Expos Provide Information and Resources to Help Minority and Women Owned Businesses Continue Competing for State Contracts
Events Will Take Place in New York City, Central New York, and Western New York
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the 2019 Regional Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises Opportunities Expo Series, which will connect MWBEs with New York State agencies, expert resources, information on state projects and tools to access state opportunities. The events will be hosted in New York City, Central New York and Western New York.
"Every entrepreneur in New York should have the same opportunity to compete for state contracts, grow their business and succeed," Governor Cuomo said. "For too long, women and people of color have faced structural disadvantages, but New York's nation-leading MWBE program changes that calculus. The 2019 Regional MWBE Opportunities Expo Series will strengthen our successful efforts to support MWBEs and build an inclusive, thriving economy for all in the Empire State."
"As someone who helped start several women-owned businesses, I know the challenges in finding capital and the many other barriers that exist," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The annual MWBE Opportunities Expo breaks down barriers and helps women and minority entrepreneurs take their business to the next level. New York is leading the nation with an unprecedented commitment to MWBEs, setting the highest utilization goal in the nation and continuing to build on those efforts across the state."
The 2019 NYS Regional MWBE Opportunities Expo Series, sponsored by Empire State Development's Division of Minority and Women's Business Development and local State partners, will feature panel discussions, information on regional projects and workshops about New York State MWBE certification and business development resources. It will also include the New York State MWBE BOOT CAMP, which links MWBEs with regional technical assistance resources like Small Business Development Centers, networking opportunities with prime contractors, Procurement & Technical Assistance Centers and the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program. The Expos will also include information about State-sponsored financial and technical assistance programs, including the "Bridge to Success" Loan Program and the New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said: "Supporting Minority and Women Owned Businesses is critical to ensuring every New Yorker has equal opportunity to get ahead - and these entrepreneurs have no greater champion than Governor Cuomo. Five years ago, Governor Cuomo set the nation's highest MWBE procurement goal, and today we are on the cusp of reaching 30 percent utilization. I hope New Yorkers from across the state will take part in these Expos, learn about the resources available, and help us showcase the Empire State's diversity."
Increasing the utilization of MWBE firms in state contracting is key to the success of New York's MWBE program. In 2014, Governor Cuomo set the goal of MWBE procurement reaching 30 percent of state contracting - the highest such goal in the nation. In Fiscal Year 2017-2018, MWBE utilization increased to 28.6 percent, with MWBEs securing $2.5 billion in State contracts - up from less than 10 percent and under $100 million in 2010.
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, nearly 7,500 MWBEs have been certified since 2011. The New York State Directory of Certified Firms currently includes more than 8,500 certified firms and is one of the largest listings of MWBE firms ready, willing and able to perform on public contracts in the nation.
The 2019 Expo regional schedule is below:
New York City
Friday, June 7
New York City College of Technology
285 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Central New York
Thursday, June 27
Cayuga Community College
197 Franklyn Street
Auburn, NY 13021
Western New York
Thursday, July 25
University of Buffalo
Educational Opportunity Center
555 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
More information is available here.