New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

Lawmakers in New Jersey have approved a bipartisan bill to codify a state certification process for LGBTQ business owners, sending the bill to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk for his signature. When signed into law, the bill will create opportunity for businesses to win funding, contracts or other initiatives offered by state agencies by codifying the certification that already exists under an executive order Murphy issued in 2022.

The New Jersey state Treasury already offers similar certification for businesses owned by women, people of color and veterans.

Although certification already existed under Murphy’s executive order, this legislation passed gives it the power of state law and ensures the certification remains in place after Murphy leaves office.

Gus Penaranda of the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce told lawmakers that membership in his business group quadrupled after Murphy issued his executive order.

“People have been waiting not just to be recognized by the state in which they pay taxes and hire employees and provide services and 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,” Penaranda said.

For more information visit the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce website.

— Tammye Nash