WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is proud to announce the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, under the leadership of Governor Charlie Baker, as the first state in the nation to issue an executive order including certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) in contracting and procurement opportunities alongside women and minority owned businesses. For LGBT citizens in Massachusetts, this policy provides fair and equal access to business contracting opportunities that cultivate innovation, create jobs, and drive economic growth throughout the Commonwealth.
"Nothing says 'The Spirit of America' like an equal seat at the table for every business owner who wants one. Massachusetts continues its tradition as a leader in LGBT rights by living up to its motto, creating greater access to the American Dream. We thank Governor Baker's administration for their commitment to the LGBT community in Massachusetts," says NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. "LGBT-inclusive supplier diversity means that there will be greater LGBT business visibility across Massachusetts. Economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society. We now call upon leaders in states with large LGBT business populations, like New York, Illinois, and others to follow the precedent set by Massachusetts to create equal business opportunities for LGBT citizens nationwide."
This decision will directly impact the estimated 21,000 LGBT-owned businesses in Massachusetts, using the definition of small business that is standard with the Massachusetts Operational Services Division. Currently over 1/3 of the Fortune 500 recognize this certification and seek these innovative businesses nationwide. Also included in the order is a commitment to raise contracting goals for other minority business groups throughout Massachusetts.
This policy initiative is a collaboration between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the NGLCC, which will serve as the exclusive certification body for LGBT business enterprises in the Commonwealth for 20 years. The NGLCC serves as the exclusive third-party certification body for LGBT-owned businesses nationwide, and has certified nearly 800 LGBT business enterprises to date.
"This is a huge win for LGBT owned businesses that deserve equal opportunities to bid on contracts with the Commonwealth. We are reminded to harness the momentum of this victory to keep fighting for equal dignity and respect for all LGBT citizens as we advocate for similar intentional inclusion orders from coast to coast," said Sam McClure, Senior Vice President at NGLCC and one of the architects of this initiative.
Before this executive order in Massachusetts, only the California Public Utilities Commission and several municipal governments—including Essex County, NJ and Cleveland, OH— touted the intentional inclusion of certified LGBT business enterprises. This executive order is the only statewide initiative of its kind, and an easily replicable model for other states to follow.
"This historic precedent will offer other states—and the entire federal government—a replicable framework to promote the intentional inclusion of certified LGBT Business Enterprises into their procurement and contracting codes," says NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell. "As we saw with the over 200% increase in LGBTBE certifications following California's AB1678 mandate, we expect a major increase in applications for job-creating, economy-innovating LGBT businesses throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
The NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative was inspired by the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, the nation's largest certifying bodies for minority- and women-owned businesses, respectively, and their mission to create opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses to gain development and procurement opportunities with major corporations and government agencies. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) formally announced that demonstrated use of certified LGBT suppliers became a formally scored piece of the Corporate Equality Index as of 2012.
LGBT business owners wishing to begin the certification process to contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can find information and an application at my.nglcc.org.
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses. www.nglcc.org
SOURCE National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce