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NYCHA News

NYCHA Connects with Minority and Women
Business-owners at Citywide Procurement Fair


Hundreds of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) gathered at the New York City Department of Small Business Services' First Annual Citywide Procurement Fair in lower Manhattan on June 21st to meet with representatives from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and nearly 40 mayoral agencies.

NYCHA rep at Citywide Procurement Fair
Robert McNally (left) discusses NYCHA's IT opportunities with two vendors.
Photo credit: Kevin Devoe

NYCHA had a large presence at the Citywide Procurement Fair with seven representatives on hand to educate vendors about the goods and services that NYCHA buys, and to encourage MWBE vendors to submit bids for NYCHA contracts. "Now that vendors know what we're looking for it will help a lot," said NYCHA's Information Technology (IT) Procurement Officer, Jeffrey Jung, who needs qualified vendors to fulfill ten IT solicitations that are in the works. In 2006 NYCHA spent approximately $180 million for goods and services, and nearly a quarter of that, or $42 million, was awarded to Minority-owned, Women-owned and Small Business Enterprises (MWSBEs).

NYCHA buyers also delivered in-depth workshops for participating vendors who are interested in doing business with NYCHA. "NYCHA is such a large organization it is important for vendors to know that we do more than just construction," said Equal Opportunity Director Fredrika Wilson. In addition to construction and building maintenance services, NYCHA also procures a host of goods and materials, information technology and professional services, as well as resident employment services.

NYCHA table at the Citywide Procurement Fair
NYCHA representatives answer questions from vendors who are interested in doing business with the Housing Authority.
Photo credit: Kevin Devoe

The Procurement Fair was designed to help new and experienced MWBEs learn the ins and outs of government contracting, so they have a better chance of winning a share of the billions of dollars that the City of New York spends every year on goods and services. "Navigating your way through the city procurement process is like going through a maze," said Gerald Nesbeth, owner of Queen City Construction, Inc., a home improvement contracting company in New Rochelle, NY and a newly certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) who attended the Procurement Fair.

Speakers at the day-long event, which included Deputy Mayors Dan Doctoroff and Dennis M. Walcott, along with City Council Member Leticia James, all agreed that the City has made strides with regards to creating more purchasing opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned businesses, but agency buyers still have a long way to go.

NYCHA is reaching out to MWSBEs at professional networking events and informing those who are members of its MWSBE Directory about business opportunities when they become available. To learn more about the types of goods and services NYCHA buys, to become a member of the MWSBE Directory or to review current bidding opportunities please visit www.nyc.gov/nychabusiness.

By Tischelle George
June 22, 2007