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Which is the best state for LGBT businesses?

The first state to legalize same-sex marriage a decade ago is making LGBT history again.

Gov. Charlie Baker has put Massachusetts in front of 49 other states in providing economic opportunity to LGBT-owned contractors and suppliers.

On November 3rd, the governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts issued an executive order making Massachusetts the first state to include LGBT-owned businesses in a program that requires contractors bidding on a state project costing more than $150,000 to commit to spending a percentage of the money on diverse subcontractors and suppliers. Massachusetts introduced the supplier diversity initiative in 2010 to provide minority- and women-owned businesses with equal access to state contracts.

“The goal is to provide a much higher quality product by opening up opportunities for others to play who know they can do the work but have been basically shut out because of a series of very complex and in most cases unnecessary barriers to participation,” said Gov. Charlie Baker

He later addressed concerns that the changes are about giving a leg up to preferred businesses. In response, Baker noted that the changes are about “leveling the playing field. The people who have a leg up are people who have resources and infrastructure to meander their way through a very complex and at times somewhat nonsensical procurement process here in Massachusetts.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce will certify businesses as LGBT-owned, if 51 percent or more of the business is owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.

This story was originally found on advocate.com

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