De Blasio Administration Announces Over $1.6 Billion in Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Awards for Fiscal Year 2015

September 28, 2015

City on track to reach OneNYC goal of $16 billion in M/WBE awards over 10 years

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio and M/WBE Director Maya Wiley today announced that New York City awarded $1,618,103,913 – over $1.6 billion – in contracts to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises in Fiscal Year 2015. The City is on track to meet the administration’s ambitious goal of awarding $16 billion in M/WBE contracts across agencies over the next 10 years. The administration today released the first citywide report on M/WBE awarding across all agencies, reporting awards for every agency, including non-mayoral agencies and Authorities.

“Increasing our City spending on minority and women-owned business enterprises is a critical tool to reducing inequality, and we are proud to announce over $1.6 billion in awards to our City’s M/WBE’s,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We are committed to leveraging every tool to meet our goal of spending $16 billion over the next 10 years, and we will hold every agency accountable in this process.”

In July, the Mayor issued a directive to all agencies proposing new accountability measures to increase M/WBE contracting. The City also reached a record-breaking number of certified M/WBEs in Fiscal Year 2015 – over 4,100. Roughly 1,500 of those – more than one-third – have been certified since the start of the de Blasio Administration. To help increase certification, the administration cut down red tape by making it easier to certify and re-certify online, introducing one-on-one certification application review sessions, and improving the Payee Information Portal to better identify and reach out to firms that are minority or women-owned, but may not be certified.  

The City is also pursuing legislation in Albany that would give the City wider legal authority to create opportunities for M/WBEs. That legislation, which passed the Assembly in June, would, for example, grant the City the same authority the State has to make discretionary awards up to $200,000 to M/WBEs. 

Read the full report here.

“The City is making strong progress on expanding opportunity for M/WBEs, but we have more work to do,” said Maya Wiley, Counsel to the Mayor and Citywide M/WBE Director. “We’ve invested more effort and prioritized growing this program than any Administration in history but we won’t rest until M/WBEs have the same opportunities to prosper in this great city as the successful firms who’ve come before them.”

"The New York State Assembly is proud to support programs that promote the talent and economic potential of minority and women entrepreneurs. We are working closely with city officials to promote minority and women owned businesses and passed comprehensive legislation earlier this year to expand opportunities and promote growth. I commend Mayor de Blasio for making this significant investment in our growing economy. I look forward to working with him to implement new policies that ensure the fair distribution of business opportunities," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for providing greater opportunities and support for women and minority small business owners who are the backbone of our economy. Such efforts help level the playing field and are crucial to reducing inequality and creating small business jobs,” said Congressman Charles Rangel.

“Yesterday, the Pope spoke about economic opportunity as the engine of growth for our economy. We need policies that provide opportunity to everybody so that hard work and merit are what determines success,” said Congressman Daniel Donovan.

“Small businesses play a major role in the vitality of New York City’s economy and our local communities. From corner bodegas to corporate franchises, many of these businesses are owned by minorities and women, particularly in the Bronx. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Director Maya Wiley’s efforts to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned business owners by increasing the amount of contracts awarded by the City over the next 10 years. I am very thrilled that this year alone the City has already awarded more than $1.6 billion in contracts, and the administration has made significant improvements in the certification process for small businesses. These awards are an important investment in the economic well-being of our city,” said Congressman Jose Serrano.

“For our state to succeed economically we need to unleash the potential of all New York residents and that means ensuring the success of minority and women owned businesses. I commend Mayor de Blasio for his leadership on this issue and for his administration’s increased investment in M/WBEs as well as for proving a clear and concise report on which New York City agencies and authorities are utilizing the skills of M/WBEs,” said Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

"I am very pleased with New York City’s progress toward an ambitious M/WBE goal. Supporting M/WBEs is an important step toward leveling the playing field for those who continue to face systemic barriers to success. Minority- and women-owned businesses tend to be small businesses, and we know that these are the powerful engines of the city’s economy. Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio and M/WBE Director Wiley on today’s announcement  - it's good news for equality, diversity, and economic growth throughout the five boroughs,” said State Senator Liz Krueger.

“For far too long, minority and women-owned business enterprises have been the subject of discrimination, and there is an urgent need to remedy the disparity between M/WBEs and non- M/WBEs when it comes to public contract awards. As an elected official who represents immigrant and minority communities, it is troubling to see that M/WBEs account for a very small percentage of city and state contracts. Although we have come a long way in bridging the gap, we still have a long way to go in leveling the playing field," said State Senator Jose Peralta (D-Queens). “We must have contracting practices that reflect who we are as a City, and I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for his efforts toward achieving this goal,” said State Senator Jose Peralta.

"We must battle the tale of two cities by ensuring opportunity equality and an even playing field," said State Senator James Sanders. "We must work with those committed to social justice and economic opportunity such as Mayor Bill de Blasio. We look forward to reading the entire report and learning the percentage that each demographic has received. For example, what percentage have Asians received, what percentage have Latino received, etc. This is a step in the right direction, let's keep going."

“I am delighted to know that the needle is finally moving further in the direction of economic inclusion in this City after of being stagnant for years,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. “Although there is still a way to go, the City’s effort to increase the participation of M/WBE’s in government contracts is a step forward. Coupled with legislation that will enforce and expand economic opportunities to all corners of the city, the Mayor's ambitious and aggressive goal of granting $16 billion in contracts to M/WBEs over the next 10 years at an average of a 10 percent increase is very reachable. I look forward to the partnership with Mayor de Blasio and all M/WBE stakeholders to make our collective goals a reality.”
 
“I commend Mayor de Blasio and the City administration for reaching this $1.6 billion milestone. Building a truly inclusive city and one that creates economic opportunities for all starts with tangible investments in women and minority owned businesses,” said Assembly Member Marcos Crespo.

“As a past chair of the legislative women's caucus, the issue of supporting MWBE companies is a longstanding priority," said Assembly Member Catherine Nolan.

"I want to thank the mayor for committing over $1.6 billion in contracts to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. This is another major step in the right direction to help minority women succeed in business. It should provide a great deal to stimulate business growth in our middle class communities, especially where economic development projects need more women in leadership," said Assembly Member Felix Ortiz.

"It is an honor to live in a city that places such priority on contracting with M/WBEs," Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright said. "In Albany, I look forward to working with my colleagues to support legislation that will further improve City support for them.”

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to advancing opportunities to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises and his backing that up with real resources that will make a real difference in the lives of women and families,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon.

"A strong and vast partnership between minority and women-owned businesses and the City of New York is a powerful tool in leveling the playing field and progressing our City. The de Blasio administration's commitment to connecting this burgeoning and talented workforce with these opportunities has the potential to transform entire communities and improve City services. On the state level, I established a small-business mentoring program that continues to see great results by improving access for M/WBE businesses and diversifying our workforce. Similarly, I look forward to seeing the continued success of these businesses as the City reaches it's goal of $16 billion in M/WBE contracts," said Assembly Member Keith L.T. Wright.

“An investment into minority and women-owned business enterprises, is an investment into the growth and development of not only small businesses but also our community as a whole. As Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues, I commend Mayor de Blasio and his administration for working diligently to close the gap, increase M/WBE participation in procuring government contracts, and bolster our City’s economy through these awards,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues.

“I applaud and support the Mayor’s dedication to increasing MWBE participation,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Contracts. “I look forward hearing legislation to bolster the Administration’s efforts, including a resolution to increase the threshold for City M/WBE micropurchasing awards.”

“It should build great confidence within the M/WBE community to hear that the administration is not just setting, but actually achieving, its M/WBE contracting goals. This accomplishment requires cooperation at all levels of city government so I would like to thank and congratulate every commissioner and every procurement officer who has taken on increasing M/WBE certification and contracting as a professional mission. Being on target this early in the game gives me hope that we will actually exceed the 10-year goal, giving all New Yorkers who believe in increasing opportunity something to celebrate,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr, Chair of the Committee on Small Business.

"I applaud the Mayor and his administration for taking the initiative to expand opportunities for MWBE businesses. Such efforts would lead to economic development, financial security, and it will benefit residents of the City of New York,” said Dr. Allen Martin, President of the Ministerial Association of the Northeastern Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and his administration in advocating on behalf of women and minority entrepreneurs in the City of New York. Prior to the Mayor taking office, he was and still is a strong advocate for M/WBEs. The administration’s M/WBE initiatives give businesses the funds that they so badly need,” said Dr. Roy Hastick, Sr., President and Founder of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.

"Triumphant Tabernacle Mission I am happy to see our Mayor create such a great opportunity for M/WBE! This creates equality for minority business all over New York City. I look forward to see this initiative grow tremendously,” said Pastor Phillip Wesley, New Dimension Seventh-day Adventist Church.

"As a longtime advocate of our M/WBE community and a partner of the City of New York in its efforts to increase the participation of minority and women owned firms in procurement contracts, I am glad Mayor de Blasio is making the M/WBE a priority and is working to ensure the numbers are not just a goal but a reality. The New York Women's Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with him on implementing the proposed changes to make the program more effective,” said Quenia Abreu, President of New York Women's Chamber of Commerce.

"The Chamber and its members applaud the announcement by the Mayor's Office of $1.6 billion in MWBE awards for FY15. With this recent announcement, the city will be on track to increase opportunities for certified minority businesses future growth across all sectors, which is a major accomplishment,” said Rick Miranda, President/CEO of the Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"New York City’s economy thrives when our minority and women-owned businesses are strong, and thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, they are now $1.6 billion stronger. Since taking office, the Mayor has made assisting and certifying M/WBEs a major priority – one on which the Brooklyn Chamber is proud to partner – and he is well on his way to accomplishing his goals. Not only is his administration on pace to award $16 billion in M/WBE contracts over the next decade, but thanks to new policies, they have achieved a new record number of certified businesses, with over a third certified since the start of his tenure. There’s no question that M/WBEs have a brighter future under Mayor de Blasio,” said Carlo A. Scissura, Esq., President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

"Well done. M/WBE's can finally say that getting certified with the City is well worth the effort. The sharp increase in City contracts awarded to M/WBE's should encourage a lot more firms to get M/WBE certified. The numbers show that City contracting opportunity is knocking on their door,” said Alfred Placeres, Esq., President, NYS Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.

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