Skip to main content

Houston First in TX to Expand Contracting with LGBT Businesses

Published Mar 04, 2021 by Maggie Martin

Houston City Hall

Houston is the first city in Texas – and one of the largest in the country – 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.

“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 Houston 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 LGBTQ community.”

The City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) will implement and oversee the initiative, as well as oversee an online certification directory of LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs). OBO will also provide business development and workforce development programs to Houston's small business community. 

“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. 

Business owners will also have access to educational, mentorship, networking and access to capital programs offered by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce

“As 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," said Tammi Wallace, co-founder, president & CEO of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, a Partnership member. "The LGBTQ business community plays a vital role in the local economy and is an important part of our diverse city. Inclusion of the LGBTBE® 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 Wallace about the history of Houston's LGBT business community. 

Related News

Economic Development

Greater Houston Partnership Recognized Among Site Selection Magazine’s Top Groups

5/3/24
The Greater Houston Partnership has been awarded Site Selection Magazine’s Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development for its outstanding regional economic development performance in 2023. Widely considered to be the gold standard recognition for regions from the industry’s top trade publication, the award is based on the following criteria:  Total projects Total investment associated with those corporate facility projects Total jobs associated with those corporate facility projects Per capita calculations of those same three metrics  "Receiving the Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development is not just a recognition of our region’s achievements; it's a testament to our commitment to creating opportunity in Houston,” said Steve Kean, President and CEO at the Partnership. “It’s a team effort here in Houston, and we are delighted to work with our partner economic development groups across the region to tell the world about Houston and attract new jobs and investment to our community.”  This is the Partnership’s first win since 2021 and 15th time winning the award. The Partnership previously received honorable mentions in 2007, 2016 and 2017, bringing the Partnership’s total number of appearances in Site Selection’s top group rankings to 18 since its inception in 1989.  “I am very proud of our organization's recognition of the prestigious Mac Conway Award for Excellence,” said Craig Rhodes, Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Partnership. “It's a testament to the collaborative efforts with our partners across the 12-county region, and it motivates our team to continue our mission of driving inclusive prosperity and creating meaningful opportunities for all."  Following major economic development wins in 2023, the greater Houston region has gotten off to a strong start in the first quarter of 2024, with 139 new business announcements identified.  A total of 40 businesses established new facilities in the Houston area while 97 projects were an expansion of existing Houston-area facilities. Manufacturing accounted for 32 percent of the announcements, with professional, scientific and technical services ranking second (17 percent).  Learn more about why companies choose Houston.
Read More
Economic Development

Greater Houston Partnership Recognized Among Site Selection Magazine’s Top Groups

5/3/24
The Greater Houston Partnership has been awarded Site Selection Magazine’s Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development for its outstanding regional economic development performance in 2023. Widely considered to be the gold standard recognition for regions from the industry’s top trade publication, the award is based on the following criteria:  Total projects Total investment associated with those corporate facility projects Total jobs associated with those corporate facility projects Per capita calculations of those same three metrics  "Receiving the Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development is not just a recognition of our region’s achievements; it's a testament to our commitment to creating opportunity in Houston,” said Steve Kean, President and CEO at the Partnership. “It’s a team effort here in Houston, and we are delighted to work with our partner economic development groups across the region to tell the world about Houston and attract new jobs and investment to our community.”  This is the Partnership’s first win since 2021 and 15th time winning the award. The Partnership previously received honorable mentions in 2007, 2016 and 2017, bringing the Partnership’s total number of appearances in Site Selection’s top group rankings to 18 since its inception in 1989.  “I am very proud of our organization's recognition of the prestigious Mac Conway Award for Excellence,” said Craig Rhodes, Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Partnership. “It's a testament to the collaborative efforts with our partners across the 12-county region, and it motivates our team to continue our mission of driving inclusive prosperity and creating meaningful opportunities for all."  Following major economic development wins in 2023, the greater Houston region has gotten off to a strong start in the first quarter of 2024, with 139 new business announcements identified.  A total of 40 businesses established new facilities in the Houston area while 97 projects were an expansion of existing Houston-area facilities. Manufacturing accounted for 32 percent of the announcements, with professional, scientific and technical services ranking second (17 percent).  Learn more about why companies choose Houston.
Read More

Related Events

Economic Development

Future of Global Energy Conference Presented by Shell USA, Inc.

The Greater Houston Partnership, Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI) and the Center for Houston's Future invite you to the annual Future of Global Energy presented by Shell USA, Inc. …

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners