September 22, 2022
2022 Annual Procurement Fair Held at Barclays Center Marks 30th Anniversary of New York City’s M/WBE Program and Supports Mayor’s ‘Blueprint for Economic Recovery,’ Offering Contract Opportunities to Small Businesses Certified as M/WBEs
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim today announced that the city has surpassed its 10-year OneNYC goal to award $25 billion in contracts to minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) by Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 — three years ahead of schedule. This achievement comes amid a strong focus on expanding the pool of contracts subject to the M/WBE program and creating more opportunities for M/WBEs to win procurements.
“Economic inequality isn’t going to solve itself, and as mayor, I am committed to expanding opportunities by building economic on-ramps for our minority- and women-owned business owners,” said Mayor Adams. “We are creating jobs and improving the way government provides services to New Yorkers, and I am thrilled that we have achieved the city’s 10-year goal of awarding $25 billion in contracts to M/WBEs three years ahead of schedule. These billions of dollars will build equity, boost recovery, and create opportunity for M/WBEs. This is how we ‘Get Stuff Done’ and fight inequality right here in our own city.”
“In meeting the city’s goal of $25 billion in contracts to minority and women-owned business enterprises three years ahead of schedule, New York City has demonstrated its commitment to tackling income inequality and promoting fairness in economic opportunity and we know we have to go even further,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres Springer. “As New York City continues its economic recovery, we remain laser-focused on ensuring M/WBEs can succeed in doing business with the city. Today’s procurement fair will connect hundreds of M/WBE firms with city agency staff and has the potential to result in tens of millions of dollars in contracts for companies that have been unfairly overlooked in years past. We are proud of the progress we have made and continue to do the work to create more opportunities for M/WBEs.”
“The city’s annual procurement fair is the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs certified as M/WBE to come and tap into the contracting opportunities available to them with the City of New York,” said SBS Commissioner Kim. “With dozens of city agencies and hundreds of businesses ready to work, this fair will result in millions of dollars in contracts for minority and women-owned businesses. SBS is proud to put this event together and excited to be at the Barclays Center with Mayor Adams.”
“As we collectively work our way towards a full economic recovery, this year’s procurement fair symbolizes our city’s resilience and ability to meet almost any challenge,” said Johnny Celestin, deputy director of operations, New York City Mayor’s Office of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. “Our city’s M/WBEs embody that resilience, and the procurement fair is an excellent opportunity to connect certified M/WBEs with the many opportunities to contract with the city. These opportunities result in billions of dollars going directly to M/WBEs, creating jobs and growing the local economies where they work. We are proud to celebrate our program’s 30th anniversary and look forward to building on its strong foundation.”
“The future of New York City M/WBEs is contingent upon our efforts to support, elevate, and fortify our city’s business community,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services Director and New York City Chief Procurement Officer Lisa Flores. “The procurement fair provides us with the crucial opportunity to connect business and agency leaders to discuss ways to streamline procurement by eliminating unnecessary processes and adapting our system to meet the current needs of the community. Investing time and money into these businesses will elevate the lives of New Yorkers across the five boroughs, lifting our economy along with them.”
“We are honored to be hosting the 2022 procurement fair at Barclays Center,” said Clara Wu Tsai, founder, Social Justice Fund. “Our arena’s business diversity program is a priority for us and has been a great vehicle for recruiting M/WBE vendors. We are big believers in the transformative impact that this procurement fair can have on economic mobility for individuals, businesses, and communities. In fact, Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets, and New York Liberty are represented in full force as enthusiastic contractors looking to do business with the entrepreneurs here today.”
New York City’s M/WBE program was created to address the disparity between city contracts awarded to certain ethnic and gender groups as compared to their availability in the relevant marketplace. New York City believes that contractors should reflect the diversity of our city, and that diversity provides opportunities for all of our communities, helps spark innovation, strengthens engagement, and drives continuous improvement.
In total, city agencies and authorities awarded more than $6 billion dollars to M/WBEs in FY22 — an increase of approximately 50 percent compared to FY21. This included approximately $1.4 billion dollars in FY22 contract awards under Local Law 1, which governs the city’s M/WBE program. This marked an increase of 18 percent compared to FY21.
Meanwhile, the city continues to surpass its annual goals to certify and recertify M/WBEs, reaching 10,768 certified firms at the close of FY22. Furthermore, 1,605 individual M/WBE firms were awarded a contract in FY22, up from 1,416 in FY21 — a 13 percent increase.
The city is set to have an even more impressive year in FY23, with a handful of major legislative reforms and new programs introduced over the last year:
Hosted at the Barclays Center, New York City’s Annual M/WBE Procurement Fair was attended by more than 1,500 city-certified minority- and women-owned businesses, and over 80 city and state agencies, public authorities, and prime vendors.
This year is the 30th anniversary of New York City’s M/WBE program, an initiative created under Mayor David Dinkins, the city’s first Black mayor, in 1992.
New York City has made a commitment to use its enormous purchasing power to support M/WBEs. The annual procurement fair demonstrates that commitment and the many opportunities that exist in contracting with the City of New York. The fair also works to connect potential buyers and useful services with the right agencies.
Firms interested in starting the M/WBE certification process or participating in M/WBE programming can learn more by calling 311, visiting nyc.gov/getcertified, or visiting one of the city’s seven New York City Business Solutions Centers located in all five boroughs.
“As the author of both the city and state laws on M/WBEs, I take great pride in the city passing its goal,” said New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. “It speaks to the hard work and persistent commitment of agencies and individual involvement in this noble undertaking. However, more work needs to be done to increase the percentage of government contracts awarded to M/WBEs in this minority-majority city. We also need to ensure that all M/WBE communities fairly benefit. Until government contracts are awarded in proportion to the city’s population and the number of M/WBEs, our work is not done.”
“As the former chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Banks, I held hearings and worked with my colleagues in state and city government to tackle the challenges facing M/WBEs,” said New York State Senator Diane Savino. “From access to capital and credit to a level playing field in the contracting process, the government has always needed to do more. I applaud the Adams administration for these important improvements in closing the gap that has existed for too long.”
“I applaud Mayor Eric Adams’ administration for quickly surpassing New York City’s bold ten-year targets for awarding M/WBE contracts. M/WBEs have been playing a slow catch-up after facing socioeconomic barriers, and they are finally starting to get their fair share of the economic pie,” said New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “As chair of the Assembly’s M/WBE Oversight Committee, I’m proud to have introduced the bill to raise the M/WBE discretionary cap from $500,000 to $1,000,000. New York City has seen tremendous success leveraging this contracting method as we lift the ceiling that has discouraged M/WBEs’ expansion.”
“I support the growth of M/WBE contracting because of the enormous benefits minorities and women bring to business. Successful M/WBEs reduce income inequality, lower unemployment, promote economic mobility, and combat workplace discrimination. Mayor Adams has brought a much needed urgency to the cause of M/WBEs, meeting the $25 billion contracting goal three years ahead of schedule, said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. "This is only the beginning: the City’s new M/WBE pre-qualified lists, technical assistance, mentorship, and improved tracking will take equitable contracting to new heights. In Albany, I co-sponsored legislation to expand eligibility for M/WBE certification by raising the City’s discretionary M/WBE procurement threshold to $1 million. Never before has New York State government invested so much in our M/WBEs; the future is bright for women and minorities in business in New York."
“The announcement today at the city’s annual M/WBE procurement fair was historical,” said New York State Assemblymember Brian Cunningham. “OneNYC has been a great initiative in our city but extremely hard to navigate the internal systems set in place to regulate the contacts for M/WBEs across this city. The disparities we have seen between the contracting system and ethnic and gender groups has been daunting on the legislators who are fighting for equal access. We constantly call for true diversity with the M/WBE contract opportunities across the city and state. Twenty-five billion dollars in contracts to M/WBEs ensures that our businesses will be able to thrive in this recession and beyond. Our current administration is following suit with getting stuff done in our city. I am looking forward to seeing the continued success of our economic developments across our city.”
“As a member of the Economic Development, Jobs, And Commerce Committee, it is great to see an increase in the number of contracts awarded to M/WBE businesses,” said New York State Assemblymember Nikki Lucas. “We still have a long way to go to level the playing field when it comes to providing Black-owned businesses with opportunities to participate in the process to secure city and state contracts. I will continue to do my part in the Assembly to promote economic development and encourage small business owners in my district to become certified through the M/WBE program.”
“The city contracts we award should match the beautifully diverse make-up of our neighbors and the businesses that provide for our communities,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “The $25 billion award goal to M/WBEs was an exciting commitment when it was first launched, and fulfilling it early is even more energizing. Let’s keep this momentum going for M/WBEs. I look forward to supporting Mayor Adams and SBS as we collectively prove just how above-and-beyond we can go for our minority- and women-owned businesses.”
“Opportunity cannot exist without equity, and ensuring our local M/WBEs across the five boroughs secure contracts that create jobs, raise wages, and boost our economy must be at the forefront of our city’s economic development vision,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “This is what community-centric, community-first development looks like. Queens is grateful for the Adams administration for its tireless work to uplift our M/WBEs and the families that rely on them.”
“I commend Mayor Adams and Commissioner Kim on meeting important M/WBE contracting goals ahead of schedule,” said New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer. “The public procurement process is complicated, and intentional outreach and engagement to New York City’s diverse communities were critical in achieving this objective. New York City must continue making investments in creating an equitable and inclusive economy which provides opportunity to all.”
“I am excited to hear that today we have surpassed our city’s goal of $25 billion in contracts by 2025 for M/WBEs,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “Our collective economic recovery relies on supporting our minority- and women-owned businesses in every sector, ensuring communities get the investments they deserve by the people within them. New York City has been hyper-focused on rebuilding, reinventing, and renewing how we make progress towards recovery in communities across the board — it is proven that we can continue to surpass these goals — keeping women and Black and Brown workers at the forefront. Thank you, Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Kevin Kim, for your initiative that continues to support the upward mobility and economic development of Black and Brown New Yorkers.”
“Supporting our city’s minority- and women-owned business enterprises means investing in development and innovation in the myriad of industries that our M/WBE contractors are expanding to,” said New York City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks. “Our city’s intention should always be to build capacity in business for minority and women entrepreneurs and provide opportunities in the city contracting process. This commitment is an encouraging step toward achieving that.”
“I applaud Mayor Adams and the Department of Small Business Services for the immense support and opportunities that set our minority- and women-owned businesses up for success,” said New York City Councilmember Kevin C. Riley. “The M/WBE program is vital to not only building the economic recovery for the city as a whole, but it also changes the trajectory for uplifting and building generational wealth in our Black and brown communities. Celebrating the 30th anniversary, this year is a milestone in our commitment to surpassing achievements that improve small business services, expansive outreach to the community, and equitable economic empowerment for all.”
“New York City spends billions of dollars on private contractors annually, but historically our minority- and women-owned businesses didn’t benefit from those procurements,” said New York City Councilmember Sandra Ung. “While more can always be done, the city’s announcement that it is three years ahead of its OneNYC goal of awarding $25 billion in contracts to these types of businesses shows the M/WBE program has made great strides to reverse that disparity since the initiative was created 30 years ago.”