To make this diversity spend common practice
Celebrating the Pride month, Suna Solutions (Suna) begins a new mentoring program with Pride Resource Partners (Pride). The mentorship program will help Pride to develop and fulfil diversity spend needs through various industries with a focus on the Utility sector.
Currently, there is no mandated spend for LGBT-owned companies. However, Suna and Pride will encourage an assigned percentage spend of 1.5% on LGBT-owned businesses. In October of 2019, Senate Bill 255 (Bradford, Chapter 407, 2019) updated the Utility Supplier Diversity Program to require regulated utilities to submit annual procurement data related to LGBT business enterprises. The Bill also requires community choice aggregators (CCA) with gross annual revenues exceeding $15 million to submit an annual plan that goes into greater detail for increasing LGBT spend.
It was not until June 11 of 2015 that General Order 156 was expanded to include LGBT-owned businesses as a part of the Supplier Diversity Program. Although great progress has been made to distinguish historically underutilized businesses (HUB), Suna and Pride are cohesively working together to pass additional legislation that would make this diversity spend common practice and not just an ambitious goal.
Suna has provided human capital solutions over the last decade to clients across the United States and will utilize its established network to gain access to additional opportunities for Pride. By taking advantage of Suna’s national presence, Pride hopes to provide functional staff expertise, advice, and counsel to make a lasting effect on LGBT businesses.
Suna will advance the growth and development of Pride by providing education on how to market their business to agencies and corporations in their target market, granting access to corporate resources and increasing visibility through business relationships.
After being contacted by a Fortune 500 company, Joe Maak CEO of Pride said, “previously, LGBT companies weren’t seen as DBE companies (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises). Now people are realizing there is a large pool of very talented people out there who have not been afforded the same opportunities as others.”