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LGBT businesses in US offered guidance on how to access federal support

Nine LGBT Business Builder events will take place across the country this year – with the first coming to Massachusetts next month

LGBT businesses in US offered guidance on how to access federal support
L-R: Mark Gibson (SBA), David Perry (SBA), Sam McClure (NGLCC) and Eugene Cornelius, Jr. (SBA)

Are you gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and running your own business in the US? The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) has just announced its next first batch of LGBT Business Builder sessions for 2016.

The announcement took place Tuesday at a special conference in Washington D.C. held in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The events have the support of the SBA.

The first LGBT Business Builder events took place in 2015. They’re designed to be business education and resource-sharing events. In a statement from NGLCC, ‘the LGBT Business Builder is intended to further the LGBT movement through the economic advancement of LGBT entrepreneurs.’

Each day-long event will look at how businesses can become LGBT-certified through the NGLCC, and then how they can access loans and other support through the SBA.

In 2016, there will be nine LGBT Business Builder events – almost double the number of 2015.

This first events of the year will take place in Boston, MA on 17 February and Houston, Texas on 24 February, followed by Portland, Oregon, on 9 March. Further events will follow in Minneapolis, MN (April – specifi date to be confirmed), Seattle, WA (May), Washington D.C. (June), Milwaukee, WI (July), Charlotte, NC (September) and Nashville, TN (October).

The NGLCC said that the choice of cities to host Business Builder stemmed from a desire to ensure the regional development of LGBT businesses across the US.

Last year, Business Builder events took place in four California cities. This followed the implementation of California Assembly Bill 1678, which opened up procurement opportunities for LGBT businesses with California public utility companies.

In November, Massachusetts became the first US state to offer LGBT businesses special access to government contracts, just like business enterprises owned by other minorities. An executive order to that affect was signed into law by new Governor Charlie Baker. It’s in recognition of this that the first LGBT Business Builder of 2016 will take place in Boston, MA.

The choice of Houston, TX, as the destination for the second Business Builder is because the city is hosting Super Bowl 51, and LGBT businesses will be included – alongside other minority-owned businesses – in procurement opportunities.

Speaking at Tuesday’s press conference, SBA Deputy Associate Administrator for Field Operations Eugene Cornelius, Jr said of the LGBT Business Builder, ‘It is an attempt on our part to introduce our community to the viable services that are available to them. As taxpayers they are entitled to the services that we have.’

LGBT Business BuilderToday National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce-NGLCC and the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the schedule for our 2016 LGBT Business Builder events. What is #LGBTbizBuilder? Check out this video.

Posted by National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce-NGLCC on Tuesday, 12 January 2016


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