Current Affairs

Massachusetts just made a radical change to help LGBT businesses

Nick Duffy November 4, 2015
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The Governor of Massachusetts has issued an executive order that makes radical changes to regulations to benefit LGBT businesses.

Governor Charlie Baker issued the order this week, making changes to existing regulations that benefit women and minority owned businesses to also cover LGBT people.

Under the state’s regulations, the government ensures that publicly-funded work is subcontracted across a diverse range of businesses – with certified LGBT-owned businesses now included in that definition.

Massachusetts is the first state to pass such an order. It is often a leader on LGBT rights, passing same-sex marriage into law in 2004 – more than a decade before the Supreme Court brought it to all 50 states.

The changes brought in this week with guidance from the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce are expected to impact the estimated 21,000 LGBT-owned businesses in Massachusetts, while also increasing commitments to other minority groups.

NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson said: “Nothing says ‘the Spirit of America’ like an equal seat at the table for every business owner who wants one. Massachusetts continues its tradition as a leader in LGBT rights by living up to its slogan and creating greater access to the American Dream.

“We thank Governor Baker’s administration for their commitment to the LGBT community in Massachusetts.

“LGBT-inclusive supplier diversity means that there will be greater LGBT business visibility across Massachusetts. Economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society.

“We now call upon leaders in states with large LGBT business populations, like New York, Illinois, and others to follow the precedent set by Massachusetts to create equal business opportunities for LGBT citizens nationwide.”

NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell said: “This historic precedent will offer other states—and the entire federal government—a replicable framework to promote the intentional inclusion of certified LGBT Business Enterprises into their procurement and contracting codes.

“As we saw with the over 200% increase in LGBTBE certifications following California’s AB1678 mandate, we expect a major increase in applications for job-creating, economy-innovating LGBT businesses throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Related topics: business, Charlie Baker, Employment, Gay, governor, LGBT, Massachusetts, Politics, US

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