Letter from the Interim President & CEO
GSBA members and friends,
It is late June 2022, and we just went through a rollercoaster of emotions. We celebrated Pride month to commemorate the uprising of our LGBTQ+ community, fight for our human rights, provide role models, build community, and highlight our collective contributions. This year we have faced multiple historic and horrific Supreme Court decisions, including the overturning Roe v. Wade; witnessed the introduction of over 100 anti-trans bills across the country; and violent attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. Yet we will rise and bravely face what is coming next. We are ready! We will organize, we will vote in every election, we will run for office, and we will be visible!
We are coming out of a pandemic that has devastated many small businesses and kept others hanging on by a thread. GSBA is here to support small businesses, especially marginalized small businesses with access to education, access to capital and economic opportunities. We look forward to deepening our partnerships with our sponsors who allow us to focus on our work in the small business community.
GSBA is proud of its 41 years of service to the LGBTQ+ business community. As the interim President & CEO, I am committed to leading this organization that works tirelessly towards achieving economic and educational equity.
In this Guide to GSBA, you will find stories of some of our incredible members across Washington State, as well as the myriad ways GSBA helps support our community, grow small businesses, and fight for LGBTQ+ rights. There is a small print run of this publication, but it is primarily a digital document, unlike the iconic GSBA Guide & Directory that you are familiar with from the last 40 years. We have included a listing of our members at the time of publication at the back of this Guide, and you can always find up-to-date listings at theGSBA.org.
We hope that you will take a few moments to learn more about our members featured here, as well as the ways that GSBA can help to grow your business, improve your workplace, and connect you with the LGBTQ+ community. We have more programs directly supporting our workplaces than ever before, from our LGBTQ+ inclusion trainings to the new Business Academy to free one-on-one business consulting. We bring policymakers from every level - city, county, regional, state, and federal – directly to our members to understand your perspectives and needs. The GSBA Scholarship & Education Fund is stronger than ever, and we are establishing new ways to support the whole student in their educational path. Travel Out Seattle is spreading the word of our state’s magnificent attractions as tourism starts up again after a difficult few years. And while our membership is statewide, our special commitment to our home neighborhood of is deepening every day through the Capitol Hill Business Alliance.
As we begin this period of recovery from the pandemic, we ask you to make a commitment to actively patronize GSBA members and cultivate our local LGBTQ+ economy and community.
GSBA Interim President & CEO