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March 4, 2021 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order today calling for the inclusion of NGLCC LGBT Business Enterprise (Certified LGBTBE) suppliers among the City's pool of certified companies to ensure they have equitable access to contracting and procurement opportunities throughout the city. For LGBT citizens of Houston, this inclusive initiative provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout the region.
This executive order makes Houston the first city in Texas, and one of the largest in the nation, to create an initiative to intentionally expand its inclusion of LGBT-owned businesses in municipal contracting and procurement opportunities. Coupled with the educational, mentorship, networking and access to capital programs offered by both the national and Houston chamber networks, business owners from across all diverse communities in the greater Houston region will see fresh opportunities to thrive.
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The City of Houston's Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) will provide implementation and oversight of this new initiative. In the weeks ahead, OBO will work with the NGLCC and the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce to share educational webinars and additional information about the inclusion of LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) in its online certification directory via email, as well as on national and local chamber websites.
"The signing of this executive order coincides with the five-year anniversary of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber, and I am especially proud to celebrate these two historic milestones," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "The City of Houston has always been committed to providing fair and equal access to economic and contracting opportunities to all eligible businesses – and we are proud to formally memorialize this commitment to the LGBT community."
In addition to its certification directory, OBO also provides a host of support services for Houston's small business community, as well as business development and workforce development programs – all of which are available to all individuals.
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"We look forward to the increased participation and awareness of the LGBT community in our programs, which are meant to help businesses grow and increase their success in bidding for contracts in both the public and private sectors," said OBO Director Marsha E. Murray. "We are eager to strengthen our partnership with the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber and the NGLCC to provide these opportunities."
Such inclusion is now a best practice of the private sector and of an ever-growing number of states and municipalities thanks to the advocacy of NGLCC and its state and local affiliate chambers like the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Recent advocacy wins for NGLCC Certified LGBTBE® suppliers include New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Miami; Nashville; and statewide opportunities with Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and California.
Representatives from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, local LGBT-owned businesses and the Office of Business Opportunity join Mayor Sylvester Turner for this historic moment in the City of Houston.
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