NJ Waives SMWVBE Certification Filing Fees for National Small Business Week

TRENTON — During National Small Business Week, State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio announced that the Department of the Treasury will be indefinitely waiving the $100 filing fee to become certified as a Small, Minority, Woman, or Veteran-owned Business Enterprise (SMWVBE).

“We are kicking off National Small Business Week by opening the door wide for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses who are looking to do business with the State,” said Treasurer Muoio. “Treasury is continuously striving to find ways to make doing business with the state easier and more intuitive, especially when it comes to businesses looking to get their foot in the door and pursue contracting opportunities with the State.”

Beginning June 1, Treasury will start waiving the $100 fee to become registered as an SMWVBE. Registration is already free to become certified as a Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise. Additionally, New Jersey business owners are already permitted to register their business for as many certification categories as they are eligible. Businesses can apply for certification in any of these categories through Treasury’s online portal.

Certification as a Small, Minority, Woman, Veteran or Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise provides state-backed documentation of a business’ status and allows businesses to compete in select set-aside or goal-based contracting initiatives offered by State agencies, including the Small Business Enterprise Set-Aside Program, which sets a goal of awarding 25 percent of state contracting and purchase orders to small businesses, and the Disabled Veteran-Owned Set Aside Program, which awards three percent of state contracting and purchase orders to businesses that are owned and operated by service-disabled veterans.

Treasury’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is also in the process of conducting a statewide disparity study, which may allow for additional set aside programs to be authorized in the future for other subsets of the SMWVBE universe.

“Today’s announcement marks an important step to strengthen the state’s commitment to supporting diverse businesses,” said Hester Agudosi, Chief Diversity Officer. “Waiving the fee associated with minority, women and veteran-owned business certification removes a monetary barrier to accessing the State’s supply chain that is real for many minority, women, LGBTQ, and veteran business owners. As an NJ certified MWBE, both public and private sector organizations and firms have access to your profile for considering solicitations for prime and sub-contract opportunities.”

As part of Small Business Week, Treasurer Muoio also joined other state filing officers from across the country (typically the Secretary of State in most states) for the #BizSchemeSOS awareness campaign launched this week to help businesses and individuals avoid potential scams and fraudulent activity.

Treasury is also launching its own awareness campaign – #Treasury4Biz – to encourage businesses and individuals to avail themselves of the many services the department offers, including free online filing tools through e-government partner Gov2Go, which offers a wide range of mobile and other online self-service applications that cover the entire life-cycle of a business, saving time and providing easier ways to ensure filings are up-to-date with the state.

“During Small Business Week, we are trying to raise awareness about the valuable services provided by our department to help protect New Jersey businesses and enable them to thrive,” said Treasurer Muoio. “The campaign is designed to encourage people to use the services provided by our department to detect and respond to fraudulent practices or activities, as well as the many other services we provide to assist with the day-to-day activities of running a business.”

Treasury is encouraging businesses and individuals to consult with the business services program offered by the department’s Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, which includes guidance on how to file and register a new business, annual filing requirements, online certification to become a Small, Minority, Woman, Veteran, or Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise, Uniform Commercial Code filings, and helpful information and answers if a business is worried about being the target of fraudulent activities or scams.

The program also provides the business community with accurate, credible information about their business status, as well as how to maintain good legal standing with the State and avoid unnecessary fees, filings, and suspicious actors.

Treasury’s numerous divisions, including DORES and Taxation, work in tandem with multiple state agencies in offering numerous assistance tools and funding programs to support New Jersey’s business community, including the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the NJ Business Action Center operated by the Department of State, and the NJ Economic Development Authority.





KDW Partners
Eric Kainer & Rasul Damji
865 Ridge Road
Princeton, NJ 08852
Tel: 908-741-4314
Website: www.kdwpartners.com

For the past year, NJSBDC Procurement Consultant, Andy Bennett, has been working with KDW Partners located in Princeton, New Jersey.  The firm, owned by technology-savvy finance and marketing professional, Eric Kainer, and growth and transformation executive Rasul Damji, features Ambedded Technology advanced storage systems and Modulan cabinets and containment systems for large data centers and smaller computer rooms.  

Upon Andy’s recommendations, KDW added the technology leading, American-made LED lights from Pennsylvania-based Independence LED Lighting. Independence LED Lighting offers the highest quality, longest-lasting, highest efficiency lights in the world. As a result of adding Independence LED Lighting to their product line, KDW has seen exploding demand, both within its data center target market, and beyond. Demand for LED lighting has emerged from the Federal government, local government, commercial businesses, and even retail environments.

In April, SBDC Procurement Specialist Andy Bennett also introduced the firm to a New Jersey-based steel-manufacturing partner that is currently producing prototypes for KDW. In the same month he introduced another NJSBDC client, The Maximum Group LLC, which is working with KDW in business promotion and marketing.

To date, Andy has assisted the firm with over $1 million in negotiation support with Tier-1 construction companies in both Pennsylvania and Colorado. These negotiations were for KDW’s modular data center cabinets and containment. Andy also worked with the firm on a proposal for LED lighting systems for municipalities in Northern New Jersey with applications spanning libraries, schools, municipal buildings, and public housing.

In August 2017, Andy assisted KDW with negotiating and landing a $900,000 commercial contract with a Colorado-based construction company for LED lighting and CPU metal cabinets. And in November, one of the northern New Jersey municipalities (noted above) awarded KDW a contract for LED lighting that resulted from RFP research and review that Andy provided to the company’s business owner, Eric Kainer.

NJSBDC’s Procurement Specialty Program, through Andy Bennett, also introduced the firm to two contacts at Rutgers University’s purchasing department, and continues to work with KDW in business development, marketing, and contract negotiations support.

NJSBDC’s support of KDW and their perseverance has resulted in great outcomes!

America’s SBDC New Jersey Sponsors Women Warriors in Business

Joined by Expert Panelists and News12 New Jersey Executive Producer

America’s SBDC New Jersey was joined by event primary sponsors of “Women Warriors in Business,” including M&T Bank and Prudential Financial. Partners who also engaged included the U.S. Small Business Administration, The American Legion, PSE&G and The State of New Jersey’s Business Action Center, a key state funding partner of the NJSBDC network.

Ivy Charmatz, an Emmy Award-winning executive producer for news and special projects at News12 New Jersey, was the featured speaker for America’s SBDC New Jersey Women Warriors in Business program. This high-impact women entrepreneur and leadership symposium and luncheon held on May 11, 2017 at 8:00 am until 2:00 pm, took place at Rutgers Business School in Newark, NJ.

Chamatz is a graduate of Rutgers University and stated that the event offered “an opportunity for women to come together and realize that although our paths may be different, our journeys are similar.” She stated that she enjoyed “spending the morning with so many accomplished professionals to share some of their insight and inspiration.”

The “Women Warriors in Business” program helped women explore leadership challenges and opportunities in business and careers, identify competitive advantages, help with personal and organizational branding, access lenders for financing, and utilize procurement certifications that are necessary when it comes to competing for public/private contracts.

Joining Charmatz at the gathering were Stephanie D. Burroughs, senior procurement consultant for NJSBDC’s Specialty Procurement Program, Tendai Ndoro, Ph.D., regional director of the NJSBDC at Rutgers-Newark, Kate Muldoon, regional director of the NJSBDC at William Paterson University, Pasqualina DeBoer, assistant regional director of the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College, Stacy Smollin Schwartz, marketing professor, Rutgers Business School, Dominick Belfiore, small business and entrepreneur specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration, Don Newman, director of small business advocacy at The State of New Jersey’s Business Action Center and representatives from the private sector including Michele Litzky, president of Litzky Public Relations, Cheryl McCants, president and chief executive officer of Impact Consulting Enterprises, Beverly Winkler, director of organizational engagement, learning and development at PSE&G, Dawn Fitch-Mitchell, director of diversity at DDB Worldwide, Maureen Fairfax, vice president of strategic sourcing at Prudential Financial, Lindsey C. Holmes, chief executive officer and lead strategist of Usable Tech and Andaiye Taylor, founder and editor of BrickCityLive.com.

The event attracted more than 75 women from different business careers and paths and highlighted women in the military, veterans and military dependents. Shy Hopkins, NJSBDC’s network Headquarters marketing program coordinator helped organize and plan the event, with Eugene Spillane of the U.S. SBA and Bob Looby of The American Legion. NJTV provided coverage.


America’s SBDC New Jersey, also known as the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) program, has been assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs for 37 years. It was one of the first pilot projects in the nation.

NJSBDC is part of a national network of SBDCs and goes through formal national accreditation every four to five years. There are up to 1,000 offices throughout the United States promoting business development and growth and generating thousands and thousands of jobs for Americans.

NJSBDC’s 12-center network provides comprehensive assistance for small businesses in all 21 counties. The SBDC network helps entrepreneurs to start new businesses and assists existing and established businesses (at different stages) to further develop and grow, sustaining economic growth in communities across the state. The strong historical record of NJSBDC’s economic impact for New Jersey cannot be underestimated; its business experts touch the lives of countless numbers of small business owners and operators who tap the network for guidance on an array of operational issues, including but not limited to: Business planning, strategic planning, accounting, financial analysis, legal organization, taxes, recordkeeping, marketing, E-Business, International Trade (exporting), Sustainability, Procurement opportunities, Technology-Commercialization, etc. The program brings back to the state federal dollars for small business support, but, federal funding must be matched dollar for dollar. That’s why the State’s investment in SBDC matters! NJ lags behind the investment levels of other states in their statewide SBDC networks.