The Columbus Chamber of Commerce has joined Ohio Business Competes, a non-partisan coalition of businesses committed to achieving nondiscrimination policies at the state level.
In advancing a thriving Central Ohio, the Columbus Chamber’s mission is aligned closely with that of Ohio Business Competes. The Chamber recognizes and values the power of diversity – adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Ohio’s nondiscrimination statutes for housing, public accommodation, and employment will attract the best talent to the region, strengthen relationships among businesses and consumers, and ultimately grow Ohio’s economy.
There are 21 states where consumers and employees are protected from being denied jobs, housing and services based upon perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity — Ohio is not one of these states.
“The Columbus Chamber is proud to lead the way as Ohio’s first major metropolitan chamber to join Ohio Business Competes,” said Don DePerro, president and CEO of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
“We are committed to helping all of Central Ohio thrive – including anyone that has faced barriers in trying to live, work, or otherwise flourish here. It’s a disservice to our region to allow these types of discrimination to continue, and moreover, it’s simply bad business. We hope our peers throughout Ohio will follow our example.”
Many of Ohio’s top employers share Ohio Business Competes’ inclusive values. Of the Coalition members, more than a third call Central Ohio home and already have inclusive and nondiscrimination policies in place. Businesses overwhelmingly report that such policies cost next to nothing and help drive a competitive edge.
“It’s hard to believe that in 2017 you can generally be fired, kicked out of your home, or denied basic goods and services just because of who you are or whom you love,” said Alana Jochum, board member of Ohio Business Competes.
“Ohio Business Competes–in partnership with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce as its newest member–is working to change that through fully inclusive nondiscrimination policies at the state level. By updating our policies to protect LGBTQ people, Ohio businesses will gain a competitive edge and ensure that the best talent comes to, and stays in, Ohio.”