Comptroller Stringer Seeks To Empower M/WBEs Through Workshops

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Stringer. Screen shot CBS2

New York Comptroller Stringer has announced a 2018 initiative to help minority and women-owned business enterprises – known as M/WBEs – gain access to City contracts. Known as “M/WBE University,” the year-long series of workshops is designed to help M/WBEs get certified with the City, navigate the procurement process, and gain access to government business.

While City agencies are making important strides in delivering contracts to M/WBEs, major gaps remain. Last year, the City awarded just over $1 billion in contracts to M/WBEs, which represent only 4.9 percent of all awards.

“Four years ago, we did something no one had before. We started analyzing and holding agencies accountable for how – and to whom – it delivers contracts. We saw deep inequities, and a playing field that was far from level. With M/WBE University, we’re building on our office’s work and helping business owners navigate the City procurement process. This is about fairness,” Comptroller Stringer said. “M/WBE University is so important because these companies help to build real, local wealth across all of our communities. That’s why we need to work with these businesses closely. If we’re going to have a true five-borough economy where everyone has a fair shot, we have to make sure our M/WBEs are successful.”

The year-long series of workshops will, for the first time, bring in representatives from major companies like IBM, CDW, and Ricoh Partner, as well as other businesses that contract with the City for legal, construction, and accounting services. Along with opening the doors to City contracting, M/WBE University will provide businesses with opportunities in contracting directly with the Comptroller’s office.

The list of workshops include:

February 23: Doing Business with NYC as an IBM, CDW, or Ricoh Partner

March 23: Become a Prequalified NYC Auditor

May 25: Capital, Bonds, & Tax Breaks for Businesses Impacting NYC

July 13: Doing Business with the Comptroller

August 17: Prevailing Wage: What Your Business Needs to Know

December 14: The Future of M/WBEs in NYC

Since taking office, Comptroller Stringer has launched several initiatives to increase transparency and improve access to City contracting by M/WBEs. Those include his “Making the Grade” report, which assessed each City agency’s actual spending with M/WBEs compared to citywide procurement goals established by Local Law 1 of 2013 and a Red Tape Commission that pinpointed roadblocks for small businesses.

M/WBE data from the most recent Making the Grade report shows:

Since the letter grade report started in 2014, annual spending with M/WBEs increased by $208 million to $554 million in FY 2017.

More agencies receiving “A” and “B” grades than ever before and compared to FY 2016, grades increased at 13 agencies in FY 2017. Overall, 42 percent of agencies saw their grade increase in FY 2017.

In FY 2017, the City awarded $21 billion total in goods and services to outside vendors. Of all contracts, just over $1 billion was awarded to M/WBEs. That represents 4.9 percent of all awards – an uptick from 4.8 percent a year ago and a rise from 3.9 percent in FY 2014.

To read the full “Making the Grade” report

To see the schedule of M/WBE University events



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