With an estimated $8 billion buying power in Miami-Dade County alone, LGBTQ consumers are certainly a force with which to be reckoned. LGBTQ and gay-friendly businesses eagerly court MDGLCC_logobuyers from this niche market and one of the best ways to reach this market is by becoming a member of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (MDGLCC), says Steve Adkins, president of the MDGLCC.

One of the largest LGBTQ-oriented chambers in the country, MDGLCC has just launched its 2016 membership drive and is accepting new and renewal memberships through October 31. Currently, MDGLCC has over 600 members representing more than 110 business categories — from accountants to real estate agents to tour companies and more.

“One of the most significant benefits of membership – and there are many – is our 5th Annual Membership Directory & Resource Guide,” Adkins said. “We call it ‘S.O.M.A.’ because we encourage our members to ‘Support Our Members Always.’ The Directory has a proven track record of guiding the purchasing or patronizing decisions of our MDGLCC-MemberDrive_copymembers and their friends.”

Studies have shown that the LGBTQ community has the highest loyalty rate of any niche market segment, Adkins continued, with 88% saying they would be loyal to a product or service that supports the community. In addition, studies have shown that 78% of LGBTQ consumers and their friends would switch brands to companies that are known to be LGBTQ friendly.

“Membership in the Chamber is a great way to clearly communicate your support of the community here in South Florida and attract new customers,” Adkins concluded.

Bacardi sponsors the Directory and more than 20,000 copies are printed and distributed to over 130 locations throughout South Florida. Additional copies are available at the LGBT Visitor Center in South Beach as well as the numerous events and networkers produced by the MDGLCC each year. Member listings are also cross-referenced on the Chamber’s and Visitor Center’s respective websites www.gaybizmiami.com and www.gogaymiami.com.

In addition to the Directory, other member benefits include networking at dozens of events throughout the year, from a grand gala and Mega Mixers to intimate receptions; savings and discounts from other member organizations; referral services; advertising and promotional options; and advertising and editorial opportunities in the MDGLCC quarterly magazine Clarity.

To become a member in MDGLCC and be included in the 2016 S.O.M.A. Directory, join or renew a membership before October 31 by signing up at www.gaybizmiami.com or by calling 305-673-4440.