Los Angeles: Largest U.S. City to Include LGBTQ Businesses in Contracts

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Desirée Patno is the CEO and President of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE). With almost three decades specializing in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem, she leads her executive team’s expertise of championing women’s economic growth and independence.

Los Angeles has announced a new policy that gives LGBTQ businesses—those owned by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community—opportunities in contracting and procurement, as well as for capacity building and educational programs from small businesses. This places the city as the United States’ largest municipality in population and economic size to have such a policy. 

Other U.S. cities that have included LGBTQ businesses in the contract process include Orlando, FL; Nashville, TN; and Baltimore, MD. Currently, LGBTQ-owned businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the nation’s economy, produce more than 33,000 jobs and generate an average revenue of almost $2.5 million. 

“California has a legacy of leadership in promoting inclusivity at every level of public life,” states Justin Nelson, Co-Founder & President of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). “Now, history has been made here in Los Angeles, 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 LGBT-owned business can supply it.’”

These kinds of contracting opportunities are usually only offered by federal, state and local governments to minority-owned and women-owned businesses, but the NGLCC and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce advocated for the inclusion of LGBTQ-owned businesses in the contracting process. 

Adding more diverse suppliers is not only the right thing to do but also beneficial to business and the community. According to the NGLCC, having a more inclusive contracting process makes the supply chain more competitive, which lowers bid prices and leaves more money left over that can be reinvested in local schools, roads, fire departments and underserved communities.

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