SBA Seattle District Office Teams Up With GSBA to Empower Local LGBTQ Small Businesses

Two-Year Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) Signed As Lead-Up to Pride Month
Release Date: 
Monday, June 3, 2019
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Monday, June 3, 2019

SEATTLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District Office and the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) formalized a two-year strategic alliance and celebrated with a signing ceremony May 29 at Pike Place Market in Seattle as a lead-up to Pride Month.

The Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) will allow both organizations to cross promote and collaborate on business training and services which will better connect and empower the LGBTQ entrepreneur ecosystem in the Seattle area.

“As the federal agency that powers the American dream of entrepreneurship, we are proud to be an ally to local LGBTQ small businesses and connect them with the resources they need at every stage of the business lifecycle,” SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “We look forward to supporting this new alliance and spurring business growth with the GSBA.”

Just before the start of Pride Month in June, SBA and GSBA leadership met for a signing ceremony hosted at Honest Biscuits, a restaurant in the Pike Place Market owned by Art Stone, who actively participates in GSBA and SBA programs. Stone graduated from the SBA Seattle Emerging Leaders Program in 2017, a seven-month “mini-MBA” executive education course for businesses on the cusp of major growth.

Hurd and GSBA President and CEO Louise Chernin signed the SAM at Honest Biscuits surrounded by GSBA and SBA staff.

"As one of the largest chambers for small business in the state of Washington and the only chamber whose mission is to advance equality, diversity and inclusion in business, GSBA is proud of strengthening our relationship with the SBA,” Chernin said. “By working together, we are able to provide more services and support for small businesses, whose success is essential for a thriving economy."

In 2015, certified LGBT business enterprises (LGBTBE) contributed more than $1.15 billion to the U.S. economy. If all estimated 1.4 million LGBTBE businesses in America are considered, the figure is nearly $2 trillion. Nationally, certified LGBTBE have created more than 33,000 jobs.

Year-round, the SBA empowers LGBTBE through providing counseling, training and education, access to capital, and contracting opportunities.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit The SBA Seattle District Office serves Washington and northern Idaho with office locations in Seattle and Spokane.

About the GSBA

Established in 1981, GSBA is Washington State’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce. They represent over 1,300 small businesses, corporate, and nonprofit members who share GSBA’s values of promoting equality and diversity in the workplace. GSBA is widely known in the state for its effectiveness in marketing and providing business development for small businesses; connecting community through business, advocating for civil rights and business; promoting LGBTQ tourism through Travel Out Seattle; and investing in the next generation of leaders through the GSBA Scholarship Fund. To learn more, visit