Florida Competes: The New Face of Businesses for LGBT Non-discrimination

Today, we’re proud to launch the brand new Florida Competes website—the new, one-stop hub for businesses large and small to get involved with the 450+ member coalition making the economic case for statewide LGBT non-discrimination protections.

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Businesses know that in order to compete in a global market, Florida needs policies in place that attract investors and top talent. That’s why 450+ businesses—from Fortune 500s to local mom-and-pops—have joined the Florida Competes coalition, formerly known as Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce, in support of updating our state’s non-discrimination laws to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

LGBT non-discrimination policies have become best practice in corporate America. A full 82 percent of Fortune 500s have explicit policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, according to a recent report.

Increasingly, laws that reflect these policies are prerequisite for investors. And states that are viewed as condoning anti-LGBT discrimination are being passed over.

North Carolina is a perfect case study. After passing HB 2—a law viewed widely viewed as giving explicit “license to discriminate”—the state saw catastrophic business backlash. PayPal, Deutsche Bank, and CoStar all cancelled major planned expansions. The NBA, NCAA, and ACC relocated cash-cow championship games. All told, the state lost nearly $1 billion dollars in a mere 6 months in forfeited investments, conventions business, and tourism revenue.

Florida benefitted from the fallout when the ACC relocated its football championship game to Orlando—a city with LGBT non-discrimination protections.

The Sunshine State has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation—but in order to continue competing in an increasingly global market, statewide LGBT non-discrimination protections aren’t negotiable.

If you are a small business owner, learn more about the Florida Competes business coalition and join here.

And for live updates, “like” Florida Competes on Facebook and follow @FLCompetes on Twitter.