Major Cities Creating LGBT Business Certifications

Boston joins a growing list of major US cities to add special certification categories for LGBTQ-owned businesses.

Source :

November 1, 2021

Author : Alex Bustillos

On Wednesday, Boston Mayor Kim Janey signed an executive order adding LGBTQ-owned businesses to the city’s Supplier Diversity program. 

According to the press release, the Supplier Diversity program works by "developing inclusive procurement practices, monitoring City contracts, providing technical assistance, offering business certification, and connecting historically underrepresented business owners to current and future contracting opportunities."

Previously, business certifications in the city included minority-owned businesses (MBEs), woman-owned businesses (WBEs), veteran-owned businesses (VOSBE), service disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOSBEs), small businesses (SBEs), and local business enterprises (LBEs). Now they are adding LGBTQ+-owned businesses, or LGBTBEs, to the list.

Doing so will help LGBTBEs gain access to city contracts. When procuring for goods and services, city departments go through the Certified Business Directory to find qualified firms under the aforementioned categories.

“This signing marks an important step forward in the inclusion of all our City’s small business owners in our local economy,” Mayor Janey said. “The diversity and creativity of our City’s entrepreneurs help shape the unique character of our neighborhoods. I’m proud to see LGBTQ+-owned businesses receive a fair chance to bid on City contracts and continue to grow our economy in an equitable way.”

This year, a number of major cities in the United States have started to create new certification categories for LGBTQ business owners. As NBC News reported in January after New York City created the certification, similar efforts have been made in “Chicago; Baltimore; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; and Philadelphia — and several states, including California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.”

In early March, Houston made the leap to include LGBTQ certification in the city'ws procurement process. As we've reported, legislation is also being considered in Baltimore. Los Angeles County did the same, while Los Angeles itself was an early leader in this area, introducing an LGBTBE certification in 2019.

With the addition of New York City and Houston to the list, the four largest cities in the US by population now have LGBTQ business certifications, making it easier for marginalized business owners to get government contracts.

Category : Minority Business Enterprises Minority Women Business Enterprises Women Business Enterprises Diversity Outreach Local Government Procurement Public Works

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