Small Business

NJEDA, African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ Launch New Program

Intended to Prepare Minority-, Woman-Owned Businesses to Compete for Government Contracts

The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ), in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), welcomed the first class to participate in the new Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program. This training initiative is part of Governor Murphy’s plan to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy by preparing small, minority- and women-owned businesses to compete for state and federal government contracts.

“Building a stronger, fairer economy means making sure everyone has equal opportunities to bid for contracts and contribute to our state’s growth,” said Lori Matheus, NJEDA senior vice president of finance and development, “This program levels the playing field for many small businesses, especially minority- and women-owned businesses, that in the past may not have been able to bid on state and federal contracts because they did not have the ability to get bonded and access financing.”

On Tuesday night, small business owners and industry experts gathered in Bordentown for the first of 18 classroom trainings that are the core of the initiative. Over the course of the program, participants will take part in a comprehensive series of classroom trainings, workshops, and strategic counseling sessions covering bonding and insurance, business development, financial presentation, construction and contract law, construction management, estimating, personal credit, and business credit.

The 30 small business owners in this cohort represent a wide variety of small businesses, from contracting, painting, and landscaping to custom computer programming, interior design, and commercial photography. They come from diverse communities all around the state, including Jersey City, Princeton, Trenton, Camden, and Long Branch.

“This program epitomizes what it means to build a stronger, fairer economy that works for all New Jerseyans,” said John E. Harmon, Sr., founder, president, and CEO of AACCNJ, “Not only will it provide crucial opportunities for minority- and women-owned small businesses to compete for government contracts that were closed to them in the past, but having a more competitive, fair bidding process will also benefit everyone in New Jersey by ensuring we get the best goods and services at the best prices.”

The Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program is one of many ways Governor Murphy is making state government work for New Jersey businesses. In addition to the classroom trainings, which are live streamed for business owners who cannot attend in person, the program includes webinars on accounting for small businesses and 10 one-on-one consulting sessions with industry experts. At the end of the program, every participating business will receive a Bonding Readiness Segment Report, an in-depth assessment of their strengths and weaknesses to help owners plan for the future.

“The bonding program is exciting because it equips small business owners with the strategies and core skills we need to take our businesses to the next level,” said D’Jvonne David, president at Dynamic Digital Air in Jersey City, “It has also connected me with a group of like-minded small business owners who share the same vision.”

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