State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio today announced the launch of a new web-based portal that streamlines how small, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned business enterprises (SMWVBEs) certify with the state, allowing them to more easily compete for state contracts with the Department of the Treasury.
“This administration is always striving to ensure an inclusive playing field when it comes to doing business with the state,” said Treasurer Muoio. “We house many opportunities in Treasury for New Jersey’s diverse business community, including the state’s central procurement agency and hundreds of state construction contracts. As such, we want SMWVBEs to have a one-stop-shop to certify their status as they work to take advantage of these opportunities and become business partners with the state.”
Treasury oversees the Division of Purchase and Property (DPP) and the Division of Property Management and Construction (DPMC). DPP is the state’s central procurement agency and is responsible for contracts valued in excess of $1.8 billion annually. DPMC manages a $1 billion portfolio of over 700 capital construction projects and oversees building management and maintenance programs for over 200 state-owned and leased facilities.
Previously, each business classification, whether it was for a small business enterprise, minority or women-owned enterprise, or veteran or disabled veteran-owned enterprise, required mailing a separate application and fee to Treasury’s Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES).After evaluating feedback from New Jersey’s business community, DORES created the Uniform Certification Service (UCS) portal, which allows businesses to apply for any or all of those certifications at the same time for a single fee. Under the new system, a business that qualifies as both a small business enterprise and a disabled veteran-owned enterprise can now apply for both state classifications in one online session.
In addition, the UCS portal also streamlines the certification process by allowing applicants to upload required documentation directly to a secure site where it can be reviewed by DORES, which greatly reduces the time taken to verify the information. Applicants will then receive electronic updates advising them of their application status.In addition to providing state-backed documentation of their status, these certifications allow SMWVBEs to compete in select set-aside or goal-based contracting initiatives within Treasury, 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 two percent of state contracting and purchase orders to businesses that are owned and operated by service-disabled veterans.
The UCS portal is just one of several efforts underway by the Murphy administration and the Department of the Treasury to boost opportunities for SMWVBEs operating in New Jersey.On September 20, 2019, the State of New Jersey will host NJ Connects in Newark, the first-ever state summit designed to connect minority, women, veteran, and LGBTQ-owned businesses with roughly one billion dollars in public and private sector contracting opportunities.
The event is being spearheaded by the state’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which was created by Governor Murphy shortly after taking office. More than 850 individuals, including representatives from over 100 corporate, non-profit, and federal, state, and local government entities, are expected to attend.Last year, the Department of the Treasury and the N.J. Economic Development Authority hosted two SMWVBE networking events aimed at boosting inclusivity in the construction of the new Division of Taxation and Department of Health buildings in downtown Trenton. To date, more than half of professional service providers and subcontractors on these projects are SMWVBEs.