Advocacy through Policy Initiatives
As the business voice for the LGBT community, NGLCC ensures that the LGBT business owners have a seat at the table for both federal and local pro-business policy initiatives and interests. Using its national presence, NGLCC takes an active role in discussions with legislators and government officials at all levels of government to advance the economic interests of the LGBT business owner.
In the past several years, NGLCC has established memorandums and shared programming with the U.S. Small Business Administration (2012 & 2015), the U.S. Department of Commerce (2011), the U.S. Department of Labor (2013), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (2016) and several other government agencies. NGLCC is also the founding organization behind the National Business Inclusion Consortium (2011), which includes the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Business Leadership Network: Disability at Work, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Black Chamber, and WeConnect International.
Deeply involved in establishing links with corporations and governments to LGBT business owners, NGLCC serves as a bridge between corporate procurement opportunities and small business contractors incorporating LGBT-owned businesses into larger corporate supply chains and government contracting.
Federal Agency Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)
We actively work with Federal Agencies to ensure procurement and programs are inclusive of LGBT-owned businesses. We currently have MOUs with the following federal agencies:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- U.S. Department of Commerce
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- U.S. Department of Labor
- U.S. Department of Transportation
- Small Business Administration
LGBT Supplier Diversity Initiatives
Currently, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, two state agencies, California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA), and several regional governments, including Essex County, NJ, King County, WA and Cleveland, OH, engage in the intentional inclusion of certified LGBT owned businesses. Additionally, the State of New York has recently introduced supplier diversity legislation.
With the passage of AB1678 in 2014, California became the first-in-the-nation to pass a public mandate requiring the intentional inclusion of certified LGBT Business Enterprises® (LGBTBE) in contracting with California Public Utilities. Following the implementation of the law, the number of certified LGBTBEs in California dramatically increased.
With the enacting of executive order no. 565 in 2015, Massachusetts became the first-in-the-nation to expand supplier diversity initiatives to include the LGBT Business Enterprises statewide. This precedent setting public policy also required the inclusion of all veteran-owned and disability-owned businesses.
Following the great work in Massachusetts and California, Pennsylvania enacted a similar executive order to Massachusetts expanding nondiscriminatory practices in contract and grant awarding to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The Pennsylvania executive order is all encompassing, including nondiscrimination practices in the awarding of contracts and grants; the hiring and treatment practices of contract and grant awardees; and the awarding of subcontracts and supply contracts for performance of contract as well as grant awardees.
Every day the NGLCC policy team is coordinating with local legislators to create opportunities for LGBT business owners to contract with state governments just like every other small business. National legislation or a Presidential executive order is necessary to ensure that every LGBT business owner has the same right to opportunities as everyone else in America.
Below is a list and brief explanation of each LGBT-owned business inclusion policy effort:
- California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
- AB1678 extends provisions of the utilities’ Supplier Diversity Program administered by the CPUC to LGBT business enterprises (LGBTBE©). With the passage of AB1678 in 2014, California became the first-in-the-nation to pass a public mandate requiring the intentional inclusion of certified LGBTBEs in contracting with California Public Utilities. Following the implementation of the law, the number of certified LGBTBEs in California dramatically increased.
- It mandates submission of verifiable plans for increasing procurement from LGBTBEs
- It requires the CPUC to adopt the certification standards created by NGLCC
- Already a certified LGBTBE? Find out more and join the CPUC Supplier Diversity Program at the following website: http://www.thesupplierclearinghouse.com/
- Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA)
- PRPA expanded its supplier diversity program to include LGBTBEs in 2016 to promote opportunities for full participation by LGBT-owned small businesses in all project-related construction contracts. To promote full participation in contracting opportunities for all disadvantaged businesses, to include LGBTBEs, by insuring that all Prime Contractors do not discriminate in the solicitation, award and administration of construction subcontracts on PRPA’s projects.
- PRPA policy prohibits discrimination against LGBTBEs, in addition to minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses, in awarding contracts
- PRPA policy also establishes minimum levels of participation by LGBT-owned businesses
- Already a certified LGBTBE? Find out more about PRPA procurement opportunities at the following website: http://www.philaport.com/procurement/
- New York (Pending)
- A10622 will extend state contracting opportunities to LGBTBEs, disability-owned business enterprises and veteran-owned business enterprises. This piece of legislation was recently introduced into the NY State congress.
- It will establish a new division to regulate all supplier diversity efforts
- It will establish guidelines and deadlines for annual reports tracking the progress of increased procurement by LGBTBEs
- Executive Order No. 565 expands the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Program to include LGBTBEs, disability-owned business enterprises and veteran-owned business enterprises. By enacting Executive Order No. 565 in 2015, Massachusetts became the first-in-the-nation to expand supplier diversity initiatives to include the LGBTBEs statewide.
- This executive order recognizes third party certification of LGBTBEs by the NGLCC to create a revenue neutral certification and verification process
- Already a certified LGBTBE? Find out more and join the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Program at the following website: http://www.mass.gov/anf/budget-taxes-and-procurement/procurement-info-an...
- Executive Order No. 2016-05 ensures that contracts and grants are nondiscriminatory (by race, gender, creed, color, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression). The executive order prohibits discrimination in three aspects:
- In the award of Commonwealth contracts and grants
- By those who are awarded Commonwealth contracts and grants in the hiring and treatment of their employees
- By those who are awarded Commonwealth contracts and grants in their award of subcontracts
- Already a certified LGBTBE? Find out more and join the Pennsylvania Supplier Diversity Program at the following website: http://www.dgs.pa.gov/Businesses/Small%20Diverse%20Business%20Program/Sm...
- King County, WA
- King County in Washington state expanded its tracking system for contracts awarded to include LGBTBEs. The County Business Development and Contract Compliance Office will begin tracking the number and dollar value of contracts that are awarded to certified LGBTBEs. These LGBTBEs will also be certified as Small Contractors and Suppliers under the County’s Contracting Opportunities Program.
- Already a certified LGBTBE? Find out more and join the King County Supplier Diversity Program at the following website: http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/finance-business-operations/business-dev...
- Essex County, NJ
- Essex County in New Jersey was one of the first municipalities to recognize certified LGBTBEs in county procurement practices. In a Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Essex and NGLCC, the County agreed to begin recognizing the NGLCC certification of LGBTBEs and expanded its outreach to include local LGBT affiliates.
- City of Cleveland, OH
- In 2014, the City of Cleveland created a business registry that includes certified LGBTBEs. This registry provides access to contracting opportunities to LGBTBEs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Would supplier diversity initiatives have a fiscal impact to my city/county/state?
No, it doesn’t have to. By recognizing the NGLCC as the exclusive third-party certification body, the initiative can be revenue neutral. Which means there does not have to be a cost to the taxpayers in your local government in implementing such policies. Ultimately, supplier diversity initiatives create many new jobs in growing industries.
Furthermore, the inclusion of LGBT businesses in the pool of qualified potential bidders on contracts will lead to greater competition, which traditionally leads to lower prices/saving for your city/county/state.
Would supplier diversity initiatives make it more expensive to do business in my city/county/state?
No. Quite the opposite. Greater competition by a large pool of qualified bidders leads to lower prices for goods & services purchased with taxpayer dollars.
Why does this matter now? Didn’t The Equality Act cover this?
The Equality Act, introduced in July of 2015, originated from a desire to incorporate the LGBT community into the non-discrimination protections ensured by the Civil Rights Act. As such, it aims to bring federal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, promoting equal access to employment, housing, credit, public spaces and services, education, federally funded programs, and beyond.
However, it does not address non-discrimination protections for diverse business owners seeking to gain contracting opportunities with federal, state or municipal governments because these protections are not included in the Civil Rights Act. This discrepancy in the law represents a lack of protection for minorities, women, disabled persons, veterans and LGBT persons, and it has kept member members of the diverse community, including tax-paying, law-abiding LGBT citizens, from achieving the American Dream. We hope that action at the local level will ignite more essential conversations that benefit LGBT business owners in addition to the entire diverse community, including nationwide protection from discrimination in government contracting alongside other diverse-owned businesses.