The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today a partnership which seeks to help owners of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender enterprises.
The SBA is partnering with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce on an initiative dubbed LGBT Business Builder that seeks to pool expertise and resources from the SBA’s district and regional offices and the chamber’s 38 affiliate chapters.
Businesses will learn how to leverage the chamber’s LGBT-owned business certification and explore the SBA’s various services that help small companies gain government contracts, export goods and obtain capital.
“Today’s announcement is about ensuring that entrepreneurs who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have the support they need to excel. I’m here because we cannot separate the fight for civil rights from the fight for market rights and economic empowerment,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet in a press release. “This agreement is not about what we will do here in D.C., but we will do together in all 50 states to help LGBT entrepreneurs grow their revenues and their payroll.”
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Daylong training sessions will be held in the next 24 months for LGBT business owners in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco.
The SBA is looking into hosting an LGBT outreach event in North Carolina, possibly toward the end of the summer, wrote Mike Arriola, deputy director of the North Carolina district office, in an email.