New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that the city has reached an historic milestone in its efforts to create opportunities for MWBE’s. Since 2015, the city has awarded over $10 billion in contracts to minority and woman-owned businesses — $3.7 billion of that in 2018 alone. The amount represents 19 percent of the total value of city contracts awarded this year, up from 11.4 percent in 2017.
The milestone is an important one for de Blasio, who has made increased participation in city contracting opportunities by minority and women-owned businesses a cornerstone of his platform. In 2015, he announced the One NYC plan, which set the goal of awarding $16 billion in city contracts to MWBEs by 2025. Then, in 2016, he created the NYC Office of MWBEs and set the goal of awarding 30 percent of all mayoral and some non-mayoral agency contracts to MWBE’s by 2021.
And just last May, deBlasio announced that the city was ahead of schedule in meeting its One NYC goal and pledged to award at least $20 billion in contracts to MWBEs by 2025. At the same time, he doubled the maximum amount available to MWBEs through the New York City’s Contract Financing Loan Fund from $500,000 to $1 million. The Fund provides loans to small businesses and MWBEs at a 3 percent interest rate. Since 2017, more than 30 businesses, 90 percent of them city-certified MWBEs, have obtained over $6 million in loans from the fund.
“To truly become the fairest big city in America, we need to take steps that allow everyone — regardless of race, gender or ethnicity — to participate in our economy,” de Blasio said. And while he acknowledged that the city still has more work to do, he restated his commitment to making New York “a fairer and more inclusive city.”
The city agencies that awarded the most contracts to MWBEs since 2015 were:
- Department of Design and Construction — $1 billion
- Department of Parks and Recreation — $445 million
- Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications — $449 million
- Department of Environmental Protection — $434 million
- Department of Transportation — $275 million
State MWBE Utilization Also Improving
In separate but related news, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office recently announced that state agencies had achieved a 28.62 MWBE utilization rate for fiscal year 2017 -18, up from 27.2 last year and approaching Cuomo’s goal of 30 percent.
The figure was challenged by Mike Elmendorf, president and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of New York State, a trade group that represents about 250 general contractors and subcontractors across the state. “I’d be very interested in learning how they arrived at that number,” he said.
Elmendorf claims that “just about 100 percent” of his membership claim the numbers can’t be real because there are simply not enough MWBE firms available with the capacity to complete that many jobs. “You have goals that are just not reflective of what you’re doing and who’s available to do it,” he said.
Still, the governor’s office stands by its numbers. In a statement, Alphonso David, counsel to the governor, said, “We have dedicated, skilled state workers that have been working on this program for eight years and making sure we engage in effective outreach and education.” David added that the Association of General Contractors “have been challenging our numbers for years.”
About Carmoon Ltd.
Carmoon Ltd. is an insurance broker headquartered in Hicksville, New York, A minority-owned business, we have over 20 years of experience serving the MWBE community in New York and, through our network of affiliates, all across the United States. We offer a full suite of business insurance products and risk management solutions to suit your needs. Just give us a call today to set up an appointment for your insurance review. Or, if it’s more convenient, reach out online and we will get back to you as soon as we can.