NYCEDC Announces Major Expansion Of Initiatives To Support Minority And Women-Owned Firms

March 25, 2016

women-engaged slider by rudy collinsNew York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced a suite of initiatives to support emerging developers and minority, women-owned and disadvantaged businesses enterprises (M/W/DBE) across all five boroughs.The new programs include Next Level Bronx, a collaboration with Citi Community Development to provide an MBA-style program to M/W/DBE firms, helping them create three-year Strategic Growth Action PlansTM for long-term growth, the Emerging Developer Loan Fund, a $10 million fund to provide low-interest loans on New York City-based development projects, and ConstructNYC, a comprehensive program through which training and support will be offered to prequalified contractors who will have exclusive access to bid on specific NYCEDC construction-related contracts. The new initiatives seek to provide underserved emerging, minority or women owned firms with increased opportunities to help grow their businesses and create jobs in New York City.

NYCEDC also today announced the latest graduating classes of two additional programs to support M/W/DBE developers and construction firms, Blueprint for Success and Manage Forward.  The graduating classes of these initiatives have received support in growing their businesses and planning for future success, as well as technical assistance.

“In order for our City’s economy to grow, we must rely upon the talent of our diverse population,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer.  “This major expansion of initiatives to support minority and women-owned businesses will not only impact the bottom line of emerging developers and contractors across all five boroughs, it will make our City a stronger and more equitable place.”

“To create income equality, the City is looking to bring all we do to open up the doors of opportunity across the City. Broadening the pool of talented developers in the City’s pipeline is a significant step towards a strong and equitable economy,” said Counsel to the Mayor and Citywide M/WBE Director Maya Wiley. “This suite of announcements brings us closer to that goal and demonstrates our commitment to helping emerging firms participate in the City’s development now and into the future.”

“The Next Level Bronx program will provide minority and women business owners with access to professional networks, a growth strategy, capital and contracts,” said Eileen Auld, regional director, New York Tri-State, Citi Community Development. “Through this collaboration, we aim to ensure support for a diverse set of entrepreneurs and drive positive economic growth in their communities.”

“As a successful minority, woman-owned commercial real estate firm, we totally understand the challenges that emerging developers face, having faced them ourselves,” said Tammy K. Jones, President of Basis Management Group. “Access to capital is one of the biggest hurdles and we are excited to partner with the City of New York in a new program to help address this critical issue.”

“Brooklyn is home to some of the most innovative companies in the world, many of which have faced historical barriers to opportunity in a city rich with economic potential,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “It is particularly important that government advance meaningful efforts for M/W/DBE firms to grow and bid for contracts, particularly in the construction industry. I am proud of my partnership with NYCEDC on empowerment efforts like Manage Forward, which has helped move M/W/DBE construction firms and developers in Brooklyn toward procurement success, and I look forward to the promise of new public/private ventures.”

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“I’m pleased to see NYCEDC taking focused steps to provide more opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m excited by the ConstructNYC program. Helping small and medium-sized MWBEs build larger portfolios of work will strengthen their bids for more and larger projects in the future.”

“Providing new opportunities to our city’s M/W/DBE firms helps support developing businesses by ensuring greater equity to publicly financed projects,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.  “NYCEDC’s new programs provide M/W/DBE firms access to strategic planning, low interest loans, as well as new construction contracts, facilitating their growth and supporting local economic development within our communities. These new programs are in line with the Council’s ongoing commitment and work to support women and minority owned businesses in New York City.”

“Although NYCEDC is not subject to LL1, this Administration is making every effort to increase their NYCEDC contract awards to M/W/DBEs,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Contracts. “They are building the supply of M/W/DBE’s capable of winning contracts, and they are identifying and matching M/W/DBEs to contract opportunities. NYCEDC is using the tools unique to their wheelhouse, like access to capital, to support M/W/DBEs’ need for credit, loans, and financial management tools. I applaud Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer for her active support for M/W/DBEs.”

“Without access to procurement opportunities and resources, businesses enterprises owned and operated by minorities, women, or the disadvantaged cannot realize their full potential to thrive in the City of New York or contribute to our economic growth through job creation,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues. “Through the continued expansion of initiatives that provide training and technical assistance, these enterprises will be better equipped and positioned to grow and succeed. As Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues, I am pleased that the NYCEDC has taken additional steps to further integrate minority, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises within the procurement process from start to finish.  As our city’s ‘primary engine for economic development,’ the NYCEDC must ensure that we work diligently to increase the participation of enterprises who reflect our diverse population as we build and strengthen our city’s infrastructure.”

“With these new programs, NYCEDC is setting a new standard of innovation in MWBE programming, going far beyond setting aspirational goals to truly responding to the real challenges MWBE firms experience and share,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy, Chair of the Committee on Small Businesses. “I applaud NYCEDC and the de Blasio administration for continuing to live out their commitment to expanding opportunity through investing in MWBE achievement.”

“The three new initiatives spearheaded by NYCEDC will increase the capacity and impact of MWBEs and strengthen the broad range of their work,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres. “With additional funding opportunities, training and mentorship MWBEs will have a competitive edge and be able tackle complex work across the city. As Co-Chair of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, I’m committed to ensuring MWBEs get the resources they need, and look forward to being a partner in the rollout of these programs.”

“These initiatives to increase opportunities for emerging developers and minority, women-owned and disadvantaged businesses enterprises are necessary to empower those who have not fully shared in our City’s prosperity,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “I thank NYCEDC for promoting a robust City economy while making progress towards an even playing field for all small business owners.”

“NYCEDC under the leadership of President Maria Torres-Springer is not just changing the way that New York City does business, but changing who we do business with,” said Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. “Today’s expansion of initiatives focused on increasing support for minority and women owned businesses is critical to supporting local entrepreneurs in the city and particularly in Brooklyn. Specifically, the Manage Forward program is providing participants with essential tools for growing their business model and in turn, creating more jobs right here in Brooklyn. I want to congratulate the first graduating class of the program and look forward to the great work they will do throughout the borough.”

“At a time when it is imperative to ensure minority participation in City funded contracts, I commend the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s new efforts to increase Minority and Women Owned firms’ role in the City’s economy,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “Through its Next Level Bronx, the Emerging Developer Fund, Construct NYC, Blueprint for Success and Manage Forward programs, M/W/DBE firms will be receiving critical technical assistance, training and funding that will increase their ability to finally compete on a fair playing field.”

“NYCEDC’s commitment to providing training and services to M/WBEs will help ensure that minority and women business owners are no longer left behind across the city,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “These initiatives will contribute to the citywide effort of preparing M/WBEs for New York City’s future economic and workforce development and I look forward to working with President and CEO Maria Torres-Springer as we progress towards becoming a more inclusive city.”

“I’m pleased to see the launching of these initiatives to help small and local businesses reach their full potential,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “Diverse communities should be thriving communities, and in my district in the Bronx, I believe we will benefit immensely by supporting our minority and women owned businesses through these resources.”

“Supporting women and minority owned businesses to grow and contract with the City is a critical aspect of economic development,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. I am excited to learn of these new initiatives that show EDC’s continued commitment to developing businesses from Queens and other underserved parts of the City to compete on the same footing as larger companies. They make our city stronger and help harness our true potential.”

“It is important that we provide resources for the Minority, women-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises (M/W/DBE) in New York City,” said Assembly Member Diana C. Richardson. “I commend NYCEDC for putting forth initiatives to support M/W/DBE’s. Programs like, Blueprint for Success, ConstructNYC, Emerging Developer Loan Fund, and Manage Forward a Brooklyn based practical classroom training and mentoring program are vital to leveling the playing field.”

“To take The Bronx to the next level, communities of color need good paying jobs and excellent Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises to provide those opportunities,” said Assembly Member Michael Blake.  “I applaud NYCEDC for launching Next Level Bronx, ConstructNYC and promoting the Emerging Developer Loan Fund, which will provide more opportunities and resources to M/W/DBE’s. Creating and maintaining programs that help our M/W/DBEs succeed means more Bronxites getting local jobs and realizing our vision of the three Es of Economic Development, Education and Equality for all to ensure that we are #BuildingABetterBronx.”

“As the co-host of the Next Level Bronx initiative, I am delighted to work with NYCEDC in providing 18 of our borough’s MWBE businesses, the tools necessary for them to grow, expand and compete for larger contracts,” said Marlene Cintron, President of Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.  “This will result in better profit margins for our businesses that will then translate into additional jobs for our residents.  Bravo!”

“The new MWBE Initiative is innovative and very much needed,” said Cheryl McKissack, President and CEO of McKissack and McKissack.  “This program will significantly assist emerging developers that lack the capital to get their projects off the ground.”

“Through Opportunity M/W/DBE, NYCEDC has created programs and procedures that encourage, grow, and increase meaningful opportunities for M/W/DBE firms,” said Elizabeth Velez, President of Velez Organization. “ I applaud this Program as it addresses some of the barriers to entry for smaller, community based developers and encourages the inclusion of M/W/DBE contractors in the work of NYCEDC; making a significant difference throughout all of New York City’s neighborhoods.”

“NYCEDC is showing that it is serious about helping MWBEs build our capacity as well as our pipeline of opportunities,” said Brian Benjamin, Managing Director, Genesis Companies. “NYCEDC should be commended for listening to the MWBE community and responding with such a thoughtful and comprehensive plan.”

“I am extremely thrilled with the growth of MWBEs businesses under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio and looking forward to additional assistance provided moving forward,” said Husam Ahmad, Chairman and CEO, HAKS.”

“NYCEDC’s new initiatives will create unprecedented opportunities for MWBEs within one of the city’s greatest economic engines – commercial real estate,” said Dawanna Williams, Founder, Managing Principle, Dabar Development Partners and Founding Member & Vice Chair of The New York Real Estate Chamber. “The New York Real Estate Chamber acknowledges the invaluable efforts of the city, and we are committed to supporting initiatives that expand and include minority participation in New York City commerce.”

“We applaud the efforts of New York City Economic Development Corporation to deliver programs in support of inclusive economic development,” said Nancy Carin, Executive Director, BOC Capital Corp. “The success of minority and women-owned businesses promises to yield benefits for their communities, their workers and the City as a whole. BOC Capital Corp. joins NYCEDC in this dedicated effort to increase capacity, access to capital and new contract opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses.”

Next Level Bronx, a partnership between Citi Community Development, Interise and NYCEDC, will engage 18 established Bronx-based small minority and women owned businesses through a seven-month capacity building program focused on helping them make professional connections, grow their businesses and create jobs.  The program includes peer-to-peer CEO mentoring sessions as well as the nationally-recognized StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum developed by Interise focused on financial management, marketing and sales, human resources tactics, business strategy development, and access to new capital and contracts.  Next Level Bronx is open to small businesses that are located in the Bronx, generate revenues between $250,000 and $10 million, have been in business for at least three years, and have at least one employee besides the owner.  Applications are due on April 1.

The Emerging Developer Loan Fund, which includes $10 million of capital committed by NYCEDC, will provide affordable pre-development and land acquisition loans ranging from $100,000 to $2.5 million to developers taking on mixed-income and mixed use industrial and commercial projects. The fund is specifically targeted for emerging developers, which includes many minority or women owned firms, with annual revenues of less than $10 million.  By facilitating the acquisition process for emerging developers, NYCEDC seeks to increase opportunities and access for M/W/DBE firms.  NYCEDC has selected Basis Management Group, a privately-held, commercial real estate finance company as the lender and fund manager for the Emerging Developer Loan Fund.

Basis Management Group is a minority and women owned firm with a strong entrepreneurial spirit that recognizes the positive social impact that the Emerging Developer Loan Fund can have on emerging developers and on the greater New York City community. As evidence of its commitment to the emerging developer program, Basis Management Group has, in the last three years, made commercial real estate loans to minority and women-owned firms in excess of $370 million. In addition to underwriting loans for the Emerging Developer Loan Fund, Basis Management Group will also provide technical assistance to help emerging developers craft loan packages to facilitate interest from senior lenders as well as mentorship to help the developers manage their projects in a timely and successful manner.

NYCEDC is also launching a series of workshops to promote transparency around the public procurement process and allow for developers to have greater access to NYCEDC real estate development opportunities. These workshops will be available to all New York City developers and contractors and will focus on topics such as NYCEDC land sales and development opportunities, Request for Proposals requirements, Request for Proposals selection criteria, access to financing, and ways to stay informed. NYCEDC plans kick-off events in each of the five boroughs, followed by workshop series held on a quarterly basis at NYCEDC’s offices.

Contractors can apply beginning today.  More information can be found at the ConstructNYC website.

These new initiatives build upon existing NYCEDC programming focused on capacity building for firms across the city. Blueprint to Success provides in-depth and individualized technical assistance to certified M/W/DBE construction firms.  As part of the third cohort of Blueprint to Success, NYCEDC today announced that 16 firms have graduated from the program.

NYCEDC also today announced the first graduating class of Manage Forward, an innovative program that provides M/W/DBE firms in Brooklyn with the knowledge, skills and relationships to help them grow their businesses and create jobs.

In addition, in partnership with BOC Capital, NYCEDC promotes capital access for M/W/DBE firms through its Kick Start Loans program.  The program provides loan funding up to $250,000 for payroll/labor costs, equipment purchases, material costs, and working capital.

Additional information may be found at

Additional information may be found at

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