Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa has signed an executive order designating LGBT-owned business enterprises (LGBTBEs) as eligible for certification procedures from the city. The certification wlll be performed through the auspices of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) - the city will rely on the NGLCC's certification procedures, and accept them as valid for the purposes of measuring LGBTBE participation in contracting.
While the certification at present will primarily enable the City of Tampa to track LGBTBE participation and utilization and to better "promote inclusivity" (in the words of the executive order), adding LGBTBEs to the Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) program also enables the city of Tampa to require the NGLCC (or an NGLCC affiliate or partner) to provide various training programs, scholarships, networking opportunities, and other business development instruments and meetings that will be relevant to and designed for LGBTBEs.
Additionally, the city will have further authority to ask for proof of LGBTBE certification when it is relevant in the issuance of invitations to bid, requests for proposals, and the like. Justice Gennari, president of the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce, noted that there are already 13 certified LGBTBEs in the local community.
Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, Mayor Castor said that "[s]mall businesses are the backbone of our business community here in Tampa," and that "help[ing] small businesses" would benefit the economy of the city overall.
Tampa is the second city in Florida, after Orlando, to recognize LGBTBEs in this fashion.
Read the executive order at https://apps.tampagov.net/msg?s=629