November 7, 2019
Goal had previously been $20 billion awarded to certified M/WBEs between 2015 and 2025; City was already $3.2 billion ahead of schedule for previous goal
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Director of the Mayor's Office of Minority & Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) Jonnel Doris, and Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services Gregg Bishop today announced that they were raising the City's 10-year target for contracts awarded to certified M/WBEs to $25 billion by 2025, a $5 billion increase that recognizes the City is far ahead of schedule in its efforts to work with M/WBEs.
The Mayor made the announcement during an event at SER de Puerto Rico, a non-profit in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. SER has been supported in its recovery from Hurricane Maria by Marvel Architects, an M/WBE that works in both New York and Puerto Rico.
"New York City was built by women and people of color, but for decades, the doors of opportunity were shut to them," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We set out to fix that longstanding injustice and invest back into our communities, and now we're committing to doing even more."
"The M/WBE Program levels the playing field by providing historically marginalized communities with increased access to wealth-building opportunities in the form of City Contracts. Our announcement today of increasing the OneNYC M/WBE goal to $25B by 2025, and the City's discretionary spending limit for M/WBEs to $500,000, will cement a legacy of sustainability for M/WBEs," said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policy Initiatives. "This action signifies our Administration's ever-deepening commitment to these talented entrepreneurs and to creating a fair and equitable city for all New Yorkers."
"It is an honor to stand with Mayor Bill de Blasio today during this historic announcement to increase the OneNYC M/WBE goal to $25B by 2025," said Jonnel Doris, Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor's Office of M/WBEs. "We have doubled the number of certified firms, tripled our utilization and already awarded $13.2B to M/WBEs. We continue to implement new and innovative programs to build the capacity of minority and women entrepreneurs to compete and win city contracts, creating an economy that works for all."
"New York City has reached historic goals that improve economic opportunity for all - and raising this commitment will continue to close the gap in government contracting for M/WBEs," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "By taking the next step, we are confirming that M/WBE certification helps businesses to participate more fully in our economy, and contribute their talents to our city."
Since the creation of the Office of M/WBEs in 2016, one of the organization's primary goals has been to increase the dollar value of City contracts awarded to certified M/WBEs in NYC. As of today, that goal has been raised $25 billion by FY25; the office launched with a goal of $16 billion in contracts by FY25, which was raised to $20 billion last year. However, having already awarded $13.2 billion in contracts to M/WBEs, the City is currently $3.2 billion ahead of schedule, allowing for a new, more ambitious goal. In FY19 alone, the City awarded $3.8 billion in contracts to M/WBEs through both Mayoral and non-mayoral agencies. The latter group includes agencies such as the Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Education.
The Office of M/WBEs is also far ahead of schedule on its other two primary goals. In June, the City accomplished another goal of certifying 9,000 M/WBEs, well ahead of the deadline of the end of FY19. Reaching that mark doubled the certified pool of businesses in just three years. The City remains on track to reach its third goal as well, awarding 30% of mayoral contracts subject to Local Law 1 to M/WBEs by FY21. In FY19, the City awarded 24% of its contracts to M/WBEs, a tripling of the initial 8% M/WBE utilization in just four years.
The top five performing OneNYC agencies since 2015 include:
New policies at the City and State level have also made it easier to empower M/WBEs. This March, the City announced a state legislative proposal to increase discretionary spending for purchases from M/WBEs from $150,000 to $1 million, with an anticipated impact of approximately 30-50 percent or $300-$500 million annually in awards to M/WBEs in that size range.
This year, Albany also enacted legislation that gives the City the authority to increase economic opportunities for M/WBEs. The City can now 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 bill also allows the City to implement other key programs already available to M/WBEs at the State level, such as a mentorship program and prequalified lists.
Firms interested in getting City-certified should visit sbsconnect.nyc.gov to complete the application. For application assistance, visit one of the City's seven NYC Business Solutions Centers located in all five boroughs.
"I would like to commend Mayor Bill de Blasio and his M/WBE team on the exceptional progress that has been and continues to be made to propel the NYC M/WBE program forward. It is a breath of fresh air when you see results from planning efforts put forth," said Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte. "Working together on a state level in collaboration with the NYC Mayor's M/WBE leadership, Deputy Mayor Phillip Thompson; Senior Advisor and Director Jonnel Doris; and SBS Commissioner Greg Bishop has been fruitful as we see access to opportunities and growth be utilized within the M/WBE community."
"Every contract awarded to an M/WBE is an investment into communities of color who too often are disconnected, disengaged, and disenfranchised. The City has made tremendous progress in closing the gap by creating opportunities that provide minority and women-owned businesses with a seat at the table. With the increased allocation of fiscal support and resources, I hope that the City of New York will ultimately become a place where business can be conducted equitably and without the need for designations," said Council Member Farah N. Louis.
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.
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 nyc.gov/sbs, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.