It’s June, also well-known as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. There are many ways to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in Columbus, such as participating in Stonewall Columbus PRIDE, attending educational events, and engaging in personal reflection. Alongside these great ways to get involved, supporting local social enterprises with an LGBTQ+ focused mission is a necessary and impactful way to make a positive difference.
In Columbus, many businesses work to create inclusive environments for individuals of all gender and sexual identities. Out of the Closet, Chroma Consulting, and Equitas Health are three social enterprises that focus their missions on improving LGBTQ+ experiences through donations, training, programs, and more.
Out of the Closet is a thrift store that works to support individuals who are suffering from diseases that heavily impact individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, like HIV and AIDS. While shopping here, you can find everything from a new pair of jeans, to houseware items, or even a new piece of furniture. This socially-conscious thrift store works in coordination with its parent company, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which provides free HIV and STI testing and treatment.
The mission behind Out of the Closet is to provide accessible care and resources for individuals suffering from HIV or AIDS. The store has an on-site pharmacy and offers free HIV testing, creating an inclusive and safe environment for individuals who need medical support. Out of the Closet provides special offers to individuals who may not have the resources to purchase clothing or furniture while simultaneously striving to create a positive impact by donating 96 cents of every dollar to fund the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS program.
In their words, “We make a positive social impact by providing great deals to people who may not otherwise be able to afford clothing and furniture. We also pay-it-forward by donating excess goods to other local charities and participating in community events.”
Another social enterprise that works to create positive change in the LGBTQ+ community is Chroma Consulting, an organization that aims to improve workplace experiences by offering LGBTQ+ inclusivity training and events. This is done through an amazing team of LGBTQ+ inclusivity experts who understand how to educate and implement positive policies in Central Ohio workplaces. Chroma Consulting believes that creating a workplace environment that is supportive and educated on the LGBTQ+ community will lead to greater productivity and loyalty.
Some of the programs held within this social enterprise include Sensitivity and Humility, Inclusion and Alliance, Transformation and Transition, and more. Its services can be a great fit for both for-profit and non-profit companies. If your business or organization is looking for training to improve LGBTQ+ experiences, then Chroma Consulting is a social enterprise that can help achieve your mission.
Finally, Equitas Health aims to fight the stigma and challenges surrounding individuals who are suffering from HIV or AIDS by focusing on providing medical support to the LGBTQ+ community. Members of this community often feel unsafe at their medical care providers, so Equitas Health works to create safe spaces by providing medical professionals, resources, employee training, events, and more. They offer services such as dentistry, medical, pharmacy, HIV support, mental health, and now even COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.
In addition to Equitas Health’s mission to provide a welcoming healthcare environment for LGBTQ+ individuals, they also participate in LGBTQ+ advocacy by supporting pieces of legislation, educating community leaders, and hosting annual events.
While there are many ways to show support this Pride month, remember that donating to an organization or purchasing from a social enterprise that has resources and connections can create impactful and long-lasting change, any time of the year. Let’s use this month to show our support to the LGBTQ+ community and make a positive difference in Central Ohio!
To learn more about these awesome social enterprises, or if you are interested in getting in contact with any of the businesses, check out their information below:
Out of the Closet
1230 N. High St.
1105 Schrock Rd., Suite 400
Founded in 2014, SocialVentures is a non-profit organization that advances remarkably good businesses—businesses that intentionally integrate social impact as a non-negotiable component of their business model. To contact SocialVentures, send an email to [email protected] or visit socialventurescbus.com.
Be inspired by other social enterprises and turn your passion project into a business.