Under Governor Murphy, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses are Being Ignored for State Contracts

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TRENTON, NJ – Did you know New Jersey state law requires all state agencies to award 3% of their public contracts to veteran-owned businesses?

In October, the state treasury reported Governor Phil Murphy’s administration is ignoring that law and not awarding enough contracts to veteran-owned businesses.

The treasury has been conducting a study into why veteran owned businesses are being overlooked in violation of state law.

“This study is about much more than hard numbers. It’s about identifying barriers that may have held back minority, women and veteran-owned businesses from securing opportunities with the State, and determining how we can create a more equitable business environment for all,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “Treasury is committed to finding new avenues to engage diverse businesses in the many professional opportunities the State has to offer.”

This week, a report released by the Garden State Initiative and New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce said Murphy is not keeping his promise.

Since 2015, New Jersey has had a public law that sets aside 3% of its state contracting agencies’ budgets for Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses. However, according to research by the New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce, of the 72 state agencies that have procurement power, a mere few have awarded contracts to disabled-veteran-owned businesses, only two of 72 are enforcing the law and none are reporting their numbers as legally required, according to the report.

In fact, New Jersey, like in most other categories nationwide, ranked at the bottom of the barrel when it came to paying it forward to veteran-owned small businesses.

“An independent study ranked New Jersey 49th out of 50 states for supporting veteran owned businesses,” stated GSI’s president Regina M. Egea. “This report shows there’s been a complete failure of state bureaucracy. We have a sacred obligation to support our veterans when they return home from military service and this report offers a path forward for our state to keep that commitment.”

Now the GSI is lobbying state legislators to force the Murphy administration to follow the law. The Murphy administration has not commented on this report yet.

If any state legislators wish to comment on this article, please email news@shorenewsnetwork.com.