Halifax LGBT Business Association Kicks Off with Mayor Mike Savage

Posted by Wayves Volunteer 30/09/2013

Halifax, NS - Atlantic Canada's first (and so far only) business association specifically dedicated to the LGBT community has officially "come out." The Halifax LGBT Halifax Business Association will hold its first meeting on October 2 at 6-8pm at Halifax City Hall. Mayor Mike Savage will be on hand to formally call the gathering to order.

"Starting a business association from scratch has been a lot of work and a tremendous lesson in patience and education, but it's been totally worth it," says Carolyn James, chair of the association, of SNC Insurance. "We would like to thank Mayor Mike Savage and the city for their support and our founding corporate members McInnes Cooper, RBC, Nycum & Associates and Credit Union Atlantic, for their vision, determination and assistance in getting us to this point. We look forward to working with already established business groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Quinpoool Road Merchant's Association, to make Halifax the most inclusive and vibrant business community in this region."

A member of the Canadian LGBT Business Chamber of Commerce and modelled after other successful LGBT business associations, the Halifax LGBT Business Association will provide business networking, education, support to members and help small and medium LGBT business owners make connections with each other and with other organizations.

"There is a strong business case for establishing and joining an LGBT Business Association that goes beyond providing valuable connections for the LGBT community," says Catherine Watson, Halifax LGBT Business Association member and partner at McInnes Cooper. "For example, as companies face a war on talent, membership in the LGBT Business association is a low cost way to communicate that your work environment is supportive and open to diversity. Also, it is well known that the LGBT community has quite a high level of disposable income and we believe that companies that do not actively engage with the community will forgo the opportunity to access the power of LGBT discretionary spending. “

The Association is offering both individual and corporate memberships for members, friends and/or allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender business and professional community in Halifax.

Details on membership can be provided by emailing info@halifaxLGBT.com

"Our board members bring a broad range of experience, expertise, and industry representation, and we are confident in their ability to lead us through our inaugural year of operation and to help us reach our aggressive membership goal," says James. "So far, 174 individuals representing 90 different small, medium and large enterprises have shown interest in the development of the association. Our priority now is to translate that interest into membership. We would really like to have a full house for our first official meeting on October 2.” 

The 2013-14 board members are:
Carolyn James (SNC Insurance)
Jules Chamberlain (Royal LePage Atlantic)
Lynn Iding (McInnes Cooper)
Justin Mury (Credit Union Atlantic)
Benjie Nycum (Nycum & Associates)
Michelle Clare (RBC)
Justin Schurman (RBC)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Membership is not required to attend the Mayor's reception and Halifax LGBT Business Association's opening session, it's open to all. You can find out more about this organization on their facebook page.

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