Under the leadership of Governor Charlie Baker, as the first state in the U.S 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.
“Governor Cuomo, as well as Mayor DeBlasio, and Speaker Mark-Viverito, have the power to create the greatest economic advancement for LGBT citizens by welcoming LGBT-owned business at both the state and city level,” says NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. “LGBT-inclusive supplier diversity means that there will be greater LGBT business visibility across New York. Economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society. Nothing says ‘The Spirit of America’ like an equal seat at the table for every business owner who wants one, as we just achieved in Massachusetts. The NGLCC will next focus on creating identical opportunities for LGBT business owners in New York. And nothing says ‘Ever Upward’ like allowing New York to live up to its motto, always leading the way to equality by creating greater access to the American Dream.”
“Expanding New York’s supplier diversity pool would create huge economic opportunities for small lesbian-owned companies like ours. As a certified LGBTBE in New York, we welcome the chance to do business with the state that we love and to bring our authentic selves to the negotiating table as we vie for contracts here. A victory like this in New York would be a great boon to our company and allow us to contribute to maintaining and growing a vibrant economy in the Empire State.”
Cindi Creager and Rainie Cole, Co-Founders
A New York based public relations firm
Just as marriage equality quickly spread throughout the northeast, NGLCC is now focusing on shaping a similar executive order in New York. For LGBT business owners, this kind of intentional inclusion policy provides fair and equal access to business contracting opportunities that cultivate innovation, create jobs, and drive economic growth throughout the state.
The NGLCC looks forward to working closely with the Cuomo administration to ensure that LGBT business enterprises are added to the administration’s increased commitments to minority-owned businesses. In October of 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated, “”We exceeded our goal of state contracts going to MWBE contractors, from 20 percent to 25 percent – that’s $2 billion and the highest in the nation. New York has done many things but we still have more to do, and that is why we are proud to announce a goal of 30 percent, the highest in the United States, to continue this progression and momentum and ensure that MWBEs are fully represented in this state.”
An executive action adding LGBT businesses to the existing women and minority-owned business enterprise pool (W/MBE) will directly impact the estimated 86,000 LGBT-owned businesses in New York State. One of those businesses that will greatly benefit from this executive action is CreagerCole Communications, a lesbian-owned NGLCC certified LGBTBE.
“Expanding New York’s supplier diversity pool would create huge economic opportunities for small lesbian-owned companies like ours,” said Cindi Creager and Rainie Cole, Co-Founders of CreagerCole Communications LLC, a New York based public relations firm. “As a certified LGBTBE in New York, we welcome the chance to do business with the state that we love and to bring our authentic selves to the negotiating table as we vie for contracts here. A victory like this in New York would be a great boon to our company and allow us to contribute to maintaining and growing a vibrant economy in the Empire State.”
Before this executive action was signed 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 action is the only statewide initiative of its kind, and an easily replicable model for other states to follow and reflects the highly successful, market-driven supplier diversity programs that are standard throughout corporate America.
The NGLCC serves as the exclusive third-party certification body for LGBT-owned businesses in America. Currently over 1/3 of the Fortune 500 recognize this certification and seek these innovative businesses nationwide.
“This historic precedent in Massachusetts offers 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 State of New York.”
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 eventually contract with the City and State of New York can find information and an application at my.nglcc.org.