Orange County adopts policy to keep track of LGBTQ-certified businesses

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Orange County government at Come Out with Pride 2019. (from Orange County Government Facebook page)

ORLANDO | Orange County commissioners unanimously agreed to a policy last week that would require county staffers to create a database of LGBTQ-certified businesses.

These businesses must be at least 51% owned and operated by LGBTQ people and be certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce as an LGBT Business Enterprise.

This database is a way for Orange County staffers to see how often the county collaborates with LGBTQ businesses and to formally recognize these businesses in the county’s outreach efforts, including training programs and educating the businesses about the county’s vendor registration system.

“By this resolution, we are saying we are a county that is business-friendly to those from the LGBTQ+ community,” Mayor Jerry Demings told the Orlando Sentinel.

Jonathan Lovitz, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce senior vice president, said Orange County will be the first Florida county to include LGBTQ-owned businesses in these “contracting and procurement opportunities.”

This policy is following in the footsteps of one passed by the City of Orlando in April, which made Orlando the first Florida city to recognize LGBTQ-owned businesses in this way.

According to the resolution, in 2018, the City of Orlando had the highest LGBTQ population by percentage in Florida and the 10th highest population out of all cities in the U.S. This pushed the Board of County Commissioners to formally declare Orange County “open for business” to LGBTQ-owned businesses.

“For LGBT citizens of Orange County, this inclusive policy provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout the region,” Lovitz said to the Orlando Sentinel.

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