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    Golden Gate Business Association Marks 50 Years as Pioneer LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce

    By Tony Archuleta-Perkins, MBA, MS —

    The Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA), the world’s first LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, is set to celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a grand gala on June 7, 2024, at the iconic San Francisco City Hall. This milestone event not only commemorates half a century of advocacy and economic empowerment for LGBTQ+ businesses but also highlights the enduring legacy of the organization in fostering diversity and inclusion within the business community.

    Founded in 1974, the GGBA has played a pivotal role in championing the rights and opportunities of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Over the decades, the association has been at the forefront of significant advocacy efforts, including supporting legislation against workplace discrimination and actively participating in initiatives that address the economic impacts of its members.

    The anniversary gala, themed “50 Years of Resilience, Strength, Unity, and Pride,” promises a vibrant celebration of the GGBA’s achievements and its profound impact on the community. The event will feature Emmy-Award-winning television star, style icon, and LGBTQ+ advocate Carson Kressley as a special guest, adding a touch of glamour to the festivities.

    Throughout its history, the GGBA has been instrumental in establishing critical partnerships and programs that support LGBTQ+ businesses. These include the creation of the GGBA Gives Back Charity and becoming a founding member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). The association’s efforts have significantly contributed to the economic and social empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community, making it a model for similar organizations worldwide.

    As the GGBA looks to the future, it remains committed to its mission of economic equality and advocacy for LGBTQ+ businesses. The 50th-anniversary gala is not just a celebration of past achievements but also a platform to inspire and mobilize the next generation of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and allies.

    The event at City Hall will include a series of motivational speeches, a historical exhibit of GGBA dating back to 1974, networking opportunities, and plenty of drag surprises. It is designed to reflect on the GGBA’s storied past and outline the path forward for continued advocacy and growth in an ever-evolving socio-economic landscape.

    Tony Archuleta-Perkins, GGBA President

    The GGBA has significantly impacted the LGBTQ+ community through various initiatives and programs to support and empower LGBTQ+ businesses and entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 1974, the GGBA has been a pioneering force, establishing itself as the world’s first LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce. Here are some of the key ways the GGBA has influenced the LGBTQ+ business landscape:

    Advocacy and Legislative Support

    The GGBA has been instrumental in advocating for policies that promote LGBTQ+ economic equality. Notably, the organization played a crucial role in supporting California State Bill AB1, which aimed to outlaw workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. This advocacy extends to various levels of government, ensuring that the voices of LGBTQ+ businesses are heard in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C.

    Economic Impact and Job Creation

    LGBTQ+ businesses have a substantial economic impact, contributing over $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy and creating over 33,000 jobs. The GGBA’s efforts to support these businesses directly contribute to this significant economic footprint, demonstrating the vital role of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in the broader business community. The GGBA is thrilled to be working alongside NGLCC for the third year by offering the NGLCC Community Impact Grant Program, supported by the GrubHub Community Fund.

    Networking and Business Development

    The GGBA creates numerous networking, marketing, and referral-based opportunities that facilitate business growth and sustainability. The association helps develop essential business skills and expertise among its members by organizing events, workshops, and seminars. These programs are often conducted with corporate partners and other non-profits, enhancing the educational and professional opportunities available to LGBTQ+ businesses. GGBA has collaborated with the NGLCC to help GGBA members earn their LGBT BE Certification. NGLCC launched this certification program in 2004, and since over 174 GGBA members have earned their LGBT BE Certification. The GGBA is proud to help open doors for their members through this certification that may have needed to be more attainable. 

    Partnerships and Collaborations

    Collaboration with other organizations is a cornerstone of the GGBA’s strategy to foster a more inclusive and welcoming business environment. These partnerships not only support policies beneficial to LGBTQ+ businesses but also provide a platform for communication and education on crucial LGBTQ+ issues. The GGBA is proud to collaborate with excellent partners such as Out Professionals, Transgender District, Real Estate Alliance, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, and NGLCC, to name a few.

    Support During the HIV/AIDS Crisis

    During the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic, the GGBA took extraordinary measures to support the community and its members. This period highlighted the association’s resilience and commitment to its members, many of whom were personally affected by the crisis. GGBA was all about member support in March 2020 when the Global Pandemic impacted LGBTQ+ businesses here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The two pandemics share one common thread: GGBA was there to support them by providing as many educational pieces as possible.

    Foundation and Scholarships

    The GGBA Gives Back Charity is the GGBA’s third iteration of this important incentive. The focus has remained constant: providing scholarships and resources that assist LGBTQ+ and allied businesses. This initiative supports sustainable business development and underscores the GGBA’s commitment to educational empowerment.

    Through these multifaceted efforts, the GGBA has not only supported the economic growth and sustainability of LGBTQ+ businesses but also has championed the rights and recognition of the LGBTQ+ community within the broader societal and economic landscape. As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the GGBA’s legacy of advocacy, support, and empowerment continues to be a beacon for diversity and inclusion in the business world.

    Visit the GGBA website for more information on the 50th Anniversary Gala and to learn about membership and participation.

    Tony Archuleta-Perkins is the founder and owner of Ide8 Real Estate. He has worked in finance for 25 years, ten of those years specifically as a fractional CFO. He has two master’s degrees: an MBA and a Master of Science in Real Estate. In addition to his educational and professional pedigree, Archuleta-Perkins has a passion for advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. He proudly volunteers and serves on two boards here in San Francisco: President of the Golden Gate Business Association and Treasurer of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, SF Chapter. He and his husband enjoy international traveling and scuba diving. 

    GGBA 50th Anniversary
    Published on May 9, 2024