Business

Cities Around The Country Are Adding LGBT Businesses To Their Diversity Supplier Programs, And Chicago Could Be Next

By Abdel Jimenez
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Abdel Jimenez reports, “For years, city and local governments around the country have had proactive programs that encourage minority- and women-owned businesses to compete for public contracts. LGBT companies have not consistently been included in those programs, but that’s starting to change.”

Chicago Tribune

When Jackie Richter formed her construction company in 2011, there were few resources to turn to as an LGBT business owner.

Richter, a transgender woman who co-owns Byron-based Heels and Hardhats Contracting with her wife Cyndi Richter, found early work as a subcontractor for a larger construction company. But after looking for city procurement programs that welcomed businesses like hers, she realized she was out of luck.

“All we ask is for a seat at the table,” Richter said. “Give us a chance.”

For years, city and local governments around the country have had proactive programs that encourage minority- and women-owned businesses to compete for public contracts. LGBT companies have not consistently been included in those programs, but that’s starting to change.

Political leaders in Chicago and Cook County are in early discussions about changing their procurement policies to allow LGBT businesses in their supplier diversity programs.

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