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First Utah gay, lesbian business expo will be at Zions Bank

The Utah Gay and Lesbian Business Expo will feature guest speakers, break-out sessions, business to nonprofit relations, networking and much more.

The expo, which is hosted by the Utah Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (formerly known as the Q Business Alliance), kicks off with a social and ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 2, 5:30 p.m., on the 18th floor of the Zions Bank Building, 100 S. Main St., Salt Lake City. The opening social will be a chance for networking among business professionals and individuals. Members of other business associations, such as the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, and state lawmakers and other officials will also attend.

On Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m., the expo continues with a keynote speech from Babs De Lay, a veteran business professional in the Utah queer community.

“It’s our coming out party,” said Michael Aaron, president of the UGLCC. “We’re gaining some traction and I think, looking at other cities with strong gay communities, they almost always have strong gay business chambers. I think Salt Lake is long overdue for an organization like this.”

The business expo will feature four break-out sessions on various topics, including social-media marketing and advice on how to reach the queer community through advertising.

“We’re a different market. There are different strategies that businesses can use to help reach the gay demographic and we’ll have the sessions covering those topics,” Aaron said. “Whether you’re a business owner looking to do businesses with other businesses or you’re looking for a job, this event is perfect.”

There will also be a session on the relationship between small businesses and local nonprofit orgs.

Over 25 businesses will have booths open from noon to 4 p.m. where they can appeal to fellow business owners, entrepreneurs, and the lesbian and gay public, especially those who might be seeking employment at a gay-friendly business, but also those who want to do business with such companies and individuals.

It’s free to the public, but pre-registration is required at utahgaychamber.org.

The Utah Gay Chamber is growing steadily, and in addition to previous charity outreach programs, including volunteering for the Daybreak Arts Festival, the Utah Pride Center and the Utah AIDS Foundation, the group is planning on adopting a portion of the highway.

“We’ll be the first to have the words ‘gay and lesbian’ on a sign along a Utah highway,” Aaron said. “We’re really excited for all the upcoming events and excited to see how big we can grow and what kind of difference we can make in the community.”

More info at utahgaychamber.com

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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