Houston First in TX to Expand Contracting with LGBT Businesses
Houston is the first city in Texas â and one of the largest in the country â to expand municipal contracting and procurement opportunities with LGBT-owned businesses.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order March 4, creating an inclusive policy that aims to provide fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development for LGBT businesses.
âThe 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,â said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. âThe City of Houston has always been committed to providing fair and equal access to economic and contracting opportunities to all eligible businesses â and we are proud to formally memorialize this commitment to the LGBTQ community.â
The City of Houstonâs Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) will implement and oversee the initiative, as well as oversee an online certification directory ofÂ LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs). OBO will alsoÂ provide business development and workforce development programs to Houston's small business community.Â
âWe 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,â said OBO Director Marsha E. Murray.Â
Business owners will also have access toÂ educational, mentorship, networking and access to capital programs offered by theÂ National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and theÂ Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce.Â
âAs the most diverse city in the country, the City of Houston is sending a strong message that our great city is open to all including LGBTQ owned businesses,"Â said Tammi Wallace, co-founder, president & CEO of theÂ Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, a Partnership member.Â "The LGBTQ business community plays a vital role in the local economy and is an important part of our diverse city. Inclusion of the LGBTBEÂ® Certification means that LGBTQ entrepreneurs can engage authentically and have access to economic opportunities, tools and resources. Thank you to Mayor Turner for paving the way in Texas and for his commitment to the LGBTQ business community."
Read our Q&A with Tammi WallaceÂ about the history of Houston's LGBT business community.Â