Sophie Bolich

Grant Program Gives Boost to LGBTQ Businesses

NGLCC grants will total $1.5 million in 2023; area businesses may qualify.

By - Feb 15th, 2023 04:26 pm
LGBT business grant recipients. Photo taken June 30, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

2022 LGBT business grant recipients. Photo taken June 30, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Grubhub are joining forces for a third year to offer a boost to LGBTQ+-owned and allied restaurants across the nation.

In a Feb. 15 news release, the three organizations announced plans to distribute $1.5 million in grant money to eligible establishments through the NGLCC Community Impact Grant Program.

The program began in 2021 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has since developed into an ongoing effort to support the growth and development of inclusive businesses.

In 2022, $170,000 was distributed to 19 Wisconsin businesses, including Milwaukee’s Company BrewingHamburger Mary’s, Sabrosa Café and GalleryMilwaukee Repertory Theater‘s Stackner Cabaret and Cambria Hotel.

Applications for the 2023 program opened on Feb. 15 and will close March 8. This year’s grants are expected to range from $10,000 to $25,000.

As in previous years, the NGLCC has set a goal to allocate 30% of funds to businesses owned by people of color and transgender and gender expansive (TGX) individuals, said the news release.

“The NGLCC Community Impact Grant Program will once again have a significant impact on helping our businesses in our community bounce back and grow,” said Jason Rae, president and CEO of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “We are looking forward to working with our members and other businesses to apply for these crucial funds. These grants will have a tremendous impact on supporting our LGBTQ+ and allied food establishments in Wisconsin. We are so grateful to NGLCC and Grubhub for providing these grant opportunities to our local business members.”

Grant money can be used for business-related upgrades including security and security protocols, new equipment, community involvement efforts, marketing and PR services, updating digital and e-commerce presence, purchasing product, staff training programs, employee pay, incentivized wages, COVID-19 recovery, maintenance and more.

In addition, grant recipients that are not currently members of an NGLCC local affiliate chamber will receive one free year of membership.

Dave Tovar, senior vice president of communications and government relations for Grubhub, shared a statement expressing his excitement for the program. “We’ve heard so many stories of how independent restaurants have used these grants to do amazing things for their business and in their communities, and I’m excited to see what new and exciting things come out of the next group of grant recipients.”

The NGLCC Community Impact Grant Program is supported by the Grubhub Community Fund. Launched in 2018, the community fund allows customers to round up their change from every order and donate the difference. Donations from Grubhub+ and Seamless+ members are matched by Grubhub.

The annual funds are then distributed to national and regional nonprofit organizations. In 2022, NGLCC Foundation was one of 34 partners to receive a grant from the fund.

For more information regarding restaurant eligibility requirements, timelines, application instructions and more, visit the NGLCC website.

Interested restaurant owners can apply to the program online until the March 8 deadline.

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