LGBTQ+ community wields impactful purchasing power in Collier County

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
LGBTQ+ community meeting discussing business. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“Inclusive” and “diverse” are two buzzwords frequently heard lately, and they include one group often overlooked in the community when it comes to purchasing power. The LGBTQ+ community is big when it comes to business, according to the last census, as it’s the fastest-growing minority group in the United States.

Some businesses in Collier County are taking note because with trillions of dollars going through transactions, it’s a demographic you can’t ignore.

Sal Blasi works at the Cederquist Medical Wellness Center and shared some thoughts with WINK News.

“We’re just proud supporters, we love everyone,” Blasi said. “Everyone is equal.”

Everyone at the table represents a business in the area and everyone at the table works to promote inclusivity.

David Ardelean is a cafe owner in Chokoloskee and spoke with WINK News.

“You gotta understand Florida is based on hospitality right being hospital being open being welcoming,” Ardelean said.

Ardelean has been surprised by the local pushback, something he learned of coming to the meetings as a member of Naples Pride Business Alliance.

“Over here it’s a big deal you have to justify your existence for being LGBTQ and it’s like you have to prove that it’s OK to be who you are,” Ardelean said.

The alliance represents more than 60 different businesses, agencies, and non-profits.

“We don’t judge anyone like I said we’re a safe space and we are proud, proud supporters,” Ardelean said.

According to the LGBTQ+ Capital, the community spends nearly a whopping $4,000,000,000,000 every year, which is a lot of purchasing power.

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