How to get your business LGBTBE certified
Meth Mob Decontamination Specialists is one of the first LGBTBE certified businesses in Utah. They specialize in meth decontamination of homes and properties and offer continuing education courses on the effects of meth use. Ann Atkin and her wife formed the company in 2016 out of concern over methamphetamine use in the state.
Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Tracey Dean says the certification helps “boost the member’s business to work with big corporations in the supplier-diversity realm.” The NGLCC website displays the number of certified LGBT business enterprises so far in 2020 along with the number of corporate partnerships formed through the national chamber. It includes partnerships with multinational companies such as Intel, Wells Fargo, and IBM.
“Big companies all have initiatives to work with diverse suppliers,” Dean says. The LGBTBE certification allows for LGBT-owned businesses to be recognized as business partners to these large corporations in the same way women-owned and other groups such as veteran or ethnic-owned businesses are recognized.
“It’s to level the playing field [with other groups] and be able to attract and procure contracts with these large companies,” Dean says. So far, three businesses are LGBTBE certified within the Utah LGBT chamber but Dean hopes that number will grow in the future.
When Atkin heard about the certification, she applied for it in an effort to stand out from her competition. She says the application process was highly detailed. “It’s kind of like putting in for your PPP loan,” she says. “It takes a little bit of time to gather up the required documentation.”
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) sets the standard for certification, which requires businesses to be at least 51 percent LGBT-owned by a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. They must operate independently of any non-LGBT business entity, be based in the United States, and be legally formed as a for-profit company.
As a result of their certification, American Airlines, one of the corporate partners of the NGLCC, contacted Atkin’s company. The airline inquired about the sanitation of their planes in response to COVID-19. However, Meth Mob Decontamination’s services do not extend into commercial sanitation or clean-up.
While she appreciates the possible advantages of the certification, Atkin says it appears to serve manufacturing and suppliers more than service businesses like hers. However, it may be that the company will head into more production later on and will get referrals that way. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see that in our future,” she says.
Dean understands that the recent certification of Meth Mob Decontamination and other certified businesses may not yield many referrals yet. “They’re also in very niche industries,” she says. Aside from Atkin’s company, the two LGBTBE certified businesses in Utah are LGBT Financial and Q Salt Lake Magazine. Dean says contracting certified businesses with Salt Lake County and the State of Utah would put them “very much in business.”
Atkin continues to receive support from the Utah LGBT chamber and is proud of her association with it as well as her personal accomplishments: raising a family, having grandchildren, and running a successful business. “I’m proud of what we do,” Atkins says.