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New Jersey Governor Signs Executive Order Elevating LGBT+ Business Owners to SMWBE Status

New Jersey Governor Signs Executive Order Elevating LGBT+ Business Owners to SMWBE Status

May 9, 2022 Off By Human Rights - Social Gov

Human Rights - Social Gov originally published at Human Rights - Social Gov

Governor Murphy signs an executive order elevating LGBT+ business owners to SMWBE status

In this historic LGBT+ victory, during National Small Business Week, NJ became the fourth state in the nation to recognize LGBT+-owned businesses.

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES, May 9, 2022 / — Governor Phillip Murphy signed EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 295 on Tuesday, May 3rd calling for the inclusion of certified New Jersey LGBT+ owned and operated businesses to be elevated among the State’s pool of suppliers to bid on public projects.

The New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce (NJPCC), formerly known as the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce, helps to prepare its members to become certified as LGBT Business Enterprises® (LGBTBEs®) by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the only certification body for LGBT-owned businesses in the country. NJPCC is the state’s official affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber, the business voice of the LGBTQ+ community.

NJ Pride Chamber has grown its membership by 60% since the start of 2022, making it the fastest growing professionals network in New Jersey.

“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 Phillip 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.”

“New Jersey has once again proven itself to be a proud ally of the LGBT community. Including LGBT-owned businesses in Treasury’s Uniform Certification System, currently used by SMWBE businesses, will allow more equitable participation for these businesses in the state’s economic initiatives and hopefully attract new LGBT businesses to relocate to New Jersey,” said Augusto Penaranda, NJPCC’s Executive Director.

“LGBT entrepreneurs are statistically very likely to encounter a number of socioeconomic disadvantages 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 existing M/WBE program, providing them with more equitable access to bids and contracts that could completely change the trajectory of their companies.” says NJPCC President, Stephen Blazejewski.

The Governor commemorated the moment by hosting a public signing event at Union Coffee House in Lambertville, NJ on Tuesday afternoon. Union Coffee House is owned and operated by Carolyn Gabois, a NJ Pride Chamber of Commerce member who proudly identifies as LGBT+. In attendance were NJ State Treasurer Liz Muoio, Lambertville Mayor Andrew Nowick, Christian Fuscarino of Garden State Equality, and NJPPC’s Blazejewski and Penaranda.

This executive order ensures that New Jersey is not only committed to diversifying its economic landscape, but is also leading the nation in extending additional equal rights to the LGBT+ community. Collectively, LGBT-owned businesses contribute $1.7 trillion dollars into the national economy.

The New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce along with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce will continue to work with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury to ensure successful implementation of this certification initiative and provide assistance to LGBT business owners in the state who are looking to become certified.



Since 2013, the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce has been the premier LGBTQ+ and allied business organization committed to facilitating successful business collaboration and increasing the economic staying-power of its diverse membership. As an inclusive platform for business visionaries, the Chamber is the first stop for LGBTQ+ and allied entrepreneurs seeking to grow and access opportunities. Its primary mission is to promote the economic growth and development of the local community, and help to better serve its members’ businesses by providing resources and opportunities for education, networking, and community engagement.

For more information, please visit or connect with the NJ Pride Chamber of Commerce on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The NJ Pride Chamber of Commerce is an official affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). It offers LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) Certification ® as a benefit of membership with the organization. Certified LGBTBEs are routinely sought after by over 300 NGLCC Corporate Partners who are looking to increase their spend with the LGBTQ+ business community. Certified LGBTBEs are also eligible for scholarship programs, mentorship and leadership training, and other business development tools.

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Human Rights - Social Gov originally published at Human Rights - Social Gov