New partnership unites Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, OUT Georgia Business Alliance
By David Pendered
The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and OUT Georgia Business Alliance, formerly known as the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, have created a partnership to improve their services to members and the community.
Leaders of both chambers said improved collaboration will position the organizations to address Georgia’s changing business landscape. The partnership also was established as reports from the Atlanta Regional Commission and Census indicate material changes are in store for core members of both organizations.
“This new agreement is necessary not only to take a joint position when it comes to business or legislation, but also to respond to some expectations generated by the demographic changes of society,” Santiago Marquez, president and CEO of the GHCC, said in a statement. “It is not only important to be diverse but also inclusive.”
“To better serve the growing LGBTQ+ and allied business community across the state of Georgia, it’s critical that we leverage partnerships with economic leaders like the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” Chris Lugo, executive director of OUT Georgia Business Alliance said in the statement.
“We fully embrace the power of access, visibility, representation, and collaboration amongst minority and marginalized communities, and we know that our entrepreneurs and business leaders proudly represent a diverse set of identities, including LGBTQ+. This intersectionality is a strength when people can bring their whole selves to their business, their workplace, or their community.”
Petrina Bloodworth, president of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance, said in the statement the partnership is a “win-win for everybody involved, and we are excited for a future working closely together.
“This collaboration between OUT Georgia Business Alliance and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce demonstrates our commitment to serving not only our respective members better but also our allies and diverse communities across the state,” Bloodworth said.
The GHCC reports about 1,300 members, 45 percent of which are women-owned businesses. OUT Georgia Business Alliance reports its role as Georgia’s LBGTQ+ and allied chamber of commerce.
Each organization has considerable influence, accoding to these two illustrations:
- Gov. Brian Kemp is slated to headline the GHCC’s legislative breakfast, on Feb. 19. Other elected officials scheduled to speak include Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan; U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Woodstock); Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton); Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta); and Rep. Brenda Lopez (D-Norcross).
- Corporate partners of OUT Georgia Business Alliance include The Coca-Cola Co.; Cox Enterprises; UPS; and financial institutions including Bank of America; BB&T, and Wells Fargo.
Demographic information compiled by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Census indicates both groups face evolution in the coming years.
The ARC produced in February 2018 a Regional Snapshot: Metro Atlanta’s Hispanic and Latino Community. The report captured dramatic growth rates in both metro Atlanta and in some of Georgia’s other urban areas, particularly in and around Athens, Augusta, Columbus, and Savannah. Highlights of the report show:
- “Georgia has the fastest growth rate of Latino population in the nation, and the Latino population more than doubled in metro Atlanta last decade. Strong Latino growth is forecasted to continue, especially in the core metro counties.
- “While 10th by absolute number, Georgia was 1st in percent change in the Hispanic/Latino population from 2000 to 2015, which grew at a rate of over 118%.
- The Latino population is significantly younger than other races/ethnicities. The median age of Latinos is 26, compared to 36 overall and 41 for White, Non-Hispanic.
- ARC’s adopted forecasts show continued gains in the Hispanic population through 2040, especially in core metro counties (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett).”
The 2020 Census is being closely watched for what it will reveal about the nation’s LGBTQ+ population. The results will be parsed out to provide snapshots of the populations in Georgia, down to the county, city and Census track level.
For the first time, the dicennial Census is to ask couples who reside together to mark their relationship as “same-sex” or “opposite sex” couples. The question is expected to provide a more accurate indication of the number of same-sex couples in the United States that was available through questions on gender and relationships that were asked in previous Census questionnaires.
In metro Atlanta, the number of same-sex partner households declined between 2013 and 2018, according to estimates reported in the Census’ American Community Survey. The ACS observes on demographic trends in the years between the decennial Census.
The 2013 ACS reports that metro Atlanta had 5,949 unmarried male-male households and 5,191 unmarried female-female households. Five years later, in 2018, the numbers dropped to 5,563 unmarried male-male households, and 4,007 unmarried female-female households.