LGBT-owned businesses get diversity boost

In this Nov. 6, 2014 photo provided by Johnny Shryock, Sonia Luna poses for a photograph at her office in Los Angeles. California just passed a law, first of its kind, requiring utility companies to target gay-owned companies in their procurement efforts. Luna, who is the founder of a small accounting and auditing consulting company, hopes the new law will open more doors and make it easier for her to compete for contracts. (AP Photo/Johnny Shryock)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Businesses owned by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender entrepreneurs are getting a boost from new programs designed to help them compete for contracts.

Federal agencies, organizations such as the National Football League and more than one-third of Fortune 500 companies have started making explicit efforts to encourage bids from LGBT contractors.

A first-of-its-kind law that took effect in California on New Year’s Day goes a step further by requiring large utility companies to report how much they spend with LGBT-owned companies each year.

The little-known outreach efforts mirror long-standing “supplier diversity” initiatives aimed at creating economic opportunities for businesses owned by racial minorities, women and disabled veterans.

To be certified as LGBT-owned, applicants must submit documents proving ownership and demonstrate their lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual status through personal references or other evidence.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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