Minus18 are giving small businesses the opportunity to support LGBTI youth through their Pride coffee cup initiative. Matthew Wade reports.

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Visible, corporate support for Australia’s LGBTI community has never been more prevalent.

Whether they’re marching in Midsumma and Mardi Gras, covering their social media in rainbows to support marriage equality, or establishing Pride networks for their employees, big companies are increasingly positioning themselves as outspoken allies.

But what about smaller businesses?

When Minus18’s Bear Kruz came up with the idea of a Pride coffee cup, he wanted to empower small businesses to show their support as well, saying that they often don’t have the means to secure fabulous parade floats or extensive Pride networks.

“Small businesses haven’t been given these opportunities,” he says.

“The coffee cup will allow small businesses to support LGBTI youth and align their brand with a supportive cause.”

The initiative will offer cafes—or any other small businesses that sell coffee—the opportunity to stock takeaway BioPak cups printed with rainbow flags and messages of support for LGBTI youth.

When customers then purchase a coffee that comes in a Pride coffee cup, 50 cents from each cup with go towards Minus18.

Cruz says with marriage equality done and dusted, it’s time for people to make a stand and show their support for the community.

“The time is now to support young LGBTI people, because you’re no longer jeopardising your business by doing so,” he says.

“Australia is overwhelmingly in support of LGBTI people, so it’s time for smaller businesses to come on board and support them as well.

“These coffee cups can help start a conversation around LGBTI youth while also fundraising for Minus18, so it’s a win win for everyone.”

He adds that for younger LGBTI people living in regional or rural Australia, seeing a Pride coffee cup in their local cafe could make a world of difference.

“When you’re the only queer person in your regional town because no-one talks about it, imagine seeing a Pride coffee cup,” he says.

“It’s not in your face, it subtly starts a conversation.”

The initiative will formally launch in September, and Kruz encourages any cafes interested in stocking the cups to get in touch with himself and the Minus18 team.

He says the money raised for Minus18 will go towards their queer formals, regional workshops, and resource production.

“We’ll provide promotional boards for them to have in their cafe, and we’ll include a map on our website with all of the places that stock the cups,” he says.

“It’s really an exciting opportunity.”

minus18 pride coffee cup

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