Local gay businessman Chris Forbrich has been elected chairman of the Bexar County SMWBE Program Advisory Committee, a group that works with the county to increase small, minority and women-owned business participation and procurement in Bexar County projects.
According to the Bexar County SMWBE (Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise) Program website, there are over 45,000 small, minority, women, disadvantaged and veteran owned businesses in Bexar County. The program was initiated in 2001 by the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court.
The SMWBE Program Advisory Committee works with the program’s staff to help these businesses make contact with local governmental purchasing and procurement programs which buy goods and services. These efforts make it easier for the county’s small business to compete and prosper.
Fifteen people sit on the SMWBE Program Advisory Committee. Each County Commissioner and the County Judge appoints three members, all of who serve a two-year term. One of the newest committee appointees is Latina lesbian attorney Rosie Gonzalez.
For the past 10 years, Forbrich has owned the information technology company Forbrich & Associates, LLC. His business was the first in the city to be certified by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as an LGBT Business Enterprise, giving it an opportunity to take advantage of contracting opportunities with other certified, equality-minded companies.
Forbrich says he first became aware of NGLCC’s certification program while in the course of doing research for a SMWBE Program presentation.
Forbrich is also active in local politics. He sits on the board of the San Antonio chapter of the League of Women Voters and is co-chair of the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio. He has run twice for City Council and once for Bexar County Clerk. He previously served as the secretary of the Bexar County Democratic Party.