The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) now recognizes LGBTQ-owned businesses as minority-owned businesses. In addition to resources like educational programs and consulting, certified businesses are eligible for government contracts—valued at $25 billion.
The measure, approved on Tuesday (Jan. 19, 2021) by the SBS, makes New York City the largest city in America to officially recognize LGBTQ-owned businesses. Certification is awarded by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), and can be applied for here. Registration is also required with the SBS.
Previously, NYC's only certified businesses as minority-owned if they were owned by women or people of color. Including LGBTQ businesses in the category provides them with access to a variety of resources and opportunities.
Significantly, LGBTQ-owned businesses can now serve as suppliers for city contracts, with $25 billion over the next five years specifically earmarked for minority-owned businesses.
NGLCC estimates that there are 1.4 million LGBTQ-run businesses in the U.S., generating $1.7 trillion annually.
Partner Joseph Milizio, head of VMM's Business & Transactional Law and LGBTQ Representation practices, is a founding member of the NGLCC NY Long Island Committee. He was recently interviewed in their news blog.