Linden Neighborhood Conversation

Melanie Crabill
Director of Media Relations
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Kevin Kilbane
Director of Communications
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Media Advisory
News Date: June 29, 2022

City of Columbus Launches Certification Program for LGBTQ+ Businesses

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther today announced a partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to certify Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) to increase their participation in city procurement and contracting opportunities, and expand access to training, networking, outreach and engagement programs. 

“The LGBTQ+ community is integral to every facet of our city and deserves every opportunity to thrive,” said Mayor Ginther. “By expanding equity in our programs and practices, we do the right thing by becoming a more inclusive city while driving competition, generating potential savings and improving the quality of services for our residents.”

Businesses interested in seeking LGBTE certification will apply via the NGLCC website. The NGLCC utilizes a thorough, fully accredited certification process with the following eligibility requirements:

  • “LGBTBE” shall mean a registered business that is an independent and continuing for-profit operation performing a commercially useful function.
  • At least 51% is independently owned, operated and controlled by one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons who are either a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Owner must have all filings, licenses, permits and authorities required by law to perform the scope of work.
  • Be located in the United States.

The partnership with the NGLCC will be administered by the city’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which also provides similar certification opportunities for Small Local Business Enterprises (SLBEs), Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), Women Business Enterprises (WBEs), Emerging Business Enterprises (EBEs) and Veteran Business Enterprises (VBEs). Certification across multiple categories is permitted, as applicable, and further expands access to city contracts and DE&I programming. 

“Expanding the city’s certification categories to include LGBTQ+ businesses supports our overall goal of being an open and inclusive city,” said City of Columbus Chief Diversity Officer Damita Brown. “It expands opportunities for small businesses and helps all of us grow and thrive in ways that promote equity, access and prosperity.”

For more information on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s programs and services, visit