June 20, 2019
The State Legislature passed S6418A/A8407 sponsored by State Senator Kevin Parker and Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, which gives the City of New York the authority to increase economic opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). If signed into law, the City would be able to make discretionary awards to M/WBEs of up to $500,000. A higher discretionary threshold will increase M/WBEs’ access to more City projects that also are larger in scale. The City’s current discretionary award limit for goods and services is $150,000. Additionally, the legislation would allow the City to authorize a mentorship program for the Department of Design and Construction similar to the programs already available at the MTA and School Construction Authority. The bill also would allow the City to create pre-qualified lists exclusively for M/WBEs and small businesses.
Statement from Mayor Bill de Blasio
“Our city is fairer and more vibrant when everyone – regardless of race, gender or ethnicity – has an opportunity to participate in our economy. With the help of State lawmakers and persistent advocacy from our minority and women entrepreneurs, we managed to once again expand economic opportunity for people who have historically been left out of our economy. A $500,000 discretionary award limit for minority and women entrepreneurs will strengthen our thriving economy and entrepreneurial backbone. I would like to thank our Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, bill sponsors State Senator Kevin Parker and Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, and the rest of the legislature for giving us greater tools to help our local businesses. I urge the Governor to sign this legislation into law and help us empower our minority and women-owned businesses.”
Statement from J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Citywide M/WBE Director:
“We are at an inflection point when it comes to building a resilient economy, inclusive of all diverse vendors in City contracting. With the passage of this bill, we are primed for change because when M/WBEs succeed, our communities thrive and those who need jobs most are more likely to be hired. It has been an inspiring journey. Thank you to the legislative leaders and our bill sponsors, State Senator Parker and Assembly Member Bichotte, for seeing this legislation through. We now urge the Governor to sign this legislation into law to help dismantle longstanding institutional barriers inhibiting small business growth and provide meaningful relief to elevate entrepreneurs who have historically been marginalized.”