October 28, 2021
The signing builds off of the City’s efforts to make the procurement process more accessible and equitable for local diverse businesses.
Mayor Kim Janey yesterday signed a historic executive order to include LGBTQ+-owned businesses in the City’s Supplier Diversity Program. The program creates fair and equitable access to City contracting opportunities by developing inclusive procurement practices, monitoring City contracts, providing technical assistance, offering business certification, and connecting historically underrepresented business owners to current and future contracting opportunities.
“This signing marks an important step forward in the inclusion of all our City’s small business owners in our local economy,” said Mayor Janey. “The diversity and creativity of our City’s entrepreneurs help shape the unique character of our neighborhoods. I’m proud to see LGBTQ+-owned businesses receive a fair chance to bid on City contracts and continue to grow our economy in an equitable way.”
The City of Boston currently maintains a business certification process that recognizes Minority-owned (MBE), Woman-owned (WBE), Veteran-owned (VOSBE), Service Disabled Veteran-owned (SDVOSBE), Small (SBE), and Small and Local Business Enterprises (SLBE). Adding LGBTQ+-owned businesses to this list (as LGBTBEs) will remove barriers to contracting opportunities with the City.
The Supplier Diversity Program encourages registered LGBTBEs to submit bids and/or proposals for City contracts. When procuring goods and services through a Written Quote Contract process, City Departments consult the Certified Business Directory and can solicit a quote from qualified LGBTBEs as part of the City’s equitable procurement process.
Boston is the first city in Massachusetts to recognize LGBTQ+ businesses in minority-owned and women-owned programs. The City joins a similar supplier diversity inclusion initiative at the state level.
“When it comes to inclusion, there is no ‘us against them’ – no more ‘the pie isn’t big enough’ – because we all know the pie is as big as we collectively want to bake it,” said Justin Nelson, Co-Founder & President of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). “When communities of color do better, so does the LGBTQ community. When women do better, so does the LGBTQ community. When people with disabilities and veterans do better, so does the LGBTQ community! And when we do better, so do they.”
“With this important action, the City of Boston takes a major step forward in ensuring LGBTQ-owned and operated businesses have equal access to do business with the City,” said Grace Moreno, Executive Director of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. “LGBTQ-owned businesses contribute to the economic health of Boston and the region in many ways and by adding this classification to the supplier diversity program, more will have the opportunity to grow their businesses, provide for their employees and their families. After years of advocacy on this issue, we are grateful to Mayor Janey for taking the lead and making it happen.”
Entities that are owned by 51% or more LGBTQ+ individuals will be recognized by the City as LGBTBEs.
This builds off Mayor Janey’s announcement in September about the first in a series of tools to make it easier for diverse vendors to do business with the City of Boston.
“LGBTQ+ businesses contribute to our thriving neighborhoods and local economy,” said Celina Barrios-Millner, the City’s Chief of Equity and Inclusion. “Through this partnership with the National and Massachusetts LGBT Chambers of Commerce we look forward to including LGBT business enterprises in our supplier diversity efforts and ensuring that our City contracting is reflective of our City’s diversity.”
One-fourth of LGBTQ+ Americans earn $24,000 or less annually. Nationally, statistics show that LGBTQ persons are more likely to suffer from higher unemployment and food insecurity and less likely to have health insurance coverage.
This order does not alter existing M/WBE goals or state-issued set-asides for vendors. The inclusion of LGBTQ+-owned businesses in the pool of qualified potential bidders on contracts will lead to greater competition, which typically leads to lower prices/more savings for the City.
Any businesses interested in learning more about LGBTE certification should contact the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce at [email protected].
For more information about the City’s efforts to foster an inclusive economy in Boston, visit here.