de Blasio Announces $16 Bil In Minority Biz Awards

Bill_de_Blasio_11-2-2013Mayor de Blasio and M/WBE Director Maya Wiley today announced that from Harlem to Hollis were awarded $1,618,103,913 – over $1.6 billion – in contracts to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises in Fiscal Year 2015.

The City is on track to meet the administration’s ambitious goal of awarding $16 billion in M/WBE contracts across agencies over the next 10 years. The administration today released the first citywide report on M/WBE awarding across all agencies, reporting awards for every agency, including non-mayoral agencies and Authorities.

“Increasing our City spending on minority and women-owned business enterprises is a critical tool to reducing inequality, and we are proud to announce over $1.6 billion in awards to our City’s M/WBE’s,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We are committed to leveraging every tool to meet our goal of spending $16 billion over the next 10 years, and we will hold every agency accountable in this process.”

In July, the Mayor issued a directive to all agencies proposing new accountability measures to increase M/WBE contracting. The City also reached a record-breaking number of certified M/WBEs in Fiscal Year 2015 – over 4,100. Roughly 1,500 of those – more than one-third – have been certified since the start of the de Blasio Administration. To help increase certification, the administration cut down red tape by making it easier to certify and re-certify online, introducing one-on-one certification application review sessions, and improving the Payee Information Portal to better identify and reach out to firms that are minority or women-owned, but may not be certified.  

The City is also pursuing legislation in Albany that would give the City wider legal authority to create opportunities for M/WBEs. That legislation, which passed the Assembly in June, would, for example, grant the City the same authority the State has to make discretionary awards up to $200,000 to M/WBEs. 

“The City is making strong progress on expanding opportunity for M/WBEs, but we have more work to do,” said Maya Wiley, Counsel to the Mayor and Citywide M/WBE Director. “We’ve invested more effort and prioritized growing this program than any Administration in history but we won’t rest until M/WBEs have the same opportunities to prosper in this great city as the successful firms who’ve come before them.”

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for providing greater opportunities and support for women and minority small business owners who are the backbone of our economy. Such efforts help level the playing field and are crucial to reducing inequality and creating small business jobs,” said Congressman Charles Rangel.

“Small businesses play a major role in the vitality of New York City’s economy and our local communities. From corner bodegas to corporate franchises, many of these businesses are owned by minorities and women, particularly in the Bronx. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Director Maya Wiley’s efforts to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned business owners by increasing the amount of contracts awarded by the City over the next 10 years. I am very thrilled that this year alone the City has already awarded more than $1.6 billion in contracts, and the administration has made significant improvements in the certification process for small businesses. These awards are an important investment in the economic well-being of our city,” said Congressman Jose Serrano.

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“A strong and vast partnership between minority and women-owned businesses and the City of New York is a powerful tool in leveling the playing field and progressing our City. The de Blasio administration’s commitment to connecting this burgeoning and talented workforce with these opportunities has the potential to transform entire communities and improve City services. On the state level, I established a small-business mentoring program that continues to see great results by improving access for M/WBE businesses and diversifying our workforce. Similarly, I look forward to seeing the continued success of these businesses as the City reaches it’s goal of $16 billion in M/WBE contracts,” said Assembly Member Keith L.T. Wright.

“An investment into minority and women-owned business enterprises, is an investment into the growth and development of not only small businesses but also our community as a whole. As Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues, I commend Mayor de Blasio and his administration for working diligently to close the gap, increase M/WBE participation in procuring government contracts, and bolster our City’s economy through these awards,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues.

“It should build great confidence within the M/WBE community to hear that the administration is not just setting, but actually achieving, its M/WBE contracting goals. This accomplishment requires cooperation at all levels of city government so I would like to thank and congratulate every commissioner and every procurement officer who has taken on increasing M/WBE certification and contracting as a professional mission. Being on target this early in the game gives me hope that we will actually exceed the 10-year goal, giving all New Yorkers who believe in increasing opportunity something to celebrate,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr, Chair of the Committee on Small Business.

“As a longtime advocate of our M/WBE community and a partner of the City of New York in its efforts to increase the participation of minority and women owned firms in procurement contracts, I am glad Mayor de Blasio is making the M/WBE a priority and is working to ensure the numbers are not just a goal but a reality. The New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with him on implementing the proposed changes to make the program more effective,” said Quenia Abreu, President of New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

“Well done. M/WBE’s can finally say that getting certified with the City is well worth the effort. The sharp increase in City contracts awarded to M/WBE’s should encourage a lot more firms to get M/WBE certified. The numbers show that City contracting opportunity is knocking on their door,” said Alfred Placeres, Esq., President, NYS Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.

Read the full report here.

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