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National Resolution

Hailing LGBT entrepreneurs, small business owners

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U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Mark Pocan, D-Wis., have introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) entrepreneurs and small business owners to our nation’s economy. 

Murphy, Ros-Lehtinen, and Pocan (the only LGBTBE serving in Congress) introduced the resolution in honor of LGBT Pride Month, which takes place each June and celebrates the LGBT community in the United States and around the world.

According to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, there are an estimated 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses across the United States operating in a wide variety of industries, including consulting, marketing, construction, legal services, and defense contracting.  These businesses contribute more than $1.7 trillion to America’s economy.  

Since 2004, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) has been providing LGBT certification to businesses that are at least 51% LGBT-owned, managed or operated.  These LGBT-certified companies report an average of $2.5 million in annual revenues.  By comparison, a 2017 report by the National Small Business Association found that less than 40 percent of small businesses reported revenues greater than $1 million.

“LGBT entrepreneurs and small business owners are the backbone of so many communities across our nation,” said Ros-Lehtinen, a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.“Stephanie, Mark, and I are proud to recognize the contributions of these individuals who are job creators and move our economy forward.  Our country is strengthened when every profession reflects our national character.”

“I’m excited to join my constituents in celebrating Pride Month and to give credit where credit is due,” said Murphy, a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.  “For years, LGBT entrepreneurs and business owners have worked hard to strengthen our economy and enrich our communities.  I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution with Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Pocan to shine a light on the many contributions of our nation’s LGBT job creators.”

“LGBT-owned businesses play an important role in our nation’s economy, driving innovation, job creation, and economic growth,” said Pocan, a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and the only LGBT-certified small business owner serving in Congress.  

“This Pride Month, we should all celebrate the diversity of our nation’s economy and continue working to break down the barriers to success that hold back LGBT-owned businesses. I’m proud to introduce this resolution along with Congresswomen Murphy and Ros-Lehtinen, and make clear our commitment to ensuring that our economy is open and inclusive for all entrepreneurs.”

"We are so pleased that this resolution affirms what we have observed at NGLCC since our founding nearly twenty years ago: that America’s LGBT business owners are driving our economy ever upward and deserve every opportunity to keep creating jobs and innovating our industries that benefit all Americans,” said National LGBT Chamber of Commerce Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson and Co-Founder and CEO Chance Mitchell in a joint statement.  “The estimated 1.4 million LGBT business owners NGLCC advocates for and certifies as LGBT Business Enterprises have truly earned a place at the table of opportunity in both the public and private sectors.  We thank Representatives Stephanie Murphy, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Mark Pocan for their leadership, and to all Members of Congress who believe in a fully inclusive economy that celebrates the diversity of America.” 

The Resolution

Recognizing the accomplishments and the economic contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Recognizing the accomplishments and the economic contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Whereas according to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), there are an estimated 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses across the United States;

Whereas over 1,000 businesses are NGLCC-certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) and majority owned, operated, managed, and controlled by LGBT Americans;

Whereas LGBT-certified companies reported an average of $2.5 million in annual revenues and contribute over $1.15 billion to the United States economy;

Whereas if all estimated LGBT-owned businesses in America are combined, the economic contribution exceeds $1.7 trillion;

Whereas the majority of certified LGBT-owned businesses are located in the States of California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Georgia with support provided by a network of affiliated LGBT chambers of commerce throughout the United States;

Whereas certified LGBT-owned businesses have created over 33,000 jobs in the United States;

Whereas certified LGBT-owned businesses survive an average of 12 years, despite the national average for small business closures being 5 years;

Whereas LGBT entrepreneurs have started successful small businesses across a wide variety of industries, including consulting, marketing, construction, legal services, and defense contracting;

Whereas a certified LGBT-owned firm was selected as the 2016 Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Administration; and

Whereas despite decades of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBT entrepreneurs and small business owners continue to fight for equal opportunities across key aspects of life such as employment, housing, and credit:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives recognizes the accomplishments and economic contributions of LGBT entrepreneurs and small business owners in the United States.