On Tuesday, April 27, 2021, Pittsburgh Councilpersons Erika Strassburger and Bruce Kraus introduced legislation allowing LGBTQ+ businesses to register with the City of Pittsburgh’s procurement platform. This will allow NGLCC-certified LGBTQ+ businesses to gain access to the full suite of business development and trainings that the City offers Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE’s).
“It has been my honor to work with the Three Rivers Business Alliance [(3RBA)], the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce [(NGLCC)], the Mayor’s office as well as many other City departments and Commissions to put pen to paper and allow LGBTQIA+ business owners to more easily participate and do work with the City,” said Councilperson Strassburger. “This bill represents one more step in our march toward equity here in Pittsburgh. I’m hopeful this will help expand and grow our city's LGBTQIA+ businesses that are already making a positive impact here.”
“I am delighted to sponsor this much-needed legislation that Councilmember Strassburger has introduced,” said Councilman Bruce Kraus. “In Pittsburgh, our pride as a city is based in unity. This legislation brings us closer to creating a City that is welcoming for all, with a more unified vision for the future that we want to build.”
City code already recognizes Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses as part of its DBE program. Once passed, today's legislation will amend the City of Pittsburgh’s Code to include NGLCC-certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) as a DBE.
Both the NGLCC and 3RBA expressed their gratitude for the introduction of this legislation. “Thanks to the leadership of Pittsburgh City Councilperson Erika Strassburger and of our local affiliate chamber, the Three Rivers Business Alliance, LGBT entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh region will now have the opportunity to create jobs and develop innovations that benefit all who live there. Pittsburgh has a legacy of leadership in promoting inclusivity throughout the many industries that power its economy. Now Governor Wolf’s historic 2016 Executive Order including LGBT Business Enterprises throughout Pennsylvania will take root and grow in the city economies across the Commonwealth. This victory for inclusivity has once again proved our core values that ‘diversity is good for business’ and that ‘if you can buy it, a certified LGBT-owned business can supply it.’ We are excited to see LGBTBEs in every field, from construction to catering and everything in between, help grow the economy of Pittsburgh and beyond,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson and CEO Chance Mitchell.
“Three Rivers Business Alliance thanks Pittsburgh City Councilpersons Erika Strassburger, Bruce Kraus, and the rest of the members of the Pittsburgh City Council for the opportunity they have created for LGBT business owners and professionals in the Pittsburgh region. With this legislation, Pittsburgh joins the growing number of metropolitan areas which include NGLCC-certified LGBT Business Enterprises among the City’s pool of certified companies to ensure they have equitable access to contracting and procurement opportunities throughout the City. For LGBT citizens, this inclusive initiative provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout the Greater Allegheny region. We are glad to be a part of this historic legislation, and we look forward to working with other municipal authorities and private companies to diversify their supplier networks,” said 3RBA’s President Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.
City Council will vote on the legislation at its upcoming May 5, 2021 Standing Committee meeting.