Public Info

Union County Hosts Free ‘Open for Business – Open for Everyone: Diversity and Inclusion Symposium’ for Business Owners, Managers and Entrepreneurs, Oct. 28

Union County, NJ — The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites business owners, managers and entrepreneurs to participate in the first Open for Business – Open for Everyone: Diversity and Inclusion Symposium scheduled for Monday, October 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton Street in Rahway.

Seating is limited for the free symposium, and registration is required online at

“The Freeholder Board is proud to offer programs that increase job creation and support business development for all people,” said, Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “The culture of equality creates trust, innovation and results in business growth.”

The free full-day symposium will focus on internal policies and practices to create an inclusive working environment for employees, LGBTQ+ 101 cultural competency training, understanding New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD), and best practices for being open for business to serve all people.

The scheduled panelists and speakers represent New Jersey government, corporate sector, small business, and workplace diversity.  Guests will have an opportunity to engage in important discussions with experts in their respective fields to foster a diverse, inclusive, accepting, welcoming space for employees and customers.

“The Diversity and Inclusion Symposium empowers business owners, managers and entrepreneurs to learn strategies that attract LGBTQ employees and customers to help meet their business goals,” said Freeholder Rebecca Williams, liaison to the Union County LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee. “There is a cost to businesses when employees have to hide in plain sight. There is also a realized loss when customers are uncertain if they’ll be served by a business. This symposium offers participants an opportunity to join the equality movement and empowers you to be visibly open for business for all people.”

Organized by the Office of LGBTQ Affairs in partnership with Union County Means Business, the Office of Business Development, and UCEDC, the mission of the symposium is to realize the value of being open for business and open for everyone.

UCEDC is a private, non-profit economic development corporation, dedicated to boosting local economies and strengthening communities through business development and job creation.

Union County Means Business, administered by the Office of Business Development under the Department of Economic Development, is an economic development initiative of the Freeholder Board with the support of community partners.

Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, under the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Freeholder Board in 2018 and is the first and only county government office of its kind in the State of New Jersey.

The Office of LGBTQ Affairs provides a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

For more information about the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, contact Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 or or visit

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