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On February 6, 2015 an announcement was made that changed the course of business opportunities for LGBT owned businesses. Recognizing the business imperative to embrace supplier diversity, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce launched the first supplier diversity initiative (SDI) of its kind focused on LGBT business owners. The focus on California is especially important in lieu of a new law that took effect Jan.1, 2015, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and its business affiliates are now required to extend existing provisions granted to ethnic minority-, women-, and disabled veteran- owned business enterprises to LGBT certified business owners. It is believed to be the first bill of its kind in the United States and will serve as a model for similar legislation covering other highly regulated industries and in other states. LGBT Business Builder will bring together expertise and resources SBA and SBDC district and regional offices, and other its other resource partners. Businesses will learn how to leverage NGLCC’s LGBT-owned business certification and explore opportunities through SBA and the SBDC suite of services around government contracting, exporting, and other SBA initiatives. The San Diego & Imperial SBDC Regional Network has been working for you, the LGBT owned business since the new initiative was announced in 2015. Once you are certified with the NGLCC nationally, or with the CPUC in California; our SBDC business consulting and supplier diversity trainings can help you to achieve the best results from your LGBT certification. For the most part, our services are offered at no fee to you!

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet stated:

“Today’s announcement is about ensuring that entrepreneurs who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have the support they need to excel. I’m here because we cannot separate the fight for civil rights from the fight for market rights and economic empowerment. This agreement is not about what we will do here in D.C., but we will do together in all 50 states to help LGBT entrepreneurs grow their revenues and their payroll.”

Justin Nelson, president and co-founder, NGLCC stated:

“At its heart, America is a country that builds things, especially businesses. It is gratifying to know the leadership of the Small Business Administration sees the value of LGBT citizens who have wondered for too long how they can also gain a seat at the table. This program will ensure they will understand the value of becoming an LGBT-certified businesses and all the SBA resources that are available to them. We commend Administrator Contreras-Sweet for putting an unprecedented focus on harnessing the potential of LGBT-owned businesses."

Contact the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SD/IV SBDC) to learn about local LGBT Business Enterprise services and trainings. (619) 482-6388 |
You can register online for a no fee business consultation by clicking here.

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