Singleton, Turner Legislation to Establish Matchmaker Program for Small Businesses Passes Senate

Trenton – The Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Shirley K. Turner that would establish the “Annual Business Matchmaking Initiative” program for small businesses.

“Small businesses, including women and minority owned businesses, have not always had equal access to government contracts. That is why our Business Matchmaker program is necessary to provide additional support and networking opportunities for small businesses throughout the State,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “These businesses are crucial to the State’s economy, and the matchmaking events would ensure that they are well-informed of subcontracting opportunities, and also encourage government contractors to recognize the immense capabilities of our small businesses.”

The bill, S-1447, would require the Chief Diversity Officer and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion within the Department of the Treasury, in partnership with the Business Action Center, to host an annual program, to be known as the “Annual Business Matchmaking Event,” to connect eligible small businesses with representatives of federal, State, and local government agencies and their respective government contractors seeking to provide subcontracting services.

“Small businesses were faced with immense obstacles during the height of the pandemic. As we continue through this period of recovery, we must ensure that these businesses are equipped with effective resources and opportunities,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “This initiative would increase access for all small businesses to collaborate with diverse business entities to grow and expand their individual businesses.”

The bill would direct the Chief Diversity Officer and the center to coordinate the scheduling and promotion of the matchmaking event in conjunction with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, the New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, and the National Federation of Independent Business in New Jersey.

The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 37-0.