredible journey of empowerment and let's shape a future where all businesses and individuals can thrive. We are the Carolinas!