The Gateway Development Commission has said that all of the construction phases of the multimillion-dollar Hudson Tunnel project will include large percentage of contract requirements to be awarded to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.
Bids for the recently awarded contract for the Tonnelle Avenue project required proposers to commit to awarding 18% of the contract to DBEs, while the construction management contract required a 27% commitment.
DBEs are defined as for-profit small businesses where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least 51% interest and control the daily business operations. African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans, and women are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged.
In an effort to meet and connect with more DBEs, the GDC — in connection with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey — will host a project briefing and DBE networking event from 8:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 17 at the Liberty House in Jersey City.
John Harmon, the CEO of the African American Chamber, and Robert Hickman, the chief administrative officer of the Gateway Development Commission, said the event is meant to create business opportunities.
“We’re very intentional about what we’re trying to achieve,” Harmon said. “This is not just another showing-up event. We want to have people leave with a real understanding of the process and how they can compete for opportunity. That is the goal. There is a lot of money on the table.”
Indeed. Hickman noted the commitments to the two recently announced projects by the GDC.
“That is well in excess of anything that New Jersey Transit or Port Authority or any of our sister agencies have as their goal,” Hickman said. “So, we’re doing it.”