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.





The Malachia Brantley Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Nathaniel Sims, Small Business Management Consultant & Advisor


America’s SBDC New Jersey recognizes Nathaniel Sims for his solid, strong track record in supporting small business ownership and entrepreneurship in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) network lost one of its greatest contributors in assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs with the passing of Senior Business Advisor and Management Consultant Nathaniel (“Nat”) Sims this past May 2017.

Today, on behalf of America’s SBDC New Jersey, we provide this Excellence Award posthumously in remembrance of his strong dedication to assisting small business owners, veterans, and entrepreneurs in pursuit of their small business dreams.

He contributed greatly to our small business assistance program and provided guidance to countless numbers of entrepreneurs and small business owners in his various capacities over the years as Assistant Director and Director of the NJSBDC at Kean University and subsequently as Senior Consultant, specializing in veterans’ assistance, for NJSBDC Headquarters and the entire network. He helped hundreds of veterans either to start a business or expand their existing business.

Nat was a compassionate and caring person and a man of integrity. His business acumen and skills imparted great knowledge for clients of the NJSBDC program. He helped many small business clients along the road to success. He will be forever missed as one of our most giving Team members.

Through a lifetime of selfless service and dedication to the New Jersey small business community, his positive attitude and passion to help others made a difference and contributed greatly to the successful outcomes of many small businesses in our state.

Mr. Sims was posthumously awarded the Veteran Owned Small Business, Mentor of the Year Award for his tireless efforts and dedication for Veteran small business owners by The American Legion on June 8th, 2017.   

He sets an example for all of us to further bolster the mission of entrepreneurship and small business ownership.


SBDC Regional Director at Ramapo College of New Jersey Receives “State Star” Award

America’s SBDC “State Star” award was presented to Regional Center Director Vincent Vicari of NJSBDC at Ramapo College of New Jersey during America’s SBDC national conference in Nashville, Tennessee (September 4-8).

Each of the 50-state SBDC networks nominates their staff members who exhibit excellence in assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses, promoting greater opportunities for growth, thereby, contributing greatly to the state and national Small Business Development Center program. Vicari was recognized from New Jersey’s SBDC.

“We recognize Vincent Vicari for his strong efforts and leadership in assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs who seek help with their business operations,” said Brenda B. Hopper, NJSBDC network chief executive officer and state director. “The Center provides quality support for its business clients and also delivers specialized assistance for veterans.”

“We are grateful for Vince’s leadership at the Center,” said Anisfield School of Business Dean Ed Petkus of Ramapo College, located in Mahwah, NJ. “We are extremely proud to have our Center’s Director recognized at the national conference of America’s SBDC. His strong passion to help business owners leads to great results. He has made our Ramapo Center and its services very visible throughout Bergen County.” The Anisfield School of Business is AACSB accredited.

“Vincent Vicari’s contributions to the statewide Small Business Development Centers program are appreciated,” said Deborah Smarth, NJSBDC network chief operating officer and associate state director. “His diligence with small business owners and his strong advocacy with various public and private stakeholders in the Center’s service region add value to our program.”

“I am honored to receive this recognition,” said Vincent Vicari. “Providing advice and guidance to small businesses to help them develop and grow is rewarding. The staff of regional centers statewide and the support by NJSBDC Headquarters enhances the program’s impact. The success of our clients statewide illuminates NJSBDC’s success, also.”

Vince Vicari is a Bergen County native who joined the NJSBDC network in 2008 as Assistant Director. He was appointed as the center’s regional director a few years later. Vicari’s successful and wide-ranging career includes positions in retail management, sales, food service, higher education and consulting. His credentials include an M.B.A. from National University in San Diego, a B.A. from William Paterson University, and an A.A.S. from Bergen Community College. Mr. Vicari continues to pursue education in specialized areas like land surveying, tax, technology and international trade. He has many years of teaching experience as an adjunct faculty member at four-year higher education colleges/universities in the area of business management and has co-authored and published academic papers in this field.