September 20, 2019
Washington, DC – The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is proud to announce that openly LGBT Mayor Lori Lightfoot has introduced a measure to track and include NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers in future contracting and procurement opportunities, as well as capacity building and educational programs from small businesses, throughout the city. For LGBT citizens of Chicago, this inclusive policy provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout the region. The resolution identifies a series of actions that the Department of Procurement Services ( DPS ) will undertake to encourage participation of Certified LGBTBE® suppliers in city procurement opportunities, but does not request or alter any set-asides or targets for other diverse communities.
This policy makes Chicago the first city in Illinois and the second largest in the United States, behind Los Angeles, to intentionally include LGBT-owned businesses in municipal contracting and procurement opportunities. Such inclusion is a best practice of the private sector and of an ever-growing number of states and municipalities. This landmark policy for the City of Chicago was introduced thanks to the advocacy of NGLCC and its local affiliate chamber partner, the Illinois LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The resolution is expected to be adopted by the end of 2019.
“Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Lightfoot and of our local affiliate chamber, the Illinois LGBT Chamber of Commerce, LGBT entrepreneurs in the Chicago region could soon have the opportunity to create jobs and develop innovations that benefit all who live there,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. “As Mayor Lightfoot’s historic election underscored, Chicago has a legacy of leadership in promoting inclusivity at every level of public life. History will soon be made here again, once again proving our core values that ‘diversity is good for business’ and that ‘if you can buy it, a certified LGBT-owned business can supply it.’ We are excited to see Certified LGBTBE® suppliers in every field from construction to catering and everything in between help grow the economy of Chicago and beyond.”
“The LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and our members applaud Mayor Lori Lightfoot for her historic actions in expanding equity and access to business opportunities to the LGBTQ+ community. Thanks to this step,Chicago will further solidify its place as a leader in supporting small businesses, creating jobs, and using innovative solutions to save money for tax-payers – a dire need as Chicago faces a $1billion budget gap. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with stakeholders across Chicago to further expand the opportunities also currently available to Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Disabled owned businesses,” said Jerome’ Holston, Director, LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois.
In August 2019, at the 2019 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference in Tampa, FL, openly LGBT Mayor Jane Castor announced an executive order to include Certified LGBTBE® suppliers in her city, following Mayor Eric Garcetti’s historic announcement to do the same in Los Angeles just days before. In 2018 and early 2019, NGLCC won the inclusion of Certified LGBTBE® suppliers in Nashville, TN; Baltimore, MD; Jersey City, NJ; and Hoboken, NJ, while also advancing statewide bills in New York and New Jersey. Currently, California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania also include Certified LGBTBE® suppliers, along with major cities like Seattle, Newark, Columbus, and Philadelphia. A bill was introduced in the New York City Council to include Certified LGBTBE® suppliers in the largest economy in America, and is expected to pass in late 2019 or early 2020.
“While we have a long way to go for LGBT equality in the region, the midwest has a strong and growing network of NGLCC Certified LGBTBE® suppliers and LGBT-owned companies helping underscore the economic imperative of inclusion for all. We hope this resolution in Chicago will encourage more mayors to proactively include the LGBT community for the optimum social and economic health of their cities. Collectively, LGBT-owned businesses contribute to the $1.7 trillion dollars that the LGBT business community puts into the national economy. Progressive and inclusive leadership, like that of Mayor Lightfoot and the City Council, will ensure greater access to the American Dream for every American,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell.
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NGLCC MEDIA CONTACT:
Senior Vice President, NGLCC
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, known as Certified LGBTBE® suppliers. www.nglcc.org @nglcc