October 1, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Sets Highest MWBE State Contracting Goal in the Nation at 30 Percent - as State Exceeds 20 Percent Target Set in First State of the State

TOP Governor Cuomo Sets Highest MWBE State...

Governor Cuomo Says New York Now ‘Raising the Bar Even Higher’ after Record 25 Percent Utilization of Minority– and Women–Owned Enterprises (MWBE) in FY2013-14 State Contracting

Record Figures Represent Significant Increase from 10 Percent MWBE State Contract Utilization Rate When Governor Cuomo Took Office in FY2010-11


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his Administration is dramatically increasing its goal for minority-and-women-owned enterprises (MWBE) state contracting utilization to 30 percent – as new data released today showed that New York State has far exceeded the original 20 percent goal that he set in his first State of the State address. That 30 percent goal represents the highest such target in the nation for any state government.


Governor Cuomo made the announcement at the start of New York State’s Fourth Annual MWBE Forum in Albany – where he unveiled new data on record MWBE utilization in state contracting of 25 percent in FY2013-14 – which represents a total of nearly $2 billion in contracts. That figure is up dramatically from the 10 percent MWBE state contract utilization rate in FY2010-11 when Governor Cuomo took office.


"Discrimination and racism is alive and well and it is illegal. Government has an affirmative obligation to right these wrongs, and we need to have the same strength in enforcing these laws as we do with criminal and drug laws," Governor Cuomo said. "First, we worked hard to fix the MWBE program, looking at the goals set for the program and what had actually been achieved. We exceeded our goal of state contracts going to MWBE contractors, from 20 percent to 25 percent – that's $2 billion and the highest in the nation. New York has done many things but we still have more to do, and that is why we are proud to announce a goal of 30 percent, the highest in the United States, to continue this progression and momentum and ensure that MWBEs are fully represented in this state."


In 2011, Governor Cuomo established, by executive order, a statewide MWBE Team to explore ways to eliminate barriers and expand the participation of MWBEs in State contracting. Three years later, a number of key initiatives that the MWBE Team pushed forward, including an improved online reporting system, a streamlined certification process, increased outreach initiatives, and a State-sponsored bonding program, have helped increase MWBE utilization beyond the 20 percent goal that the Governor set in his first State of the State address.


Governor Cuomo’s announcement came at the start of New York State’s Fourth Annual MWBE Forum at the Empire State Convention Center in Albany. The Forum, which runs through October 2nd, provides MWBEs and small, emerging businesses with an opportunity to learn about the New York State procurement process, State contract opportunities, and connect with public and private sector decision makers to expand their business and increase competitiveness.  The goal of the Forum is to make the process of doing business with the State easier and to serve as a “one-stop shop” that features New York State contract and business expansion opportunities for MWBEs and small businesses.


During the MWBE Forum’s opening session, Alphonso B. David, Deputy Secretary and Counsel for Civil Rights, highlighted three initiatives that Governor Cuomo launched since January that are designed to contribute to MWBE participation on New York State contracts – and the progress already made to date.


  • Governor Cuomo announced during his 2014 State of the State address a goal to increase MWBE certification by an additional 2,000 firms.  Since the Governor delivered this year’s State of the State address on January 8, the State has already increased its pool of certified MWBEs by more than 700 firms. 


  • Governor Cuomo launched a “Bridge to Success” loan program in March 2014 to invest at least $20 million to expand access to short term bridge loans for MWBEs.  The program provides qualified MWBEs with the short-term resources necessary to participate in the up to $1 billion in contracting opportunities with New York State.  To date, lenders participating in the Bridge to Success program have already made 23 loans totaling $2.9 million to NYS certified MWBEs contracting with State agencies.


  • Governor Cuomo launched the State’s Business Mentor New York program in May 2014.  Business Mentor NY is a free mentoring program that connects volunteer business professionals to MWBEs and small businesses to help them address specific challenges and obstacles to success. The one-on-one guidance and counsel complements the State’s current network of financial and technical assistance providers that help owners and communities realize their full economic potential.  Since the launching the program, nearly 1,200 mentors and entrepreneurs have signed up on the Business Mentor NY platform.  This includes nearly 500 pro bono business professionals, such as attorneys, accountants, consultants and other entrepreneurs and experts in the fields of finance, retail, communications,  information technology, human resources and staffing, public relations, sales and marketing,  who volunteer as mentors. 


The Governor's MWBE Team includes the following elected officials, business and academic leaders, and members of the Governor's cabinet and administration:


  • William C. Thompson, Jr., Chair MWBE Team
  • Alphonso B. David, Deputy Secretary and Counsel for Civil Rights, Office of the New York State Governor  
  • Mecca Santana, Chief Diversity Officer, Office of the New York State Governor  
  • Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, District 18
  • Senator Bill Perkins, District 30
  • Senator Adriano Espaillat, District 31
  • Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, District 36
  • Senator Elizabeth Little, District 45
  • Senator Patricia Ritchie, District 48
  • Assembly Member Earlene Hooper, District 18
  • Assembly Member N. Nick Perry, District 58
  • Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, District 68
  • Assembly Member Keith Wright, District 70
  • Assembly Member Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, District 141
  • RoAnn M. Destito, Commissioner, Office of General Services
  • Joan McDonald, Commissioner, Department of Transportation
  • Robert L. Megna, Budget Director, Division of the Budget
  • Peter M. Rivera, Commissioner, Department of Labor
  • Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner and CEO, NYS Homes & Community Renewal
  • Paul T. Williams, Jr., President and CEO, DASNY
  • Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York
  • Walter Broadnax, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School Syracuse University
  • William Castle, Chief Diversity Officer, Xerox Corporation
  • James E. Francis, Board Chair, Council of Urban Professionals (CUP)
  • Michael J. Garner, Chief Diversity Officer, Metropolitan Transit Authority
  • Sandra Wilkin, President Emeritus, Women Builders Council, Inc.
  • Jacqueline Williams, Coordinator, MWBE Coalition


Contact the Governor’s Press Office

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418