Certification Designed to Open Doors to Contract Opportunities at the Federal, State and Local Levels
TRENTON – Following up on an Executive Order 295 issued last year establishing a state-backed certification for LGBTQ+-owned businesses, Governor Phil Murphy and Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio announced today that the Department of the Treasury has opened up a certification portal and has begun accepting registrations.
The new certification is designed to help LGBTQ+ - owned businesses grow and thrive by opening doors to pursue contracting opportunities at the local, state, and federal level, as well as with the private sector.
"I was proud to sign an executive order establishing state-backed certification for LGBTQ+ owned businesses and I am thrilled to see that action become reality with the opening of the certification portal,” said Governor Murphy. "These certifications will support the LGBTQ+ community by enhancing economic opportunities while providing them with a stronger foothold that allows for authenticity and visibility for their businesses. In New Jersey, we wear our diversity as a badge of honor, and this certification furthers our commitment to the LGBTQ+ community by supporting them in their entrepreneurial endeavors."
“I am immensely proud of the work we’ve done In New Jersey to open up opportunities to underrepresented communities,” said Treasurer Muoio. “With this new certification program, we will be able to encourage and support LGBTQ+ business owners as we do small, minority and women owned businesses, as well as those owned by veterans, to ensure that they’re readily identified and able to pursue contracting opportunities throughout the state."
"The NJ Pride Chamber has been waiting for this day for a long time, and we greatly appreciate all the work the Murphy administration and Treasury have done to make the launch of the certification process possible,” said Gus Penaranda Executive Director of the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce.
“Today, we are another step closer to lived equality with the opening of the certification portal for LGBTQ+ businesses,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “This process will ensure that LGBTQ+ people who have been historically overlooked for opportunities because of discrimination and exclusionary practices will have a fair shot in running a thriving business. We are thankful to the Murphy administration for staying true to their mission of a stronger and fairer economy and ensuring that queer and Trans people are included in that vision.”
In order to qualify as a LGBTQ+-owned business, the business must be a sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation, or other business, which is at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by persons who identify as LGBTQ+. The business must also be considered a “going concern” with sufficient resources needed to continue operating indefinitely by normal industry standards.
Other criteria are as follows:
Once a business has obtained certification, its contact information will be posted to a public database called Selective Assistance Vendor Information (SAVI), which is available for use by all contracting authorities.
The certification process is live and may be accessed online here. The $100 fee normally charged for certification has been waived indefinitely.