In July 2020, Comptroller Stringer’s Office surveyed 500 M/WBEs on the impact of COVID-19, finding that 85 percent of M/WBE firms projected less than six months of survival. A follow up survey from the Comptroller’s Office found that 50 percent of M/WBEs were forced to lay off or furlough employees. This report examines City spending with M/WBEs, finding that:
This report follows up on that survey, finding that:
One of New York City’s most powerful tools in creating opportunities for M/WBEs is subcontracting. However, this report has shown that almost 70 percent of Local Law 1-eliglble contracts in FY 2021 were assigned goals below the City’s standard of 30 percent. This translated into just 437 M/WBEs receiving subcontracting dollars in FY 2021 – less than five percent of all certified firms. The next City Council should reassess M/WBE legislation with a targeted focus on goals. The Council should review ways that the City can use its full purchasing power to set aggressive M/WBE goals wherever there is M/WBE availability. For example, it should also explore more flexibility when it comes to criteria for granting waivers, including considerations of market availability of M/WBEs and industry standards around subcontracting. In addition, City Council should also utilize the next disparity study to expand the universe of businesses able to participate in the goals program, such as firms with LGBTQIA+ and disabled owners, immigrant-owned firms, and cooperatives.
To read Comptroller Stringer’s eighth annual “Making the Grade: New York City Agency Report Card on M/WBEs” report, click here.