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New Jersey Advances LGBTQ Businesses

By Charlotte Robinson, March 20, 2024

A bipartisan bill to codify a state certification process for LGBTQ business owners is now heading to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s desk creating opportunity for businesses to win funding, contracts, or other initiatives offered by state agencies. When signed into law the bill would codify the certification that already exists under an executive order Murphy issued in 2022. The state treasury already offers similar certification for businesses owned by women, people of color & veterans. This legislation codifies a state certification process for LBGTQ business owners which opens up opportunities for funding & contracts reserved for diverse demographics. Although certification already existed under an executive order that Governor Murphy issued in May 2022, the legislation passed gives it the power of state law & ensure the certification remains in place after Murphy leaves office. Gus Penaranda, New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce told lawmakers that membership in his business group quadrupled after Murphy issued his executive order stating, “People have been waiting not just to be recognized by the state in which they pay taxes & hire employees & provide services & resources, they want to make sure that this is not going to go away anytime soon. As we all know, executive orders can be taken away.” Cathy Renna concluded, “This is tremendous news for the LGBTQ community in New Jersey. A key organization that has lobbied & advocated for this legislation is the New Jersey LGBTQ Pride Chamber, of which I am a proud member & advisory board member.” 

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