Minority businesses owners have always faced obstacles and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made those difficulties worse. The Rev. David Jefferson has seen the problems from a variety of perspectives. Jefferson is the pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, but he’s also a former executive vice president at AT&T who holds an MBA and a law degree. In the latest edition of NJBIZ Conversations, Editor Jeff Kanige spoke with Pastor Jefferson about the sharpened challenges facing minority-owned businesses, the shortcomings in state policy and how the Legislature’s recently reconstituted Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Opportunity could help bring about meaningful change. “We need to transform protests into policy,” he said in discussing a hearing held by the joint committee on Dec 3 and the series of town halls likely to follow. “The objective here is to hear all of what people have to say. And then take those inputs and draft legislation together as a state so that we can change the economic landscape of the state of New Jersey.” Watch the full interview here.