Tampa Bay Company Launches New Brand to Support LGBTQ Business Owners

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It’s always refreshing to see a local company take a larger role in the St. Pete and broader Florida LGBTQ community. As of the past year, that’s exactly what Gulf Management Systems (GMS) has been doing.

GMS recently launched a new brand, known as Rhino.LGBT, which is dedicated to providing management software and payment processing to LGBTQ businesses and non-profits.

How It All Started

GMS is a payment processing company that has been in business for over 27 years. In 2015, the company bought RhinoFit, a gym management software that handles everything from membership management to email campaigns.

In 2019, RhinoFit decided to branch off and work specifically with LGBTQ chambers, non-profits, and businesses. This launch started when the company was asked, by a large Fortune 100 company, if they qualified as a diverse company.

Prior to the opportunity, owner Chuck Billone had no idea what being a National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) entailed. However, Billone felt ties to the community and wanted to cater more to LGBTQ businesses. He created Rhino.LGBT to specifically address this unique market and, as an LGBT business owner himself, Billone was eager to get started.

To spearhead the new brand, the company sponsored and networked at the Tampa LGBT Chamber‘s (previously known at the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber) annual meeting. It marked the beginning of a new and rewarding journey.

Giving Back to the Community

It hasn’t been enough for Rhino.LGBT to offer services to the local LGBTQ community. Rather, Billone has always given back to the community in which he lives and works. 

At first, his charitable donations went mainly to educational ventures. For instance, he donated money and served as President for 3 years, to the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation. He also contributes to Academy Prep and All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Additionally, Rhino has given back to the Save the Rhino Foundation. They even adopted a rhino at the Lowry Park Zoo. But now GMS wants to increase its charitable efforts to helping LGBTQ non-profit organizations as well. In the future, the company will be striving to make a difference for local LGBTQ organizations.

Helping Charitable Organizations Succeed

In a way, the company already does give back to the local LGBTQ community. Their Donor Boost program gives non-profit organizations savings on Rhino software. They get the lowest pricing available as well as discounted rates on Gulf Management Systems platforms. 

Once a non-profit signs up for Rhino, they are automatically enrolled in the DonorBoo$t program. Then up to, 40% of their revenue goes back into the community. Everyone benefits from the program, including merchants and vendors alike. 

Combining Power, Payments, and Pride

Rhino.LGBT is proud to be part of the LGBT community.  The NGLCC is committed to encouraging people to shop LGBT and to give back to our community organizations.  This dovetails nicely with the GMS mission and through Rhino.LGBT they can take it one step further to encourage us not only to shop LGBT but also to pay LGBT, and thus automatically giving back to our community organizations.  Our goal is to sign up 100 LGBT owned merchants.  Our mission continues to be ,”building stronger communities, one transaction at a time.”

If you own a business or organization and are looking for a better or easier way to manage things, Rhino.LGBT can help. To learn more about the rebranding and how they can help you, contact them today.

For more on local news, check out our Resources section.

**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida and beyond, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

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