In Philadelphia, there is a movement to add LGBT-owned businesses to the government protected list for public contracts. Governments on a city, state, and federal level include under represented groups in purchasing decisions in an effort to provide opportunities to businesses both large and small. “In 2016, 30 percent of the $991 million Philadelphia awarded in city contracts went to firms owned by racial minorities, women or people with disabilities.” Now the LGBT community is looking to be added to this list to benefit from the annual opportunities.
While it may seem like a reasonable idea for the LGBT community, being added to the list of under represented individuals is not as easy as it sounds. “First, the groups have to prove they are really disadvantaged, which would require a city study looking at whether LGBT businesses are subject to bias in city contracting. Philadelphia city officials and LGBT advocates are still in talks about when the study will be launched. On the Pennsylvania state level, meanwhile, the governor last fall kicked off a study looking into how to protect LGBT businesses and other groups from discrimination in government contracting.”
When this study will take place is anyone’s guess but the foundation does seem to be forming. We will see if this can expand opportunities for the LGBT community in the future, but for now, slow growth is taking place.