Nashville GLBT Chamber goes national

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Nashville’s GLBT Chamber of Commerce (NAPP) board of directors has voted to become an affiliate member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce based in Washington D.C.

Nashville’s gay chamber will become the 46th affiliate member of the national chamber, and the move opens the door for the local chamber to offer more benefits to its members.

“This means that we will have access to best practices across the country,” said Christopher Sanders, president of NAPP. “And it provides for a more visible and active GLBT business community in Nashville.”

As part of the affiliation, NAPP will restructure its membership to offer individual memberships as well as business (corporate) memberships. It currently has more than 165 individual members. NAPP meets the fourth Tuesday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 at the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza on West End.

“The work NAPP is doing is amazing,” said Justin Nelson, president and co-founder of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). “I am excited about what we are going to be able to accomplish with NAPP as a new affiliate.”

The NGLCC advocates on behalf of the 800,000 plus lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) owned businesses throughout the United States. In addition to its network of 45 state and local chambers and business organizations, and eight international affiliates, the NGLCC is the largest LGBT business development and economic advocacy organization in the world.

Nelson said one issue that may be of interest to the NGLCC affiliates – is that he has been working to have a bill introduced into Congress that would allow small businesses to band together across state lines to be able to purchase healthcare plans. Should such a bill pass, NGLCC would take the lead to try and offer such a benefit to its members and affiliates.

That bill has been passed in the House of Representatvies and it is now awaiting debate in the Senate. Nelson said the “prognosis is good and the President did signal he would sign the bill.”

“The energy in the GLBT business community in Nashville is amazing,” Nelson said. “ Nashville’s gay community is a jewel and is something to be proud of. It could certainly serve as a model for other GLBT communities in the South.”

NAPP members will automatically become members of NGLCC and will have access to its benefits offered to affiliate members. Those include discounts on GLBT supplier diversity certification; discounts on select NGLCC events; discount on LGBT supplier diversity certification; a company listing in their online directory; news and legislative action alerts and member discounts on travel.

For more information visit the Nashville Chamber Web site at www.nashvilleglbtchamber.org.