The Cumberland Business Association has introduced a new initiative promoting inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC community in the village.
The CBA is asking its members and other local business owners operating in Cumberland to participate in making their businesses more inclusive to people of color, transgender people, and LGBTQ+ people by displaying the “YOU ARE WELCOME HERE” sticker in the entrance of their businesses.
“This is one step we, as the Cumberland Business community, can take to promote safety and solidarity with people of color and LGBTQ+ customers,” said a CBA press release. “When Cumberland businesses choose to have this sticker visible at their business, they let the public know that everyone is welcome as their patron. Not only is this valuable for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC tourists who are visiting, but more importantly it tells people who live here where they can find places of business that align with their values of inclusion.”
The sticker is being distributed to all CBA members.
|This sticker is being displayed in windows and entrances of businesses through the village of Cumberland, as a sign of inclusivity.|
“I think we ordered about 80, and there are quite a few already up in windows,” said Vig Schulman, of the CBA. “And it’s not just in downtown windows. We are 60 to 70 per cent home-based businesses, so all the home businesses are getting them as well.”
Ellian Bell, owner of The Little Village Store on Third Street, wasted no time getting her sticker into the window of her business.
“This program is a really nice way to make it clear to people how we feel,” she said. “I know I have a lot of friends in the LGBTQ community and it helps you feel more comfortable when you know for sure you are walking into a place that is really welcoming. Sadly, that isn’t always a given. So this is a nice way to make it more obvious, more clear. Really, it’s just a small part of a bigger behaviour (shift) that has to happen, but I do think it’s an important start.”
Bell has extra stickers available at her shop for anyone who wants one.
The You Are Welcome Here project originated in the United States, through OUT Central Oregon, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, located in Bend.
The Comox Valley RCMP launched a similar program in 2019, called the Safe Place program, with the goal of providing “security and safety to the LGBTQ community when they may be apprehensive about calling police to report a crime.”