CNBC News Releases

Nearly Eighty Percent of LGBTQ Small Business Owners Expect to Make a Full Recovery in 2022, According to LGBTQ Small Business Owner Financial Health Survey

Survey Conducted by CNBC and Acorns in Partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Editorial Content Based Off of Survey Findings to Publish Throughout June in Honor of Pride Month

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 7, 2021 – CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and Acorns, the country's fastest growing financial wellness system, today announced the results of the first LGBTQ Small Business Owner Financial Health Survey. The national survey, conducted in partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, took the financial pulse of LGBTQ entrepreneurs to learn more about how they manage their personal and business finances and the specific obstacles they face based on their sexual and gender identity.

The survey addressed topics from emergency savings to business succession plans to post-COVID small business confidence. In honor of Pride month, editorial content based off of the survey findings will be published throughout June on

Not only did the pandemic take a significant toll on many of those in the small business community, nearly one-third of LGBTQ small business owners say they lost 50% of their business as a result of COVID. However, nearly 80% of those surveyed say they expect to make a full recovery next year.

Additional findings from the LGBTQ Small Business Owner Financial Health Survey include:

  • The majority (33%) of those surveyed say the biggest impact the pandemic had on their business was loss of revenue
  • 20% say temporary pivot
  • 19% say reduced budget
  • 17% say decreased wages
  • 10% say temporary closure, however, less than 1% of small business owners reported a permanent closure
  • While 36% of LGBTQ small business owners say there were able to get access to EIDL or PPP loans during the pandemic, nearly the same amount (35%) of those surveyed say they were not able to access EIDL or PPP loans during the pandemic
  • 28% of respondents say they were able to get loans, but not as much as they needed
  • Nearly 40% of respondents say government stimulus is the one thing that could help their business thrive in 2022 and beyond
  • 28% say relaxed COVID restrictions
  • 23% say easier lending practices by banks
  • The majority (42%) of respondents say the biggest reason they are having difficulty hiring workers is because workers aren't interested in returning because of unemployment benefits
  • 35% say workers found alternative employment
  • 19% say workers are demanding higher wages
  • 3% say workers are afraid of COVID
  • When asked about their retirement plans, 70% of LGBTQ small business owners say they are saving through a 401(k), IRA or similar plan
  • 23% say they are not currently saving for retirement
  • 6% say their retirement plan is to sell their business and live off the proceeds.
  • More than 78% of LGBT small business owners surveyed say they have not established a business succession plan

"Like others in the small business community, many LGBTQ-owned businesses were upended by the pandemic. But recovery is getting closer and the future is looking brighter," said Mary Duffy, Vice President and Senior Executive Producer for Talent Development at CNBC. "In an effort to further our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Invest in You is honored to partner with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce on this important survey to take note of the financial hardships LGBTQ business owners have endured during one of the most difficult times of our lives and how they have made huge sacrifices and overcome distinct challenges to make their businesses stronger."  

"The LGBT business community is thriving, despite both the economic impacts of the pandemic and the forces of inequality and discrimination that are still far too prevalent in America. As the business voice and certifying body for LGBT-owned companies throughout the country, we are so proud to partner with CNBC to highlight the resilience of LGBT entrepreneurs from coast to coast," said NGLCC Co-Founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell. "The confidence in the economic recovery ahead demonstrated in this survey by our network of LGBT business owners should give us all hope for better days ahead. This groundbreaking survey further proves our NGLCC philosophy that economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society."

The survey results will also be highlighted during a LinkedIn Live event, Invest in Pride: Ready. Set. Grow., hosted by Invest in You on Thursday, June 17th at 1pm ET. The event will be moderated by CNBC Small Business Reporter Kate Rogers and feature personal finance expert and bestselling author Suze Orman who will answer questions from LGBTQ small business owners about how to best manage their personal and business finances. Attendees can register for the event and submit their questions here.

To learn more about Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow., visit:

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.


This Formstack online poll was conducted May 12-21, 2021 among a national sample of 2,361 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 1,600 certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) as well as thousands of LGBT business owner members across the 50+ local affiliates of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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About CNBC + Acorns Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow.

Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. is dedicated to helping everyday Americans make smarter decisions about how they save, spend, invest and protect their money. Our goal is to make sure all Americans - of every income level and ability, racial and ethnic background and gender orientation - have access to information, strategies and advice to help make the best choices for their financial situation.

Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. is produced in partnership with Acorns, the financial wellness app. 

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

About The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, known as Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers.