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First event of its kind for small business owners

May 12, 2006

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT’s Office of Business Diversity, together with members of the New Jersey Interagency Coordinating Committee and Wachovia Bank, recently hosted a New Jersey Competitive Purchases “Avenues of Opportunity” event—the first of its kind in the state—for small New Jersey businesses. Approximately 200 participants representing 130 small businesses attended the April 12 event, held at the Robert Meyner Reception Center in Holmdel.

Small business owners won more than $106,000 in awards from participating state agencies, which included the New Jersey Interagency Coordinating Committee (Delaware River Port Authority, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, New Jersey Turnpike Authority, South Jersey Transportation Authority, Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, New Jersey Water Supply Authority and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission) and the following participants:

  • New Jersey Commerce, Economic Growth & Tourism
  • New Jersey Small Business Development Center
  • New Jersey Division of Purchase & Property
  • Rutgers University
  • Newark Public Schools
  • University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey
  • New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council

Guest speakers at the event included Holmdel Mayor Serena DiMaso as well as Scott L. Kisch, Chief of Staff and Monique King-Vieland, Senior Director of Small/Women/ Minority Business programs & Urban Development with NJ Commerce, Economic Growth & Tourism.

The event provided attendees with the opportunity to network with procurement professionals from throughout the state and also enabled them to quote on goods and services from multiple agencies, resulting in positive feedback from the small business community.

“All the organizations that participated in the event should be congratulated for letting small businesses compete,” said Dr. Monica Sukumar, CEO of Green Star Products and a multiple winner at the event. “This is the only way many of us are able to get our foot in the door. We, the small business community, are sincerely appreciative of these opportunities.”

“Kudos should be extended to each and every small business owner that competed in our first New Jersey Bid Fair,” said Ernest Williams, manager of outreach programs in NJ TRANSIT’s Office of Business Diversity. “The ‘Avenues of Opportunity’ event was a great success, and we look forward to planning future events with an eye toward increasing the number of corporate participants and the number of awards to small businesses.”