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Mayor de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Thompson Launch Citywide Push to Help Minority And Women-Owned Business Enterprises Win Contracts

September 18, 2018

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phil Thompson announced that the City will connect Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) to City agencies with active business opportunities through a new event series called M/WBE Borough Forums. The series also will provide an opportunity for non-certified businesses to learn how to do business with the City. The M/WBE Borough Forums will kick off on September 26th in Flushing, Queens.

“Our City works best when everyone – regardless of race, gender or ethnicity – have the resources they need to participate in our economy,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With this series, we’re bringing business opportunities directly to our diverse and talented New Yorkers who provide our City with a variety of goods and services. It’s just another way we’re creating the fairest big city in America.”

“With this first-time series, we’re stepping up the City’s already aggressive efforts to increasingly provide opportunity to M/WBEs,” said Phil Thompson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “Mayor de Blasio is investing in minority and women-owned businesses at record levels because we know that when these types of businesses succeed, so do communities.”

“This Administration continues to breakdown historic barriers faced by minority and women-owned businesses, specifically barriers to accessing government contracts” said Jonnel Doris, Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs.“M/WBEs are vital to their local economies and communities, this new event series brings much needed resources and opportunities directly to these firms allowing them to continue to grow and thrive.”

“The City’s commitment to building a more inclusive local economy is evident. Under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership, we’ve reached a record number of over 6,000 certified M/WBEs,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Now, we’re going one step further by bringing opportunities for success directly to M/WBEs’ neighborhoods through our borough forums.”

The event series, which will be run by the Department of Small Business Services and the Office of M/WBEs, is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's larger commitment to increase M/WBE participation in City contracting, which includes:

  • Awarding $20 Billion to M/WBEs by end of FY 2025.
  • Certifying 9,000 M/WBEs by end of FY 2019.
  • Awarding 30 percent of the value of all City contracts by end of FY 2021.

At the forums, M/WBEs will be able to connect with City agencies to learn about current and upcoming contracting opportunities. M/WBEs also will have the opportunity to learn how to certify their business with government entities; sign up for mentorship programs and workshops; market their business to City government; and access affordable loans to perform on City contracts.

The M/WBE Borough Forum in Queens is being hosted in partnership with the Flushing Business Improvement District (BID). The event will take place on September 26th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Sheraton Hotel Ballroom, 135-20 39th Ave Flushing, NY, 11354. Representatives from the following 13 City agencies will be available at the forum to discuss contracting opportunities. Translation services will be provided in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Taiwanese and Spanish at the event.

  • Administration for Children’s Services
  • Department of Citywide Administrative Services
  • Department of Correction
  • Department of Environmental Protection
  • Department of Homeless Services
  • Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications
  • Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Department of Sanitation
  • Department of Small Business Services
  • Department of Social Services
  • Fire Department of the City of New York
  • Human Resources Administration
  • New York Police Department

The M/WBE Borough Forums will then move to the Bronx in October, Manhattan in November, Brooklyn in January, and Staten Island in February.

For more information or to register to attend the Queens forum, visit

For more information on forums in all other boroughs, contact

"I look forward to partnering with SBS Commissioner Bishop on a M/WBE Borough Forum in Brooklyn this coming January. Diverse communities truly thrive when economic success is shared by businesses of all backgrounds. It is so important that we do more to connect more entrepreneurs with M/WBE certification support, as well as to connect more certified M/WBEs with active procurement opportunities," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

“The MWBEs in New York City are the engine of our economy, generating jobs throughout our neighborhoods and contributing to our quality of life,” said Council Member Peter Koo. “These forums are an amazing opportunity for any MWBE to capitalize on a number of lucrative procurement opportunities. 30 percent of the value of all City contracts is nothing to scoff at, and I encourage all of our community’s MWBEs to take advantage of this opportunity to do business with the City of New York.”

About the Office of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs)
As an essential component in tackling income inequality across the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio's Administration seeks to increase economic opportunity for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). In September of 2016, Mayor de Blasio created the Mayor's Office of M/WBEs to address the disparity in City contracts awarded to ethnic and gender groups and their overall representation in City contracting. The Office is responsible for oversight, policy and accountability of the City's M/WBE Program. It serves as a One-Stop-Shop for M/WBEs interested in doing business with the city and its agencies. Follow the Office of M/WBEs on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit, call 311, and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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