NYC certified MWBE firms hits 9,000
New York City has hit its goal of certifying 9,000 Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises by the end of June, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Citywide MWBE Director J. Phillip Thompson.
This represents a doubling of the city-certified pool of MWBEs in less than three years, a goal set by de Blasio back in 2016 and comes on the heels of recent state and city legislation aimed at advancing economic opportunity for those firms.
“If our economy isn’t inclusive, then it’s not working as it should,” de Blasio said on Monday. “That’s why under my Administration we’ve increased MWBE certification 145% and have awarded over $11 billion in contracts to a diverse workforce. But we’re not finished. We urge Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo to sign the MWBE bills to help us further build a fairer city where no one is left behind.”
In March, the city announced a state legislative proposal to increase discretionary spending for purchases from MWBEs from $150,000 to $1 million, with an anticipated impact of about 30% to 50% a year, or $300 million to $500 million annually, in awards to MWBEs.
In June, the State Legislature passed a bill that would give the city the authority to increase economic opportunities for MWBEs. If signed into law by the governor, the city could make discretionary awards to MWBEs of up to $500,000. The bill would also let the city implement other key programs already available to MWBEs at the state level such as a mentorship program and prequalified lists.
“This Administration will continue to work diligently to increase access, close the disparity gap, and deliver results for city MWBEs,” said Jonnel Doris, director of the Mayor’s Office of MWBEs. “I am proud that we have more than doubled the number of city-certified MWBE firms, reaching the mayor’s goal to certify 9,000 firms. We will continue to implement new initiatives to lower barriers to entry, level the playing and increase opportunities for MWBEs to successfully compete in our market.”
The number of city-certified MWBEs also puts the administration on track toward its goal to award 30% of the value of all city contracts to MWBEs by 2021.
“By investing in the acquisition and growth of city-certified minority and women-owned businesses, the de Blasio Administration is advancing the values of an inclusive economy in which all New Yorkers are provided with quality business and workforce opportunities,” Thompson said. “With 9,000 MWBEs now city-certified, we urge the governor to sign into a law a bill that would help address long-standing disparities and issues of access for certain communities.”
The city is one of the largest issuers of municipal debt in the United States and often employs MWBE firms in its deals. As of March 31, the city had about $37.68 billion of general obligation (Aa1/A/A) debt outstanding. That's not counting the various city authorities which issue debt.
The NYC Transitional Finance Authority has $37.02 billion of debt outstanding while the NYC Municipal Water Finance Authority has $29.81 billion of debt outstanding. The TFA’s debt consists of future tax secured senior bonds (Aaa/AAA/AAA), future tax-secured subordinate bonds (Aa1/AAA/AAA) and building aid revenue bonds (Aa2/AA/AA). The MWFA’s debt consists of general resolution bonds (A1/AAA/AA+) and second general resolution bonds (Aa1/AA+/AA+).