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New Lesbian Business Community Website Creates Visibility for Lesbian Businesses

Lesbian Business Community, Tagg Magazine

Even in a city as LGBTQ-friendly as Washington, D.C. and its surrounding communities, it’s sometimes hard to identify businesses owned by lesbians or that are welcoming to queer women. However, a new website/directory called The Lesbian Business Community (LBC) has set out to give such businesses visibility.

Launched in June by New Jersey−based Internet marketing consultant Janet O. Penn, The LBC is designed to help businesses reach queer consumers and for consumers to find them. Penn decided to create the site after recognizing that there was no such service like The LBC.

Core to The LBC is a dynamic business directory, where consumers can search businesses by keyword, location, or category. Each search result clearly indicates whether a business is lesbian-owned or LGBTQ-friendly.

“One thing that’s unique about us is that you have to be identified,” Penn cited. Because self-identification is such a core part of The LBC’s concept, all businesses must indicate whether they are either lesbian-owned or LGBTQ-friendly when they first create profiles. Allowing LGBTQ-friendly businesses to create LBC profiles expands the number of businesses and services that consumers can find on the directory, and as Penn puts it, “While it is important for lesbians to be supporting lesbians, I think it’s important to give the entire world the opportunity to say, ‘Hey I want to be a part of this as well.’”

Unlike many traditional, static business directories, business owners themselves can customize their profiles in a variety of ways. In addition to listing their company’s website and basic contact info, a business owner can include links to their social media pages and write as much or as little as they want in the “about” section. All profiles are searchable, easily generating leads and generating local online exposure, and they’re even integrated with Google Maps. Consumers additionally will have the opportunity to read and write reviews

All of these features are available in The LBC’s free Gold level membership or premium Platinum or Diamond levels.

“We wanted to have something for free, but I wanted ‘free’ to be like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you giving all of [these features] away for free?’ because we need to help each other,” Penn expressed. “We need to give lesbian consumers and lesbian business a leg up.”

Gold members can list their businesses in up to one specialty, while Platinum members can list their businesses in up to three. Diamond members can list their businesses in an unlimited number of business product/service areas and specialties, offer coupons, publish photo albums, and post videos. There are also modules for posting events, blog posts, and real estate listings.

“There are no limitations to what you can do with this software,” Penn indicated.

While the business directory might be what originally brings people to The Lesbian Business Community, Penn also posts a variety of business and lifestyle articles geared toward lesbians and curates an LGBTQ events calendar, all with the goal of getting visitors to the website to keep coming back. These features are what separate The LBC from a mere business directory and make it a business community.

Penn scours the Internet herself to find relevant and timely content to post. Nothing she posts is more than three to five days old, and she makes sure to post articles that pertain to both lesbian business owners and consumers, in categories such as “Smart Business and Entrepreneurship” and “LGBT Travel and Leisure.”

Penn stated that not much business content currently out there is geared specifically toward lesbians, let alone women.

To address this issue, Penn is currently recruiting lesbian entrepreneurs, coaches and mentors to write original, lesbian-specific business content for The LBC that offers comprehensive information and advice.

Meanwhile, The LBC’s events calendar has a lot for everybody to check out, Penn shared. It features Pride events, sports events, and other LGBTQ social events, and one of Penn’s goals is to increase the number of LGBTQ events listed on the site. The calendar is searchable by keyword, date range, location, and category.

Penn’s ultimate vision for The Lesbian Business Community is for it to be a place where lesbians can find each other, help each other, collaborate, and flourish. As businesses continue to join The LBC, the business directory will become increasingly robust, giving queer consumers and business owners alike countless opportunities to support one another.

Fore more information, visit lesbianbusinesscommunity.com.


Annie Brown
Annie Brown
Annie Brown is a communications professional in the Washington, D.C. area who’s dabbled in writing, editing, and social media for Tagg since 2016. Her favorite things in life include corgis and coffee.