LGBTQ+-owned Columbus businesses continue to thrive thanks to community support
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Starting a business is hard enough. Starting one alone is even harder.
That is why community support is so important to so many small businesses.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic got a lot of people to shift their priorities, and Ty Collier was no different.
“It was extremely difficult being in the position of ‘what do you do in a pandemic and where do you pivot?’ But using that as a motivator and not a crutch, it gave me the capacity and space to focus on a priority of mine and that’s the LGBTQIA community,” he said.
Collier worked for his family-owned company in wholesale apparel before deciding to start Queerencia, an LGBTQ+ apparel and accessories brand based in Columbus.
In these last three years, Collier said, “It’s been fantastic. We’ve grown extremely fast, and we’ve had a lot of support from our community.”
He got that support from Chase Bank’s free Minority Entrepreneurs Program which was started to help people like Collier get their businesses going on the right foot.
“Some of the things we have gained from the program is getting certified as a minority-owned business, which has opened the door to contracts and opportunities with corporations and the federal government,” Collier said.
Thanks to those central Ohio connections, Queerencia is partnered with Stonewall Columbus for Pride, and the company is taking on all their merchandise for this year’s event.
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