Downtown LA | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Los Angeles is set to become the largest city in the US to formally include LGBTI-owned and operated businesses.
The Californian city will be the largest city, by both population and economy, to include LGBTI-owned businesses in its contact procurement.
Both federal and local governments have contract procurement initiatives for certain businesses, such as those run by minorities or women.
A number of other US cities have included LGBTI businesses in their procurement processes. Orlando, Baltimore, and Nashville all have such practices.
According to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), LGBTI businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the US economy. They also create more than 33,00 jobs.
California’s largest city follows its neighbor
LA’s formal adoption of an LGBTI-inclusive contract process follows its neighboring city, Long Beach.
‘In the future, Mayor Garcetti or the LA City Council could implement policies to set specific targets or expand resources for citywide supplier diversity initiatives, but for now, we are elated to be called out by name as a business community,’ said Jonathan Lovitz, senior vice president at the NGLCC.
Lovitz’s praise was echoed by his colleague Justin Nelson, co-founder and president of the NGLCC.
‘The important point is that we get to open doors and increase opportunity,’ said Nelson.
Nelson added that by declaring themselves as open places for LGBTI business opportunities, cities will help LGBTI businesses throughout the country.
‘The beautiful thing here is these announcements are a catalyst for businesses in the community to stand up, be recognized and get certified,’ he says.
‘And the benefit of that is not only to potential businesses, but it opens them up to a vast array of corporations across the country that are looking to do business with firms, not despite the fact that they’re LGBT, but because they’re LGBT.’
A number of US cities have enacted changes to recognize LGBTI businesses, CNBC reports. This includes Seattle, Columbus, Ohio, Philadelphia, and Newark and Hoboken, both in New Jersey. Chicago and New York City are also considering adopting the policy.
Entire states, such as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, have also taken up this policy.