On February 25, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) recognized Rhodes Perry Consulting, LLC as an official LGBT Business Enterprise® (LGBTBE) through the NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative (SDI). The SDI was established in 2004 to enhance the economic empowerment of LGBT entrepreneurs by cultivating relationships between LGBT owned businesses and some of the nation’s largest corporations and government agencies with the end goal of increasing procurement opportunities.
The NGLCC is the exclusive third party certification body that verifies eligible businesses for the designation, and has certified 794 businesses over the past decade. The organization verifies that a certified LGBTBE is majority-owned by LGBT people, exercises independence from any non-LGBT business enterprise, is located in the US, and is in good legal and financial standing. Once a business gathers all of the necessary paperwork, certification typically takes around four to six weeks.
LGBTBE certification offers important economic empowerment opportunities given that states like California and Massachusetts, counties like Essex County, NJ and municipalities like Cleveland, OH now require a certain percentage of government spending to be awarded to LGBT diverse suppliers. These requirements help level the playing field for traditionally under-utilized businesses by eliminating unnecessary barriers to participation. Taking this action empowers more business enterprises, including those owned by LGBT people, to fairly compete amongst their peers.
These changes offer federal, state, and local governments an important framework to promote the strategic inclusion of certified LGBT Business Enterprises into their procurement and contracting requirements. Following California’s LGBT supplier diversity mandate, the NGLCC saw a 200 percent increase in LGBTBE certifications. As more states and localities continue to expand procurement opportunities for diverse suppliers, more LGBT entrepreneurs will have the ability to share their talent, services and products with businesses that can benefit from them.
For over three decades, corporations have known what government agencies are just now realizing – hiring diverse suppliers is good for the bottom line. In fact, a 2006 study confirmed that corporations prioritizing supplier diversity realized a 133 percent return on procurement investments compared to competitors that did not utilize them. Businesses that prioritize supplier diversity often turn their commitment into a strategic business advantage through promoting them. These companies market their commitment to supplier diversity because they believe it is something their employees and customers care about. Companies have also directly attributed supplier diversity programs to gains in new markets, such as LGBT consumers.
Clearly, supplier diversity initiatives are a win-win for both the LGBT entrepreneur seeking greater exposure along with corporations looking to increase the bottom line. LGBTBE certified diverse suppliers like RPC offer a source of innovation and cultural input into the design and delivery of products and services, which enable organizations to better address consumer needs and stay ahead of their competition. Supplier diversity efforts stimulate consumer loyalty, as many prospective customers prefer to utilize services and products from companies that share values similar to their own. To learn more about RPC, and supplier diversity, please visit: http://www.rhodesperry.com/supplier-diversity/.