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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Orlando wants to be the first Florida city to create a network of certified LGBTQ businesses

Posted By on Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 5:45 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE
  • Photo by Joey Roulette
Orlando wants to become the first city in Florida to create a network of certified LGBTQ-owned businesses that would better include them in the city's contracting and training opportunities.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioner Patty Sheehan introduced the resolution Tuesday calling for the inclusion of LGBTQ community-owned businesses in future opportunities with the city. The proposal is scheduled for a vote before City Council at the April 8 meeting.

The resolution would allow city officials to develop a base and registry of LGBTQ-owned businesses recognized by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce's certification process. It will also provide a means for the city to monitor and track usage of LGBTQ-owned and certified businesses in the procurement of goods and services with the city, as well as develop training programs and services to ensure the businesses are informed about future opportunities.

In other words, it's a path forward for LGBTQ-owned businesses in Orlando to flourish.

"Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our local economy and the reason why we have such a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and business-friendly environment," Dyer says in a statement. "We must work together to continue to foster an environment that advances opportunities for all."

Dyer adds that the resolution "ensures that LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in Orlando will have the opportunity to create jobs and develop innovations that benefit all who live in the most inclusive city in America."

Sheehan, who represents District 4, says it's another means of removing barriers.

"One of the misconceptions about including LGBTQ+ owned businesses, or those of any other diverse community, is that someone else's opportunity decreases as a result," Sheehan says. "That simply isn't so. No one loses when everyone is given a fair shot to win."

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