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SBA Supports & Celebrates LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs During This Time of Recovery

Release Date: 
Friday, June 25, 2021
Release Number: 
21-0625KY
Contact: 
michael.ashcraft@sba.gov

By Janita R. Stewart, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Southeast Acting Regional Administrator

During Pride Month in June, the U.S. Small Business Administration and its field offices celebrate the contributions and perseverance through the COVID-19 pandemic that LGBTQ+ small business owners continue to demonstrate. We celebrate the resilience of the nation’s LGBTQ+ business community and their positive impact on our communities, refocusing our efforts on inclusion.

Throughout the Southeast Region and our nation, the collective economic power of LGBTQ+ Americans is undeniable. LGBTQ+-owned businesses contribute nearly $2 trillion to our economy annually and create many jobs along the way. This Pride Month, it’s clear that embracing the vibrant diversity of the LGBTQ+ community isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s also good for business.

SBA’s network for LGBTQ+ businesses expands year after year and will continue to grow. The SBA wants to ensure that more LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs have equal access to the tools and resources they need to not only start and grow successful small businesses and create jobs, but also recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. SBA Recovery programs may be found here.

The SBA has programs that help Americans position themselves to achieve economic equality and inclusion. The Agency provides access to a diverse menu of SBA's programs and services. SBA field offices assist these efforts by conducting ongoing training and outreach activities throughout the community to expand access to small business programs and free technical assistance.

The SBA encourages LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs to consider participating in federal contracting. LGBTQ+ small firms may qualify as small, disadvantaged businesses (SDB) and may be eligible for certification in our Agency’s 8(a) Business Development program. There is a 5% statutory annual goal assigned to 24 major federal buying agencies to award prime contracts to SDBs, many of which are 8(a) firms. Regionally, the 8(a) firms located in the Southeast are awarded over $3.2 billion in contracts.

The SBA maintains an active LGBT Outreach Page, proudly supporting LGBTQ+ businesses with inclusion and outreach to economically empower the entrepreneurs in this community. If you are interested in certifying your LGBT-owned business, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce offers a certification for LGBTQ-owned small businesses for small firms to create supplier diversity opportunities among a national network of inclusive companies.

By supporting small businesses, the SBA encourages entrepreneurs to build back better and grow, leading to more people being hired in the communities where they operate. As the Biden-Harris Administration focuses on unlocking access to capital and strengthening opportunities for America’s diverse small businesses, our Agency will make its vast essential resources available to ensure long-term success and staying power for entrepreneurs.