Nashville Mayor Signs Bill Protecting LGBT Businesses

Nashville Mayor David Briley signed an executive order Monday to help LGBT-owned businesses.

The executive order includes LGBT-owned businesses as a recognized category for Metro Procurement.

According to the mayor's office, this makes Nashville the first city in the South to recognize LGBT-owned businesses in this manner.

Briley says the order will help "reflect the diversity of Nashville in its hiring practices, contracting and economic development opportunities through the delivery of equitable programs, services and policies."

"It’s my job as mayor to make sure that everyone in our city, regardless of who they are or where they come from, has equal access to economic opportunities," said Briley in a statement. "Today, we’ve taken an important step towards better equity for LGBT-owned businesses in Nashville. I am proud to sign this executive order and look forward to seeing these Nashville businesses flourish."

The mayor's office says they hope tracking LGBT-owned businesses and their contract bids will help Metro officials better understand the availability of LGBT firms and assess if they are contracting with them equally.

"We are thrilled that Mayor Briley signed this much-needed executive order today," said Joe Woolley, CEO of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. "This has been at the top of our advocacy list for quite some time. Mayor Briley embraced the idea and even put in a $25,000 grant to the Chamber so we could grow LGBT-certified businesses that were ready to do business with Metro. We are proud to see Nashville become the first city in the South to recognize LGBT-certified businesses."

The executive order is expected to accomplish the following:

Modify the business registration documents related to procurement to allow for self-identification as an LGBT-owned business
Develop a process to acknowledge LGBT certification and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as the certifying entity, in collaboration with the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce as their local affiliate
Monitor and track usage of LGBT-owned businesses in the procurement of goods and services for the Metropolitan Government
To the fullest extent permitted by Tennessee law and the Metropolitan Code, provide LGBT-owned businesses with similar programs and services as those offered to Minority, Service Disabled, Small, and Women-owned businesses in Davidson County to ensure such businesses are familiar with how to do business with the Metropolitan Government and are informed about procurement opportunities.