Creation of new Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs
30 percent of the dollar amount of City Contract awards to M/WBEs by 2021
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a bold new vision for the City’s Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) program.
First, the Mayor announced that he has appointed Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery as the new Director of the City’s M/WBE program. He will be supported by the recently announced M/WBE Senior Advisor Jonnel Doris, and together they will shape policies and submit recommendations to increase contracting opportunities.
The Mayor also announced the creation of the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs, which will be focused on fostering the success of minority- and women-owned businesses and coordinating the work of other City offices, including the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the Department of Small Business Services, that administer the City’s M/WBE programs. Through this office, the City will increase agency accountability and ensure access for businesses that want to contract with the City. The office will also serve as a one-stop-shop for M/WBEs to connect with various City agencies.
Central to these improvements, the Mayor has set an ambitious goal of awarding at least 30 percent of the dollar amount of City contracts to M/WBEs by 2021. These would include prime and subcontracts with Mayoral and certain non-Mayoral agencies. The City is adding resources to the Department of Small Business Services and the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services to execute plans to meet the 30 percent goal. This includes increased funding for capacity building programs, free services to help strengthen City-certified M/WBEs, including connections to bonding, teaming, mentorship and one-on-one technical assistance, and resources to help City agencies improve their M/WBE program.
In addition to increasing access to City services and opportunities, the Mayor is ensuring that M/WBEs have access to City capital by improving upon the City Contract Financing Loan program. The loan program will be a revolving fund capped at a 3 percent APR, the lowest of its kind in the entire state among government-funded programs. Eligible M/WBEs will be able to apply for loans of up to $500,000. The loan program will be available to companies that are certified M/WBEs or in the process of M/WBE certification, as well as small businesses that cannot access financing from traditional sources.
“As a city, we are committed to ensuring that all people – regardless of race, gender or ethnicity – have the means to succeed in our economy. It is a fact that when minority- and women-owned businesses have the opportunity to participate in our economy, communities across New York City and the City as whole thrive,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With the new Office of M/WBEs and Deputy Mayor Buery’s leadership, we are in a stronger position to continue delivering results for the City’s M/WBEs.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “Improving and expanding New York City’s M/WBE program will help us reach our goal of achieving true equality in economic opportunity so that all New Yorkers are able to thrive and contribute to the city’s economy. By offering women and minorities more supportive services, increased access to information about potential opportunities and low interest loans, we can open doors for them to do business with the City. I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to improving opportunities for women and minorities and his determination to make the program as successful as possible.”
"For far too long, woman- and minority-owned businesses have too often been shut out of City contracts making it harder for them to take advantage of opportunities to work with the City," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "This Council has made it a top priority to make government contracting more inclusive of underrepresented businesses and doing everything in our purview to bridge that gap and provide those opportunities for M/WBE's. Just recently, the Council passed a package of bills that will hold agencies accountable for meeting the goals of the M/WBE program and to promote efforts for greater collaboration. I want to thank my Council colleagues for their commitment to M/WBE's and the Administration for taking steps to help strengthen the M/WBE program."
“As the most diverse city in the world, it is critical that we support our small businesses owned by women and people of color,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “This new commitment to M/WBEs will help propel our businesses, increase opportunities, and boost the middle class. I'm pleased to work with Mayor de Blasio on this critical issue and look forward to doing even more to support working families in our city."
“Minority- and women-owned businesses have long been a vital part of New York City’s rich and diverse economy. Today’s announcement deepens the City’s commitment to ensuring that they can flourish,” saidRichard Buery, Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policy Initiatives. “By honing in on an aggressive goal to award 30 percent of the dollar value of City contracts to minority and women business owners over five years, we will create an economy that works for everyone.”
"Creating the Mayor's Office of Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises and committing significant additional City resources to expanding those business’ opportunities for growth will benefit New York City as a whole," said Jonnel Doris, Senior Advisor for M/WBEs. "I am honored to implement the Mayor's plan to bring economic prosperity to these skilled entrepreneurs."
These announcements come on the heels of record-breaking dollar value of City contract awards to M/WBEs. In the first two years since the Mayor set his OneNYC goal of awarding $16 billion to M/WBEs in contracting opportunities, the City has awarded $3.54 billion dollars to M/WBEs.
In addition, the Department of Small Business Services has reached a historic number of M/WBE certifications. To date, SBS has certified over 4,500 M/WBE firms, a 23 percent increase since the beginning of this administration. With this in mind, the Mayor has set a new goal to double the number of certified and re-certified M/WBEs at the Department of Small Business Services from 4,500 to 9,000 by 2019. This will ensure more M/WBEs can compete for City contracts and increase their ability to sustain their businesses.
There are impediments in State law that deny the City some of the tools and flexibility it needs to maximize M/WBE participation. As part of today’s announcements, the Mayor renewed his call for the passage of a State law to give New York City the tools it needs to bring opportunities to more M/WBEs. Those changes will be critical to New York City’s ability to achieve its ambitious targets.
"Under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Small Business Services has certified an all-time-high number of minority- and women-owned businesses and enterprises to do business with the city,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “With additional funding being deployed for capacity building, our department is boldly aiming to double this historic number of business certifications by 2019. These efforts will help ensure that city contractors reflect the rich diversity of our city and our business community.”
“The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services is committed to encouraging an inclusive and competitive business environment – one that reflects the diversity of this City. In the past two years, we have made progress in leveling the playing field for minority- and women-owned businesses. We are excited to work with Deputy Mayor Buery, Jonnel Doris and the Office of M/WBEs as they lead the effort to further increase opportunities for M/WBEs,” said Michael Owh, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services.
“The New York City Department of Design and Construction greatly values the contributions of M/WBEs and in Fiscal Year 2015 awarded $242 million in contracts to them – over a third of the agency’s total contract amount for the year,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “DDC, through its Office of Diversity and Industry Relations, hosts a number of events and programs to introduce M/WBEs to upcoming projects and how to navigate the City procurement process. A centralized M/WBE office further demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to creating an equitable and competitive business environment that facilitates procurement opportunities for the City’s M/WBE community.”