The mayors of Hoboken and Jersey City have issued matching executive orders creating new disadvantaged business contracting programs in their cities. While both cities previously had programs for the benefit of woman-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses, now similar programs have been expanded to cover businesses owned by LGBT people, disabled people, and veterans.
"We are excited to come together as neighboring communities to help empower members of underrepresented groups in the local economy," said Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. "Hoboken and Jersey City are tied together, with many local businesses having a presence in each, and residents of each city often spend a lot of time and resources in the other. Together, we are committed to sending the message that our region is an open and welcoming place to all with equal economic opportunities for everyone, regardless of identity."
The certification is third-party in nature, meaning that neither city will themselves perform any function relative to assigning such a status to businesses, but will rely on certain specified certifications offered by other governmental agencies or trade organizations. The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) has been designated as the certifying organization for LGBT-owned businesses, with Disability:IN (a national disability-in-business organization) performing that role for disabled-owned businesses, and an array of national-level certifications for veteran-owned businesses (including the one offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA) being accepted by the cities.
Benefits of these programs include various types of assistance with business development and training, as well as the intent of the cities to use such certified businesses to their fullest extent in the public procurement process. The NGLCC has stated that they hope the executive orders will help build momentum behind the passage of laws in the state legislature that will extend similar programs for statewide contracts.