September 29, 2017
NEW YORK––Today, on the one-year anniversary of the Office of Minority and Women-owned Enterprises (M/WBEs), Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, Citywide M/WBE Director; the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs; the Department of Small Business Services and State Senator Marisol Alcantara hosted an M/WBE certification event at the Isabella Geriatric Center in Washington Heights.
At this certification event, Deputy Mayor Buery announced that, for the first time, the City has awarded over $1 billion to M/WBEs in one Fiscal Year (FY) – FY17. The $1 billion in awards to M/WBEs is double the value of contracts awarded in FY15. For context, the City awarded nearly $400 million to M/WBEs in FY15. Awards to M/WBEs increased to nearly $700 million in FY16.
The contracts have been awarded by the Mayoral agencies governed by Local Law 1, which does not include non-mayoral agencies such as NYCHA, EDC and Health and Hospitals. When including the awards of non-mayoral agencies, the City has awarded over $6 billion to M/WBEs since FY2015 under its OneNYC Plan– a plan that established a goal of awarding $16 billion to M/WBEs by close of FY 2025.
The Deputy Mayor also thanked leadership and member of both houses of the Legislature, in particular legislative bill sponsors State Senator Alcantara and Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman for passing a State bill that expands economic opportunity for New York City’s M/WBEs.
A key goal of the de Blasio Administration is to certify 9,000 M/WBEs by 2019. The certification event helped firms learn how to obtain M/WBE certification, which is done by the Department of Small Business Services, with the City of New York and access free programs and services to help attendees grow and sustain their businesses. Certified firms are listed on the City’s online directory of certified companies where they are more visible to City agencies and private companies.
S6513-B/A8508-A allows the City to spend up to $150,000 on purchase contracts (goods and services) with minority and women-owned businesses without requiring those businesses to first go through a time-consuming formal competitive bidding process. This increased discretionary spending limit for goods and services is now closer to the State’s $200,000 limit in this area. The City currently has $20,000 and $35,000 in discretionary spending limits for purchase contracts and construction, respectively.
This change would help minority and women-owned businesses overcome the historical disadvantages they have faced in the marketplace. The legislation also allows the City to award points or price preference to a firm for being a City-certified or State-certified M/WBE during the RFP evaluation process. In June 2016, the legislature passed the bill with a vote of 115-15 in the Assembly and unanimously in the Senate.
About the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Administration seeks to increase contracting opportunities for M/WBEs as an essential component in tackling income inequality across the city. Mayor de Blasio created the Mayor’s Office for Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) to address the disparity between City contracts awarded to certain ethnic and gender groups and their overall representation in City contracting. The Office is responsible for oversight, policy, interagency coordination 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.
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 on all SBS services, go to nyc.gov/sbs, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.