Deputy Mayors Daniel L. Doctoroff and Dennis M. Walcott and the New York City Department of Small Business Services today hosted the City's first citywide procurement fair, designed to help local minority and women-owned companies increase the amount of business they do with the City of New York. The event, attended by Council Member Letitia James, brought more than 400 firms certified with the City as Minority or Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) together with purchasers from more than 40 City agencies as well as 20 construction companies which subcontract with minority and women-owned firms, for information sessions, workshops and networking.
"Since Mayor Bloomberg signed Local Law 129 in 2005, mandating that City agencies buy more goods and services from firms that certify with the City's Department of Small Business Services, we have provided more than 1,200 local businesses with services to help them grow their firms, bid on City contracts, and increase their exposure to both public and private sector contracting opportunities," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. "Before the end of this administration, we will work to double the number of certified companies and further increase the utilization of minority and women-owned businesses on City contracts, particularly in the construction industry."
"Over the past year, the number of City contracts awarded to minority and women-owned firms in our program has doubled," said Robert W. Walsh, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. "Certified firms now hold $73 million in contracts with the City of New York. Today's procurement fair provided unprecedented information and networking opportunities which will help local minority and women-owned businesses to further increase the number of contracts they win with the City."
"Local Law 129 levels the playing field and ensures greater opportunity for companies owned by minorities and women to succeed in winning City contracts, which promotes increased competition for our business," said Marla Simpson, Director of the Mayor's Office of Contract Services. "Today's event will further the goals of this law by helping minority and women business owners better understand City contracting opportunities through face-to-face meetings and workshops with agency purchasing staff."
"The City Council enacted Local Law 129 to ensure that all businesses have a chance to benefit from the billions of dollars available in City contracting," said Council Member Letitia James. "I am glad to be a part of events like this procurement fair, which create opportunities for minority and women owned businesses, and will help us meet the goals of Local Law 129."
The Department of Small Business Services has certified a record number of new businesses this year, and the number of firms re-certifying with the program has tripled.
To certify with the M/WBE Program, businesses must be in operation for at least one year; be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or a member of a recognized minority group; and show a significant tie to the City's business community. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/getcertified.