De Blasio increases target for NYC contract for MWBEs to $25B

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New York City said it was increasing its target for contracts awarded to certified Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises by $5 billion to $25 billion by fiscal year 2025.

Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement in Puerto Rico Thursday during an event at SER de Puerto Rico, a non-profit based in Hato Rey. Also in attendance were First Lady Chirlane McCray, Jonnel Doris, the director of the Mayor’s Office of MWBEs and Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the department of Small Business Services.

SER has been supported in its recovery from Hurricane Maria by Marvel Architects, an MWBE firm that works in 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,” de Blasio said. “We set out to fix that long-standing injustice and invest back into our communities, and now we’re committing to doing even more.”

The Office of MWBE has sought to increase the dollar value of city contracts awarded to certified firms. It began in 2016 with a starting goal of $16 billion in contracts and raised it to $20 billion in 2018.
Since the Office was created in 2016, the city has awarded $13.2 billion in contracts to MWBEs. In fiscal 2019, the city awarded $3.8 billion in contracts to MWBEs through mayoral and non-mayoral agencies. Non-mayoral agencies include the Economic Development Corp. and the Department of Education.

“It is an honor to stand with Mayor Bill de Blasio today during this historic announcement to increase the OneNYC MWBE goal to $25 billion by 2025,” Doris said. “We have doubled the number of certified firms, tripled our utilization and already awarded $13.2 billion to MWBEs. 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.”

In June, the city hit its goal of certifying 9,000 MWBEs, well ahead of the deadline of the end of FY19. The city also remains on track to its goal of awarding 30% of mayoral contracts subject to Local Law 1 to MWBEs by fiscal 2021.

“The MWBE program levels the playing field by providing historically marginalized communities with increased access to wealth-building opportunities in the form of city contracts,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policy Initiatives.

The city said that some new policies and laws have also made it easier to empower MWBEs. A New York State legislative proposal would increase discretionary spending for purchases from MWBEs to $1 million from $150,000, with an anticipated impact of about 30%-50%, or $300 million-$500 million, annually in awards to MWBEs in that size range.

The state also passed legislation lets the city make discretionary awards to MWBEs of up to $500,000. The law also allows the city use other programs that were available to MWBEs at the state level, such as a mentorship program and the use of prequalified lists.

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