The City of Los Angeles has added a certification for LGBTQ business owners to the Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN) program that the city operates. The BAVN operates as a free portal for finding public city contracts in order to better connect businesses with procurement opportunities. Other certifications recognized by BAVN includes minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, disabled-veteran-owned businesses, and small/local/emerging businesses.
The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) will act as the exclusive third-party certifying entity for purposes of the BAVN's LGBTQ certification. Once certified, a business is then eligible to receive notifications from the BAVN about contracts, as well as receive guidance on the ins and outs of the bidding process. The certification process will also allow for the utilization of LGBTQ-owned businesses to be incorporated into statistical tracking of procurement that the city performs.
In a press release, Board of Public Works President Kevin James stated that "LGBTQ certification is another step towards further leveling the playing field for small and diverse businesses."
The move makes Los Angeles the largest American city to formally incorporate LGBTQ-owned-business certification into its contracting processes. Yearly procurement by the city is in the billions of dollars. July 1st, 2019, was the start date for LGBTQ certification eligibility.
To learn more, visit https://www.labavn.org.