Newark, NJ. February 13, 2024 – In a historic move to bolster the LGBTQ+ business community, the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce (NJPCC) alongside the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC), has taken significant steps to support LGBTQ+-owned businesses across the state. This collaboration comes in the wake of Executive Order 295, establishing a state-backed certification for LGBTQ+-owned businesses, a pivotal development in New Jersey’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the business sector.
Key milestones include:
- Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Enabling State Certification of Businesses as LGBTQ+-Owned
- The launch of a certification portal by the Department of the Treasury, as announced by Governor Phil Murphy and Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio, facilitates the registration of LGBTQ+-owned businesses.
- Immediate implementation of support systems by NJSBDC, including a State-Wide identifier option in their registration process and a survey email to 13,000+ current clients to update their profiles with the new identifier.
- Hosting an NJThrives webinar featuring Gus Penaranda, Executive Director at NJPCC, to announce and discuss the new certification available for LGBTQ+ businesses.
- Testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee by Kelly Brozyna, State Director and CEO of NJSBDC, advocating for the formalization of Executive Order 295 into law, ensuring permanent support for the LGBTQ+ community within the MWBE program of NJ.
Gus Penaranda commented on the efforts, “The testimony delivered by the State Director and CEO, Kelly Brozyna, before the Senate Commerce Committee on Monday provided compelling evidence regarding the positive impact on the state’s economy. It underscored the attractiveness of establishing businesses in New Jersey. Notably, since the enactment of Executive Order 295, there has been a notable surge in application submissions for LGBTQ+ certification. Formalizing this Bill into law would not only serve the interests of the LGBTQ+ community but also yield substantial benefits for the state and its broader business landscape.”
These initiatives affirm the NJPCC and NJSBDC’s dedication to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all businesses, ensuring that LGBTQ+ enterprises have access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.
The New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce aims to promote the economic well-being and growth of LGBTQ+ and allied businesses in New Jersey. Through advocacy, education, and networking, the NJPCC is a pivotal resource for businesses and professionals across the state.
The New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) is the premier provider of comprehensive services and programs for small and mid-sized businesses in New Jersey. Through a network of 11 regional centers and over 20 affiliate/satellite offices, the NJSBDC offers no-cost consulting, training, and resources, empowering entrepreneurs to start, grow, and prosper in the Garden State.