New Jersey opens certification portal for LGBTQ+-owned businesses
This comes a year after certification for LGBTQ-owned businesses was established through executive order.
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On April 5, Governor Phil Murphy and Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio announced that the New Jersey Department of Treasury has opened a certificate portal that will handle the state-backed certifications for LGBTQ+-owned businesses. It is currently accepting registrations.
The certifications were established last year through Executive Order 295 and were created to give LGBTQ+-owned businesses access to contracting opportunities with the private sector, as well as the local, state, and federal levels.
"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," he continued.
Gus Penaranda, Executive Director of the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce, said, "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.”
For businesses to qualify as LGBTQ+-owned it has to 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+.” This means the LGBTQ+ person(s)’ involvement in the business needs to go beyond pro forma ownership and they have to show authority over the affairs of the business.
Other criteria include the business being considered a “going concern”, its business entity, and if it has the correct licensing.
After a business receives certification, its contact information will be posted to the Selective Assistance Vendor Information (SAVI), a public database that is available to be used by all contracting authorities.
“I am immensely proud of the work we’ve done in New Jersey to open up opportunities to underrepresented communities. 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,” said Treasurer Muoio.
The portal can be found here. The $100 certification fee has been waived indefinitely.