Grants for Iowa LGBTQ+ businesses now open; here’s how to apply

The Iowa LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce Logo, which includes a pride flag in the shape of Iowa next to the organization's name, on top of a Progress Pride Flag.

By Nikoel Hytrek

May 16, 2024

Money is now available for LGBTQ+-owned or allied businesses in Iowa.

A new grant program to support LGBTQ+ owned restaurants and bars has now opened applications to Iowa.

The NGLCC (National LGBT Chamber of Commerce) Community Impact Grant Program is open until June 4, and offering more than $1 million to businesses nationwide.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  1. Be an LGBTQ+-owned or ally-owned restaurant, bar, or café that serves food;
  2. Provide proof of LGBTQ+ or allied ownership; and
  3. Not have received two or more NGLCC grants previously.

Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000, and can go toward funding employee pay, maintaining or upgrading the location, marketing, and more. The grant program comes from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce with support from the Grubhub Community Fund.

The grant program is rolling out across the country between now and June, and the NGLCC intends to allocate 30% of the funds to businesses owned by people of color and transgender and gender-expansive people.

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Help applying for them

On May 20 and 22, the Iowa LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, a partner of the national group, will host two grant-writing workshops for businesses from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Both workshops will be online, and links can be found here.

“The Iowa LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce is excited to partner with the NGLCC and Grubhub to bring these community impact grants to Iowa businesses,” said Chad Johnston, board secretary of the Iowa LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce.

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About the organizations

The Iowa LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce supports LGBTQ+ businesses and economic growth and opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community statewide. That goal includes working with businesses and local leaders to advocate for social, political and economic equality in Iowa, and building a statewide business community.

The NGLCC has been around since 2002 and was created to advocate for economic equality for the LGBTQ community and to showcase the ways people in the LGBTQ community are essential to everyday life and the American economy as business owners, employers, and taxpayers.

“We often say at NGLCC that, if you can buy it, an LGBTQ+-owned business can supply it,” said Justin Nelson, co-founder and president of the NGLCC. “This rings especially true for LGBTQ+-owned restaurants and food-serving establishments across America, which play a vital role in their communities.”

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  • Nikoel Hytrek

    Nikoel Hytrek is Iowa Starting Line’s longest-serving reporter. She covers LGBTQ issues, abortion rights and all topics of interest to Iowans. Her biggest goal is to help connect the dots between policy and people’s real lives. If you have story ideas or tips, send them over to [email protected].



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