New Legislation allows LGBTQIA+ Businesses to Register with the City of Pittsburgh’s Procurement Platform
PITTSBURGH, PA (April 27, 2021) – During today’s Regular Meeting of Pittsburgh City Council, Councilperson Erika Strassburger, and Councilman Bruce Kraus will introduce legislation allowing LGBTQIA+ businesses to specifically register with the City of Pittsburgh’s procurement platform, Beacon. This would allow LGBTQIA+ businesses not only to self-identify, but to gain access to the full suite of business development and trainings that the City offers the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE’s). Councilperson Strassburger partnered with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as well as their local affiliate The Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA), Mayor Bill Peduto, the City’s Law Department, Office of Management & Budget, Equal Opportunity Review Commission (EORC), and the Office of Equity to ensure that LGBTQIA+ Businesses are properly recognized, honored, and included within the City of Pittsburgh’s business community.
“It has been my honor to work with the Three Rivers Business Alliance, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor’s office as well as many other City departments and Commissions to put pen to paper and allow LGBTQIA+ business owners to more easily participate and do work with the City,” said Councilperson Strassburger. “This bill represents one more step in our march toward equity here in Pittsburgh. I’m hopeful this will help expand and grow our city's LGBTQIA+ businesses that are already making a positive impact here.”
“Thanks to the work of our Equal Opportunity Review Commission and Office of Equity to remove barriers and improve procurement processes, the City has increased the number of contracts awarded to minority and women-owned business enterprises and invested over $23 million in the growth of these small businesses,” said Mayor William Peduto. “I am proud to support this legislation sponsored by Councilperson Strassburger and Councilman Kraus that will expand the City’s efforts and enable the City to work with LGBTQIA+-owned firms. Pittsburgh’s economy only grows stronger when we uplift diverse businesses.”
“I am delighted to sponsor this much-needed legislation that Councilmember Strassburger has introduced”, said Councilman Bruce Kraus. In Pittsburgh, our pride as a city is based in unity. This legislation brings us closer to creating a City that is welcoming for all, with a more unified vision for the future that we want to build.”
The City of Pittsburgh is invested in creating a healthy, diverse, inclusive, and thriving business environment so that business owners and consumers of all backgrounds will feel at home here. In addition to opening up this new option for business owners, the City will now be able to track and collect data from LGBTQIA+ businesses, allowing the City to better support these businesses through state and federal funding initiatives.
“Thanks to the leadership of Pittsburgh City Councilperson Erika Strassburger and of our local affiliate chamber, the Three Rivers Business Alliance, LGBT entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh region will now have the opportunity to create jobs and develop innovations that benefit all who live there. Pittsburgh has a legacy of leadership in promoting inclusivity throughout the many industries that power its economy. Now Governor Wolf’s historic 2016 Executive Order including LGBT Business Enterprises throughout Pennsylvania will take root and grow in the city economies across the Commonwealth. 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-owned business can supply it.’ We are excited to see LGBTBEs in every field, from construction to catering and everything in between, help grow the economy of Pittsburgh and beyond,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson and CEO Chance Mitchell.
“Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) thanks Pittsburgh City Councilpersons Erika Strassburger, Bruce Kraus, and the rest of the members of the Pittsburgh City Council for the opportunity they have created for LGBT business owners and professionals in the Pittsburgh region. With this legislation, Pittsburgh joins the growing number of metropolitan areas which include NGLCC-certified LGBT Business Enterprises among the City’s pool of certified companies to ensure they have equitable access to contracting and procurement opportunities throughout the City. For LGBT citizens, this inclusive initiative provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout the Greater Allegheny region. We are glad to be a part of this historic legislation, and we look forward to working with other municipal authorities and private companies to diversify their supplier networks,” said 3RBA’s President Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.”
City code already recognizes Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. Now the City of Pittsburgh’s Code will include Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual Business Enterprise (LGBTBE).
The Equal Opportunity Review Commission oversees all contracting for the City of Pittsburgh, ensuring that all businesses have the same opportunity to work with the City and participate in requests for proposals. If you or someone you know would like to register their business with the City of Pittsburgh’s e-procurement service, please contact the EORC by phone at (412) 255-2543, (412) 255-2528, or online at https://pittsburghpa.gov/beacon/index.html.