Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh, Mayor’s Office of Contract Services Director Marla G. Simpson and U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency Regional Director Heyward Davenport today announced that contracts through the City’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program increased in FY 2009, surpassing the $1 billion mark since the program’s inception in FY 2007. Despite a 25 percent decrease in overall City procurement spending in FY 2009, contracts to MWBE firms rose to $487 Million, a four percent increase from FY 2008 and a more than 90 percent increase from FY 2007. Since FY 2007, more than 19,000 City contracts and subcontracts worth more than $1.2 billion have been awarded to the City’s certified MWBE firms. Empowering minority- and women-owned businesses and helping them compete for work is part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan.
“In the three years since we restored the City’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program, we’ve made enormous strides helping companies compete for and win City contracts,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “That the number and amount of contracts to MWBEs grew again this past year despite a decrease in overall spending is a testament to the effectiveness of the program and the increasing capability of the participating businesses. At the conclusion of the Program’s three-year ramp-up period, we know we have an awfully long way to go, but the progress to date is a very encouraging sign that our efforts are paying off.”
“We have built a strong and growing program that is creating more opportunities for certified minority- and women-owned businesses to bid and perform on City contracts, and achieve growth,” said Commissioner Walsh. “This program demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to afford opportunity and fairness for all New Yorkers.”
“The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services helps City agencies to comply with all of our procurement laws and rules, including Local Law 129,” said Office of Contracts Services Director Marla Simpson. “The City is fully committed to ensuring that we meet the ambitious goals of the Local Law 129 MWBE program. As MWBE companies become more and more successful at winning contracts and subcontracts, competition for the City’s work increases -- and that benefits all New Yorkers, as we obtain high quality goods and services at affordable prices.”
“The Bloomberg Administration has increasingly dedicated more resources to provide minority- and women-owned businesses the greatest opportunity for success in doing business with the City of New York,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency Regional Director Heyward Davenport, who serves as Chairman of the City’s MWBE Advisory Board. “By working from the start with real business owners and leaders in the community representing them, they have built a new MWBE program that addresses practical concerns experienced in the past. This partnership can only continue to yield positive results.”
Since the implementation of the MWBE program, the number of City-certified MWBE firms and the contracts awarded to them has increased dramatically. The number of firms certified in FY 2009 increased 37 percent to 2,200, up from 1,604 at the end of FY 2008 and 1,236 at the end of FY 2007. In fiscal year 2009, MWBE firms were awarded more than 7,000 prime- and sub-contracts worth $487 million. In FY 2008, MWBE firms won close to 6,500 awards worth $468 million. In FY 2007, MWBEs won more than 5,000 awards worth $254 million.
In 2006, the City’s MWBE program was revamped to help eliminate hurdles that discourage companies from participating in the procurement process and empower them to compete for work more effectively. Small Business Services, which administers the program, markets MWBEs to City agencies, helps them develop proposal responses, identifies specific contracting opportunities, and offers workshops and networking events in order to educate MWBE firms on the City’s procurement process. To better promote the City’s certified vendors and to make it easy for buyers to find them, Small Business Services maintains an online directory of certified businesses – found on www.nyc.gov- which includes a detailed profile of each company. Through inclusion in the directory, vendors can market their goods, services and experience directly to agency buyers.
In July, Mayor Bloomberg announced enhancements to the MWBE program to increase opportunities for companies and to increase the transparency of the City agency’s fulfillment of MWBE goals.
First, the City amended its contracting rules to make it easier for MWBEs to compete for contracts under $100,000 – which make up more than 40 percent of the contracts covered by the MWBE program. Previously, agencies were required to solicit proposals from five MWBE firms and five non-MWBE firms, but agencies were adding additional vendors, often companies they had used in the past, at their discretion. Now, agencies have been directed to offer those opportunities to the randomly selected vendors, so that more of those small purchases can serve as the entry point for new competitors.
Second, the City will publish MWBE results on easy-to-read score cards that will be available on all agencies’ websites. The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services already tracks the progress of MWBE contracts and reports back to the City Council bi-annually. Now, every City agency that contracts for goods and services will be evaluated in key categories, such as micro purchases, small purchases, and sub-contracts, and the information will be made public online.
To certify with the MWBE 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 call 311 or go to www.nyc.gov.
The City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city’s economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit nyc.gov.