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Mercer officials look to boost women, minority, vet-owned businesses

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Mercer County officials are moving ahead with plans to reserve a set amount of contracts to be filled by small business run by women, minorities and veterans, which advocates say will help small businesses and create more jobs.

Called the Small Business Set-Aside Program, the new program calls for the county to set aside $7 million worth of contracts, or 10 percent of the dollar value of the contracts for the county’s goods, professional services and construction, for target businesses.

Of that 10 percent, a third will go to minority-owned businesses, another third to women-owned businesses and the remaining third to veteran-owned businesses.

The Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved the ordinance on July 12, which is effective immediately. The program also calls for the Mercer County Purchasing Department to navigate qualified businesses through the application process.

“This ordinance will open doors for businesses that may not have the capacity to bid for large contracts, but which have the qualifications, expertise and means to provide County departments and agencies with much-needed goods, services and construction,” Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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