Louisville, KY Passes Ordinance to include Certified LGBT-owned Businesses in City Contracts and Programs

March 5, 2020
For Immediate Release

Washington, DC –  The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is pleased to announce the successful passage of new legislation to include NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprises® (Certified LGBTBEs®) in future contracting and procurement opportunities in Louisville, Kentucky. This pivotal policy for Louisville was made possible by the guidance of NGLCC and in collaboration its local affiliate chamber partner, the Civitas: Regional LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, bill sponsor Councilwoman Jessica E. Green, and the Louisville Metro Council Democrats. 
This new policy will equip the LGBT Louisville community with access to opportunities to undertake jobs and programs that will boost the economy of the city. The LGBT-owned businesses of Louisville will promote economic prosperity throughout the area, in creating jobs and boosting growth for the over 600,000 people who live there. According to NGLCC’s America’s LGBT Economy Report, LGBT business owners add over $1.7 trillion to the US economy every year, and create tens of thousands of new jobs.
“Thanks to the leadership of Councilmember Green, her Council colleagues, and of our local affiliate chamber, Civitas: Regional LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, LGBT entrepreneurs in the Louisville region will now have the opportunity to create jobs and develop innovations that benefit all who live there. History has once again been made here in the South, and this victory for inclusivity has once again proved our core values that ‘diversity is good for business’ and that ‘if you can buy it, a Certified LGBTBE® can supply it.’ We are excited to see LGBTBEs in every field, from construction to catering and everything in between, help grow the economy of Louisville and beyond,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson.
This resolution identifies a series of actions that the Department of Procurement Services will undertake to encourage participation of Certified LGBTBEs® in city procurement opportunities, but does not request or alter any set-asides or targets for other diverse communities. This legislation also includes opportunities for disability-owned businesses, supported by NGLCC’s long-time partner in the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), Disability:IN. 
This policy is the first of its kind in Kentucky, but will most certainly not be the last. 
“With the passage of this ordinance, our city is saying we are open for business to every Louisvillian regardless of color, gender, who you love, or if you are disabled. It doesn’t cost us anything to be compassionate and to be business minded.  Moreover, it is something we can do today. It is a good day to be a business owner in the city of Louisville. It is a great day for all Louisvillians,” said Councilmember Jessica Green, lead sponsor of the ordinance. 
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 LGBTBEs® 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 LGBTBEs® in Orlando, FL; 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 LGBTBEs®, along with major cities like Seattle, Newark, Columbus, and Philadelphia. A bill was introduced in the New York City Council to include Certified LGBTBEs® in the largest economy in America, and is expected to pass in 2020.
“While we have a long way to go for LGBT equality in the region, the South has always had a strong and growing network of NGLCC Certified LGBTBEs® and LGBT-owned companies. We know this policy in Louisville 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 Louisville City Council, will ensure greater access to the American Dream for every American,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell.
“CIVITAS Regional LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce is proud to have been involved with the Louisville City Council and NGLCC in passing this historic ordinance.  We look forward to an exciting future of promoting LGBT certified businesses as they work with the city. CIVITAS was founded less than a year ago and it is already achieving valuable recognition and opportunities for its members,” Erica Fields, President, CIVITAS Regional LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce.
# # #
Jonathan Lovitz
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 LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) companies. www.nglcc.org @nglcc

Recent News & Press