January 11, 2016
Albany, NY

14th Proposal of Governor Cuomo’s 2016 Agenda: Increase Opportunity for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

14th Proposal of Governor Cuomo’s 2016 Agenda: Increase Opportunity for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Governor pushes to apply 30 percent MWBE goal to all state-funded contracts – not just those issued by agencies and authorities – making additional $65 billion in state funds subject to nation’s highest MWBE goal

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the 14th signature proposal of his 2016 agenda: increase opportunity for minority- and women-owned business enterprises across New York State.

In 2014, Governor Cuomo established a goal of 30 percent for New York’s MWBE state contract utilization – the highest goal of any state in the nation. However, under state law, that goal only applies to contracts issued by state agencies and authorities; it does not apply to state funding given to localities such as cities, counties, towns, villages and school districts, which amounts to approximately $65 billion annually. This year, the Governor will advance legislation addressing this disconnect by expanding the MWBE goal setting to localities and entities that subcontract with those localities. Doing so will leverage the largest pool of state funding in history to combat systemic discrimination and create new opportunities for MWBE participation.

“We must extend our MWBE program to all state dollars in order to ensure fairness in economic opportunity,” said Governor Cuomo. “This proposal will help minority and women-owned businesses compete for another $65 billion in state contracts. This is about continuing New York’s legacy as a national leader on economic justice, and I am proud to be leading the fight again this year.”

Since taking office in 2011, Governor Cuomo has transformed the state’s MWBE program and increased access to valuable contracting opportunities. That same year, during his first State of the State address, Governor Cuomo raised the statewide MWBE goal from 10 to 20 percent and signed an executive order establishing a statewide MWBE Team to explore ways to eliminate barriers and expand the participation of these enterprises in state contracting.

By 2014, 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, helped increase MWBE utilization beyond the 20 percent goal that the Governor set in in 2011.

After surpassing his earlier 20 percent MWBE goal, the Governor once again raised the bar and set a new statewide goal of 30 percent utilization.

Under the Governor’s leadership, more than 4,300 MWBEs have been certified, more than 3,600 have been recertified, and more than $6.3 billion in state contracts have been secured by women or minority-owned businesses. As a result, MWBE certification and utilization on state contracts has more than doubled in just five years.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Albany: 518-474-8418

New York City: 212-681-4640