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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 26, 2008


NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES HOSTS CITY’S SECOND ANNUAL PROCUREMENT FAIR, TO HELP LOCAL MINORITY AND WOMEN-OWNED COMPANIES INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF BUSINESS THEY DO WITH THE CITY OF NEW YORK

The New York City Department of Small Business Services today hosted the second annual 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 brought more than 500 firms certified with the City as Minority or Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) together with purchasers from more than 50 City and State agencies and public authorities as well as several private-sector companies which subcontract with minority and women-owned firms, for information sessions, workshops and networking.

"After last year’s procurement fair, minority and women-owned firms that attended were awarded $13 million in City contracts," said Robert W. Walsh, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. “In this fiscal year to date we’ve seen City-certified firms win over $234 million in contracts. We will continue to work to grow the number of certified M/WBEs, the number of contracts they win and the size of those contracts.”

"Local Law 129 improves City procurement by expanding outreach to companies owned by minorities and women, resulting in a process that is both more competitive and reflective of the City’s diverse population," said Marla Simpson, Director of the Mayor's Office of Contract Services. "Today's procurement fair will provide tools and information to ensure that minority and women business owners are aware of the procurement opportunities available at City agencies, and that those business owners are prepared to win a larger number of City contracts."


The Department of Small Business Services has certified a record 531 new M/WBEs this year, and the number of firms re-certifying has tripled since the program’s inception in 2005.
 
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.



  CONTACT:
Kara Alaimo
212-513-6318