Jane Castor signs executive order creating class for LGBT-owned businesses

The move is aimed at bringing more diversity and inclusivity to city projects.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor signed an executive order Tuesday creating a small business category specifically for the LGBT business community. It’s aimed at reaching more LGBT-owned businesses to participate in city projects and increase diversity within the city’s procurement process. 

The executive order directs the city’s purchasing and contract administration departments to revise procurement policies to recognize and identify certified LGBT-owned business enterprises.

The city already recognizes minority, women and small-business enterprises in its procurement processes. Such classifications do not offer special treatment during city contract bidding, but the city does track such classified businesses to ensure inclusivity in its business dealings. 

The move is part of Castor’s goal to make the city’s bidding process more accessible to small businesses or those owned by disadvantaged communities. 

The executive order also requires the city to partner with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to certify LGBT-owned businesses and provide additional support to those businesses. 

Under the order, the NGLCC will provide independent scholarship programs, mentorship and leadership training, networking opportunities, or other business development tools to further support LGBT business enterprises in Tampa.

The city will track participation among LGBT-owned businesses in its procurement process to ensure inclusivity. 

The policy shift does not require additional city funding or staff. 

The executive order notes that Tampa “already adheres to non-discrimination, affirmative action, and equal employment opportunity policies that includes LGBT individuals with regard to individual hiring practices and public accommodations.” 

“Such inclusion is a best practice conducted by large corporations,” the order notes. 

The policy shift is the latest in Castor’s effort to bring greater diversity to the city’s procurement process, which had been criticized for favoring certain groups over others.

Castor recently launched a small business tour called Bridges to Business through neighborhoods to provide information to small businesses on how to participate in the city’s procurement process.

The new policy takes effect immediately.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Cogent Observer

    August 14, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    No one can object to someone making a lifestyle choice that doesn’t harm anyone else. Nor, for that matter, if the predilection toward the lifestyle is biological.

    But Jane, creating by executive fiat, or in any other way, a special class for LGBT so that they may prosper in business is genuinely idiotic. A business prospers or fails mainly because of its goods, services, prices, or customer service. If one chooses not to patronize a LGBT-owned business, much less financially support it, who are you-anybody-to say otherwise? To make it worse, you’re doing this with public dollars.

    Jane–you’ve been in government far too long and have lost any sense of judgment or reality. You seem to have fallen into the pit of doing irrational things to ensure votes and remain on the public dole.

    • Raitional Adult

      August 15, 2019 at 11:23 am


    • gary

      August 15, 2019 at 3:53 pm

      The Democrats are all about division through separation by gender, race , ethnicity or class! It’s how they pander to get votes! Simply pathetic!

Comments are closed.


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