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Inclusive City Procurement

Inclusive City Procurement

Release Date: 2019-04-09

Dear Friends, 

Last night at City Council, I championed an effort to advance procurement inclusion and outreach to the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, and business owners with disabilities. Long Beach will be the first city in California to recognize the nationally approved third-party certifications for these business owners. When the City spends money on projects, we should do everything we can to include all local business owners in the process, so everyone has an opportunity to compete for bids.
 
Long Beach has come a long way to support our local business community, and we are proud of our economic inclusion efforts through the citywide Everyone In campaign. The City has existing programs to engage small businesses, disadvantaged businesses, and minority- and women-owned business enterprises in our procurement and purchasing process.
 
But we still have a lot of work to do to make our procurement process as inclusive as possible. We know that LGBTQ+-owned businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the national economy, and locally we have a thriving LGBTQ+ business community. We are also proud of the incredible businesses owned by veterans and people with disabilities throughout Long Beach.
 
The Council action last night aims to recognize more diverse businesses for City projects and to include businesses that are majority owned by people who identify as LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with disabilities in the City's supplier and vendor databases. To help conduct additional outreach, we will begin recognizing the third-party certifications for these businesses through organizations like the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of CommerceNational Veterans Business Development Council, and Disability:IN.
 
This type of supplier diversity is a best practice of the private sector and an ever-growing number of cities and states nationwide, and Long Beach is a leading municipality within California on this effort. By recognizing and including more diverse businesses in the City’s procurement database, we will encourage more innovative and competitive bids for City projects, decrease overall bid prices, and inspire more community members to become entrepreneurs and small business owners.
 
Thank you especially to the Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (LBGLCC) for their advocacy to bring this item forward. “The door of opportunity is open for our members at the Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, veterans and people with disabilities,” said Joe Mendez, President of the LBGLCC. “I’m proud of our city for becoming more inclusive in their procurement outreach and their continued efforts to make Long Beach a great city!”
 
Long Beach is certainly proud of our efforts to work with small business owners, and we are proving that the only way to have a thriving ecosystem for local business is to cultivate a diverse economy and an inclusive community. Go Long Beach!
 
My staff and I work hard daily to ensure that the First District is a safe and fun place for all to live, work, and play. If you need any assistance, please call my office at 562-570-6919 or email District1@longbeach.gov. 

All my best,

LENA GONZALEZ
Councilwoman, First District
City of Long Beach