By Fernando Z. López
Who doesn’t love our vibrantly Fabulous Hillcrest community and all of our LGBTQ-owned small business community? All across the gayborhood and our region, QTBIPOC-owned businesses reinvest in our community by employing us, stewarding our career development, contributing to regional LGBTQ-serving nonprofits, and being key components of economic growth and empowerment in our community and movement.
I think of our annual Pride season and our events’ nearly $30 million economic impact, a great deal of which goes right back into our Hillcrest and LGBTQ community. So many of our favorite LGBTQ-owned businesses sponsor us during Pride season and throughout the year with cash and in-kind contributions. As I reflect on this, I can’t help but think of Chris Shaw and his legacy of entrepreneurial investment in cultivating the next generation of business leaders with whom he instilled a deeply valued culture of philanthropy.
At our Festival alone, this year we partnered with 260 small businesses and nonprofits. All throughout the year, we collaborate with organizations like Hillcrest Business Association, San Diego Business Association, Asian Business Association of San Diego, OUT Pro San Diego, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD program, San Diego Tourism Authority, and Downtown San Diego Partnership. Through these partnerships, we train on LGBTQ cultural competency, find philanthropic sponsors, donors, and volunteers, partner on events and educational initiatives, drive tourism, and so much more.
These collaborations highlight how investing in our local economy and nonprofits fuels capacity building within our community. The success stories of these partnerships remind us that when we support local LGBTQ businesses and nonprofits, we invest in the very fabric of our community. These businesses have been there for us when discrimination and stigma kept others at arm’s length. They provide jobs, stability, and a supportive space for many in our community, especially during our most challenging times.
Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday are just around the corner. Let’s use these opportunities to give back to those who have continually uplifted us. By supporting these small businesses and contributing to a Giving Tuesday campaign, we’re not just engaging in transactions; we’re participating in a movement of mutual uplift and resilience that will help all of us Thrive!
Fernando Z. López
San Diego Pride
P.S. Please consider supporting the your-round programs of San Diego Pride by donating to this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign where every dollar we receive will be matched up to $10,000 by Tito’s Handmade Vodka!