Yesterday, that National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), issued a statement calling for the reinstatement of LGBT business resources on the Small Business Administration (SBA) homepage. Hampton Roads Business Outreach (HRBOR) is an active member of the NGLCC.
Rep. Yvette Clarke and House Small Business Committee Ranking Member Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez previously sent SBA Administrator Linda McMahon a letter pressing the agency to find out why it has deleted online resources that previously existed to assist LGBT entrepreneurs. The statement is attributed to NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson and Co-Founder and CEO Chance Mitchell:
Our work with the Small Business Administration over the last decade has ensured more LGBT business owners than ever before have access to the information, certifications, and resources available to them that allow their businesses to compete for their piece of the American Dream. The NGLCC is pleased to see the SBA reinstate LGBT entrepreneurial resources on their website, just days after the Congressional letter was sent and a conversation between Administrator McMahon and myself was held. Clearly she and the SBA recognize that LGBT business owners across the nation bring countless innovations, contribute over $1.7 trillion to the GDP, and create tens of thousands of jobs where they live. America’s LGBT entrepreneurs, and in fact very diverse community, should be given unfettered access to opportunities to succeed at every level of government and in every marketplace. We thank Reps. Velázquez and Clarke for their leadership in ensuring greater inclusion for all businesses owners in America.
During the Obama administration, the SBA undertook significant efforts to engage with LGBT-owned businesses. In 2012, the SBA signed a memorandum of understanding to work with the then National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. In 2015 the SBA and NGLCC jointly launched an LGBT Business Builder campaign, which included a national tour of day-long training sessions and networking events to connect LGBT entrepreneurs to NGLCC and SBA resources, and to help them obtain federal contracts. That program won a prestigious award from Harvard University for its innovative approach to support entrepreneurs. In 2016 the SBA named Equator Coffees & Teas its first ever LGBT winner of the Small Business of the Year designation.
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses.