New Jersey Offers State Certification of Businesses as LGBTQ+-Owned
Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 295 instructing the New Jersey Department of the Treasury to establish a State-backed certification program for LGBTQ+-owned business enterprises. Certification, which will be free of charge, would expand access to public and private contracting opportunities and enable businesses to proudly identify as LGBTQ+-owned in their advertising.
The State already has certification programs in place for small businesses and businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, and disabled veterans. Last year, Treasury began waiving the $100 fee for these businesses to become certified. Under the program to be established by Treasury per Executive Order No. 295, businesses that are majority-owned and operated by one or more individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ can become certified for free as an LGBTQ+-owned business. Certification provides State-backed documentation of a business’ status, which can be beneficial in pursuing contracting opportunities at the local, state, and federal level, as well as in the private sector.
Treasury will establish rules and regulations to effectuate the Executive Order and work to ensure the procedures used to certify LGBTQ+-owned businesses are on equal footing with the procedures used to certify other types of businesses. Treasury will also be authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with, or accept certifications by, other public and private certifying entities whose standards are similar to the ones developed by the department.