Commissioner Simpson promotes opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises at aviation conference
(Trenton) - At a conference to promote opportunities for small businesses in the aviation industry, New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson said transportation is a key sector of the New Jersey economy where opportunities abound for businesses of all sizes.
At the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Small Business Procurement Opportunities Training Conference held yesterday in Atlantic City, Simpson encouraged small business owners to network with large aviation contractors because federally funded projects generally require prime contractors to divert a portion of the contract value to disadvantaged businesses.
While set-asides present important opportunities for small businesses, Simpson said old-fashioned salesmanship and direct contact with those who purchase goods and services are also keys to successfully generating sales revenue.
“Small firms ought to network with larger firms who need to subcontract out portions of big projects, but opportunities extend beyond those avenues,” Simpson said. “Creating a business-friendly climate in New Jersey for businesses of all sizes is a core objective of the Christie Administration.”
The State of New Jersey Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program – administered through the Department of the Treasury with NJDOT – has a goal of awarding 25 percent of the value of state-funded contracting and purchase orders to small businesses each year. Through March, SBE participation is at 19.5%, with 103 construction and professional service contracts awarded to SBE’s at a value of over $22.4 million.
To be eligible for this program a business must operate with fewer than 100 full-time employees and must be independently owned and operated, with management being responsible for both its daily and long- term operation as well as owning at least 51 percent interest in the business. Businesses also must be incorporated or registered with the Division of Revenue to do business in the state and have its principal place of business in New Jersey.
NJDOT, partnering with NJ TRANSIT and The Port Authority of NY/NJ, seeks to ensure that Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) have an equal opportunity to participate in federally funded construction contracts. NJDOT set a goal for federal Fiscal Year 2011 of 15.61% DBE participation throughout all construction contracts. Through March of this year, DBE participation is at 15.38%, with 8 prime contracts worth more than $19 million awarded to DBEs, and 119 subcontractor commitments adding up to more than $17 million.
To be eligible for DBE certification a business must be a for-profit small business where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% of the business and control management and daily business operations.
NJDOT is planning an information session for DBEs in September at NJDOT Headquarters in Ewing. Interested business owners can contact Paul F. Sprewell, Manager of DBE and Small Business Programs, NJDOT Office of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action at (609) 530-4735 for further information.