Andrzejczak, Mazzeo Bill to Support Disabled Veteran Business Owners Released by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel on Thursday advanced legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak and Vince Mazzeo to create a state contract set-aside program for businesses owned and operated by disabled veterans.

The sponsors note in the legislation the set-aside program would create economic opportunity for disabled veterans and recognize their service and sacrifice.

“Technical and leadership skills acquired through military service can easily translate into successful entrepreneurship,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland). “Disabled veteran-owned businesses have made significant contributions to New Jersey’s economy. This legislation would continue to support our disabled veterans who aim to start or grow their businesses.”

Under the bill’s (A-976) provisions, the Department of Treasury would be directed to administer a state contract set-aside program for disabled veteran business owners. It establishes a goal that contracting agencies set aside at least 3% of their contracts for disabled veterans’ businesses.

“The challenges of returning home and to work after service are very different for disabled veterans,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “By creating a dedicated resource for disabled veteran business owners, we encourage entrepreneurship which encourages a stronger New Jersey economy.”

A disabled veterans’ business is defined as a business which has its principal place of business in New Jersey, is independently owned and operated and at least 51% of which is owned and controlled by persons who are disabled veterans.

Seven other states have enacted similar legislation which supports veteran-owned businesses: California, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland and New York.

The bill was released by the Assembly Military and Veteran Affairs Committee.