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Hudson County Office of Minority & Women Business Enterprise Reorganizes

Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise announced that the County’s Office of Minority & Women Business Enterprise (OMWBE) has undergone a reorganization that will make information and assistance more accessible to the area’s small business owners.

“There are nearly 64,500 small business establishments in Hudson County. They are innovators, job creators and service and goods providers. They have contributed greatly to making the economy of Hudson County one that is strong, and we want to help ensure their stability and growth,” Mr. DeGise stated.

The County Executive said that the County’s Administration and Board of Chosen Freeholders are dedicated to having the OMWBE provide these small businesses with the information, resources, and assistance that will benefit them, free of cost.

OMWBE’s new Deputy Director Rafael Mata said the OMWBE is expanding upon the organization’s legacy of equality and equity for Hudson County’s small businesses, so as to better prepare these businesses for successful participation in local, state, federal and private procurement and purchasing processes.  Mr. Mata has a broad range of experience, including having served as Manager of Grants & Special Projects for the Hudson County Department of Family Services. He is well acquainted with the challenges of entrepreneurship, as he once owned and operated a small business.

The OMWBE reorganization is especially important now because of the new Set-Aside Program ordinance the Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted, which took effect January 1, 2017. The program has a goal of setting aside 10% of the dollar value of the County’s contracts for goods and services to eligible small businesses, especially those owned by minorities, women, or veterans.

The reorganization includes: assisting small business owners to determine which certification designation ­– Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) or Small Business Enterprise (SBE) – best suits their business and helping walk business owners through the process of obtaining certification; getting small businesses to register on the County’s Purchasing Portal; maintaining a current database of eligible businesses; working with the organization’s partners to produce informational  and networking events that will promote the stability and growth of Hudson County small businesses; and notifying registered business owners/managers about events and business opportunities that will be advantageous for them.

“We want our small business owners to know that the OMWBE is a service-oriented organization that is here to help them develop and grow,” Mr. DeGise said.

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