(NEW BRUNSWICK, OCTOBER 17) - Republican gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler will speak tonight to several hundred African-American entrepreneurs at the Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick. The topic: Schundler’s plans to expand opportunity for minority-owned businesses. The candidate forum -- hosted by the Black Chamber of Commerce of Northern New Jersey, the Metropolitan Trenton Chamber of Commerce, the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Central Burlington County African-American Chamber of Commerce, and City News Publishing -- will provide Schundler with the perfect opportunity to speak about his record of helping minority small business owners succeed in Jersey City:
“When you serve as Mayor of a city with a population as diverse as Jersey City, you have to make sure that everyone has equal access to jobs and business opportunities. I made good on that commitment as Mayor of Jersey City, and I will make good on that commitment as Governor.”
Schundler will speak about his implementation of an innovative “First Source” program, which requires developers and corporations moving into Jersey City to consider local and minority-owned businesses for their contracting needs, and his “Purchase Alert” program, which directly notifies local and minority-owned businesses of government contracting opportunities.
“These programs were designed to ensure that local and minority-owned businesses are the ‘first source’ that developers and relocating corporations consider for their contracting needs. This ‘first-source’ program was able to help minority-owned businesses succeed in Jersey City -- not through quotas, but by leveling the playing field among all business owners. As Governor, I will implement these same principles statewide in order to help minority-owned businesses enjoy equal access and a fair opportunity to compete for government contracts and investment capital.”
Schundler will also speak about the City’s completion of the national award-winning MLK Drive Redevelopment Plan in the predominantly African-American Lafayette neighborhood of Jersey City:
“We built a 70,000 square foot shopping center in the poorest neighborhood in Jersey City. Where once there were abandoned buildings and vacant lots, we now have a new supermarket, restaurants, and retail stores owned by African-American entrepreneurs. We need to forge similar partnerships with African-American business owners throughout New Jersey so that they can play a positive role in the revitalization of our cities.”
At tonight’s forum, Schundler will renew his pledge to break down regulatory barriers - such as bonding requirements -- which prevent minority-owned, small businesses from competing for state government contracts, and his plans to spur urban investment by eliminating capital gains taxes on real estate investments made in New Jersey’s cities.