TRENTON — During National Small Business Week, State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio announced that the Department of the Treasury will be indefinitely waiving the $100 filing fee to become certified as a Small, Minority, Woman, or Veteran-owned Business Enterprise (SMWVBE).
“We are kicking off national Small Business Week by opening the door wide for small, minority, women, and veteran owned businesses who are looking to do business with the State,” said Treasurer Muoio. “Treasury is continuously striving to find ways to make doing business with the state easier and more intuitive, especially when it comes to businesses looking to get their foot in the door and pursue contracting opportunities with the State.”
Beginning June 1, Treasury will start waiving the $100 fee to become registered as an SMWVBE. Registration is already free to become certified as a Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise. Additionally, New Jersey business owners are already permitted to register their business for as many certification categories as they are eligible. Businesses can apply for certification in any of these categories through Treasury’s online portal.Certification as a Small, Minority, Woman, Veteran or Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise provides state-backed documentation of a business’ status and allows businesses to compete in select set-aside or goal-based contracting initiatives offered by State agencies, including the Small Business Enterprise Set-Aside Program, which sets a goal of awarding 25 percent of state contracting and purchase orders to small businesses, and the Disabled Veteran-Owned Set Aside Program, which awards three percent of state contracting and purchase orders to businesses that are owned and operated by service-disabled veterans.
Treasury’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is also in the process of conducting a statewide disparity study, which may allow for additional set aside programs to be authorized in the future for other subsets of the SMWVBE universe.
“Today’s announcement marks an important step to strengthen the state’s commitment to supporting diverse businesses,” said Hester Agudosi, Chief Diversity Officer. “Waiving the fee associated with minority, women and veteran owned business certification removes a monetary barrier to accessing the State’s supply chain that is real for many minority, women, LGBTQ, and veteran business owners. As a NJ certified MWBE, both public and private sector organizations and firms have access to your profile for considering solicitations for prime and sub-contract opportunities.”
As part of Small Business Week, Treasurer Muoio also joined other state filing officers from across the country (typically the Secretary of State in most states) for the #BizSchemeSOS awareness campaign launched this week to help businesses and individuals avoid potential scams and fraudulent activity.
Treasury is also launching its own awareness campaign – #Treasury4Biz – to encourage businesses and individuals to avail themselves of the many services the department offers, including free online filing tools through e-government partner Gov2Go, which offers a wide range of mobile and other online self-service applications that cover the entire life-cycle of a business, saving time and providing easier ways to ensure filings are up-to-date with the state.
“During Small Business Week, we are trying to raise awareness about the valuable services provided by our department to help protect New Jersey businesses and enable them to thrive,” said Treasurer Muoio. “The campaign is designed to encourage people to use the services provided by our department to detect and respond to fraudulent practices or activities, as well as the many other services we provide to assist with the day-to-day activities of running a business.”
Treasury is encouraging businesses and individuals to consult with the business services program offered by the department’s Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, which includes guidance on how to file and register a new business, annual filing requirements, online certification to become a Small, Minority, Woman, Veteran, or Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise, Uniform Commercial Code filings, and helpful information and answers if a business is worried about being the target of fraudulent activities or scams.
The program also provides the business community with accurate, credible information about their business status, as well as how to maintain good legal standing with the State and avoid unnecessary fees, filings, and suspicious actors.
Treasury’s numerous divisions, including DORES and Taxation, work in tandem with multiple state agencies in offering numerous assistance tools and funding programs to support New Jersey’s business community , including the NJ Business Action Center operated by the Department of State, and the NJ Economic Development Authority.