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Kentucky's Largest City Embraces LGBTQ-Owned Businesses

Louisville

The city of Louisville, the biggest city in Kentucky, passed an ordinance earlier this month making it easier for LGBTQ-owned businesses to nab city contracts and procurement opportunities.

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce lobbied for the ordinance, which will offer NGLCC-certified business enterprises a foot in the door when it comes to obtaining more work through the city of Louisville, where over 600,000 people reside.

NGLCC works to foster opportunities for LGBTQ-owned businesses, which add over $1.7 trillion to the national economy annually and create tens of thousands of new jobs.

“History has once again been made here in the South, and 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 Business Enterprise] can supply it,’” NGLCC co-founder & president Justin Nelson said in a statement. “We are excited to see LGBTBEs in every field, from construction to catering and everything in between, help grow the economy of Louisville and beyond.” 

The ordinance identifies actions Louisville's Department of Procurement Services can undertake to encourage participation by LGBTQ-owned businesses, as well as disability-owned businesses.

“With the passage of this ordinance, our city is saying we are open for business to every Louisvillian regardless of color, gender, who you love, or if you are disabled,” Louisville Councilmember Jessica Green, lead sponsor of the ordinance, said in a statement. “It doesn’t cost us anything to be compassionate and to be business minded. Moreover, it is something we can do today. It is a good day to be a business owner in the city of Louisville. It is a great day for all Louisvillians.”  

This policy is the first of its kind in Kentucky, but several other large cities have passed similar pro-LGBTQ business ordinances, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Seattle, and statewide ordinances have passed in California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, NGLCC sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that urged any COVID-19 relief legislation include benefits for small businesses and nonprofits. The Democratic-led House passed a relief package on Friday, but McConnell, a Republican, left Washington for the weekend. 

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