New Jersey Next to Include LGBTQ-Owned Businesses in State Economic Opportunities

May 3, 2022 | For Immediate Release

Trenton, NJ — The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is proud to announce that Governor Phil Murphy has signed an Executive Order declaring New Jersey as “open for business” with the LGBTQ business community. The order will help track valuable data on the diversity of New Jersey’s entrepreneurs, and will also establish a path to the inclusion of Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers in small business development initiatives & procurement opportunities. This policy is possible thanks to the leadership of Governor Murphy and his team, as well as through close collaboration with our partners at the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce.

“We couldn’t agree more with Governor Murphy’s statement in 2018 that ‘Social progress cannot be achieved without economic progress,’” says NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. “Now, New Jersey continues its tradition as a leader in LGBT rights by living up to its promise and creating greater access to the American Dream. We thank Governor Murphy’s administration for their commitment to the LGBT community – and to all business owners – throughout New Jersey. This victory for inclusivity has once again proved our core values that ‘diversity is good for business’ and that ‘if you can buy it, a certified LGBT-owned business can supply it.’ We are excited to see LGBTBEs in every field, from construction to catering and everything in between, help grow the economy of New Jersey and beyond.” 

NGLCC is the exclusive third-party certifying body for Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) companies. Over 1/3 of Fortune 500 companies recognize this certification and partner with NGLCC to create fully LGBT-inclusive supply-chains. The LGBT business owners NGLCC represents generate over $1.7 trillion in economic impact, and create jobs and innovate business solutions nationwide. Additionally, NGLCC is the leading public policy advocate working to include Certified LGBTBE® businesses in procurement opportunities at the federal, state and local level.

“Enabling the certification of businesses as LGBTQ+-owned will encourage the success of these enterprises by enhancing their visibility, providing them with an extra layer of authenticity in their business ventures, and demonstrating that they are welcome and vital participants in our economy,” said Governor Murphy. “I am honored to support the endeavors of entrepreneurs from a historically underrepresented community through the creation of this certification program. New Jersey will always value the contributions of our LGBTQ+ community.”

Other recent advocacy wins for NGLCC Certified LGBTBE® suppliers include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Houston and Nashville, as well as statewide opportunities with Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and California.

“We at the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce are grateful for Governor Murphy’s continued dedication to advancing the interests of the LGBT business community throughout the Garden State,” says NJPCC President, Stephen Blazejewski. “LGBT entrepreneurs are statistically likely to encounter a number of socioeconomic hurdles when starting their own business. Thanks to Governor Murphy’s leadership, LGBT-owned businesses in New Jersey will now be included in the state’s economic development initiatives, helping ensure more equitable access to bids and contracts that could completely change the trajectory of their companies.”

“At the Independence Business Alliance, the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, we are so pleased by Governor Murphy’s order to purposely include LGBT-owned businesses in the state’s economic development initiatives and procurement opportunities. We’ve seen how life changing this can be for businesses in Pennsylvania, and we are beyond grateful that the New Jersey businesses in our membership will have access to similar opportunities. What we know is this: bringing more diverse businesses to the table is a win for everyone, and LGBT business owners are taxpayers, innovators, and job creators that make economies thrive,” said Zach Wiilcha, Independence Business Alliance Executive Director.

Coupled with the educational, mentorship, networking and access to capital programs offered by both the national and New Jersey chamber networks, business owners from across all diverse communities in the region will see fresh opportunities to thrive.

“The addition of the great State of New Jersey to the ever-growing list of public sector economies will offer other states—and the entire federal government— more precedent to promote the intentional inclusion of Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® companies into their own procurement and contracting codes,” says NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell.  “This victory for inclusion reflects a growing trend in the northeast for collaboration between NGLCC, our local affiliates, and our government partners.  New Jersey’s policy would not be possible today with the recent precedents we established in partnership with the Independence Business Alliance adding LGBTBEs statewide in Pennsylvania, nglccNY adding LGBTBEs in New York City, and the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce advancing LGBTBE inclusion in Baltimore and in measures currently before the state legislature.  As we saw with the over 200% increase in Certified LGBTBE® designations following California’s AB1678 mandate, we expect a major increase in applications for job-creating, economy-innovating LGBT businesses throughout the State of New Jersey.” 

LGBT business owners wishing to begin the certification process to contract with the NGLCC can find information and an application at my.nglcc.org.  Additional information on the implementation of this policy will be shared by NGLCC and the New Jersey network in the months ahead.

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NGLCC Media Contact:

[email protected] | 202.234.9181

About the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce:

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, known as LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) companies. www.nglcc.org

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