The Human Rights Campaign and SHOWTIME® are excited to announce the second year of "Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ Business Preservation Initiative", an initiative to support, uplift and preserve businesses that serve the LGBTQ+ community, with a focus on LGBTQ+ people of color, women and the transgender community.
In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the inaugural “Queer to Stay” initiative awarded funds to ten LGBTQ businesses across the country. Since last June, LGBTQ businesses have continued to suffer due to long shutdowns and limited capacity regulations, and many are at risk of closure, which is why The Human Rights Campaign and SHOWTIME have doubled the program to support twenty businesses in its second year.
Over the course of the pandemic, LGBTQ businesses have faced severe financial challenges and are at risk of permanently closing. LGBTQ bars, centers and businesses often serve as affirming places for the community. As the nation continues to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, there is uncertainty as to when businesses, including LGBTQ serving establishments, will return to business-as-usual. Adding to the crisis many LGBTQ businesses are facing, studies have shown that since the 1980s there has been a decline in LGBTQ bars across America due to gentrification and assimilation.
If you own an LGBTQ-serving business and have faced hardship due to COVID-19, we encourage you to apply for funding through this year's "Queer to Stay" initiative. Applications will be accepted until 11:59pm on Saturday, July 31st. Recipients will be notified and announced later this summer.
We encourage you to visit our directory of businesses that applied for funding in 2020. HRC and Showtime are proud to draw attention to these important businesses serving the LGBTQ community.
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