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2014 Gay Games Spend Report Shows the Power of Buying Local and Diverse

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August 19, 2015

Plexus LGBT & Allied Chamber of Commerce
PO BOX 91697, Cleveland, Ohio 44101
Phone: 888-753-9879

CONTACT:       Michelle Tomallo, Board President
                            216-583-5044 |

2014 Gay Games Spend Report Shows the Power of Buying Local and Diverse

Cleveland, Ohio – August 19, 2015   

The 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation concluded a year ago and the evidence is clear that buying local and diverse when hosting a large-scale event pays off.       

While ensuring diversity in the supply chain has become commonplace among corporations, the 2014 Gay Games was the first to make a commitment to a fully-inclusive supply chain in the Games’ 30 year history. This was accomplished through a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and in partnership with Plexus, the LGBT & Allied Chamber of Commerce serving Northeast Ohio.  

In analyzing the spending from the 2014 Gay Games, Plexus found that of the total spent, 12.5% was procured from LGBT-owned businesses and 12.9% from women-owned businesses for a total of $564,094 spent at women and LGBT-owned businesses or organizations. In addition, $1,375,244 or 59.7% of the total Gay Games spend was sourced from Northeast Ohio and Ohio-based businesses.

Read the diverse spend report here.

Michelle Tomallo, Board President of Plexus, emphasized that this goal for local and diverse spending was part of the planning as early as 2010. “This commitment was a great opportunity to spotlight the importance of supplier diversity and to show how LGBT and other minority-owned businesses are an integral part of the region’s economic engine. We hope this becomes a best practice for organizers of small and large events being hosted in the region.”

A study released in December of 2014 showed that the total economic impact of the 2014 Gay Games was $52.1 million.

Tom Nobbe, Executive Director of the 2014 Gay Games, says he was pleased to see the event act as a catalyst. “The Gay Games were about more than competition. It’s about the LGBT community and its allies coming together to celebrate inclusion on all levels and we strongly believe this focus on diverse suppliers was critical to that. Plexus and NGLCC’s involvement were instrumental in making the Games’ spend goals a reality. “


About Plexus
Plexus, the LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce, is a nonprofit organization serving the LGBTA business community, promoting supplier diversity, and advocating workplace equality issues in Northeast Ohio. Plexus is a strategic partner in the economic development of Northeast Ohio and serves as a point of connection for corporations, supporters, LGBT businesses and professionals. For more information, visit

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the only national not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the economic opportunities and advancements of LGBT business community. With more than 29,000 members, 140 corporate partners, and 58 local, state, and international affiliate chambers, NGLCC is the largest LGBT business development and economic advocacy organization in the world. For more information, visit

About Gay Games
The Gay Games are an international sporting and cultural event held every four years. Launched in 1982, the Games invite participation from all competitors regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic or artistic ability, age, physical challenge or health status. For more information, visit For information on the 2018 Gay Games being held in Paris, France, visit

The Akronist: 2014 Gay Games spending report shows $52 million impact, power of buying local
Crain's Cleveland: Report finds 2014 Gay Games hit targets for supply chain diversity
The Plain Dealer: Cleveland's 2014 Gay Games helped generate major dollars for LGBT - and women-owned businesses
WKSU 89.7: New report shows total amount of money invested in local businesses during year's Gay Games


Michelle Tomallo, Board President