Outreach Events Designed to Ensure State Reaches LaGuardia Project’s 30 Percent MWBE Contract Utilization Rate; Billions of Dollars in Contracting Opportunities Available to MWBEs Statewide
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a series of outreach events across the state to encourage minority and women owned-businesses to take advantage of billions in state contracting opportunities for the LaGuardia Redevelopment Project.
“New York continues to lead the nation in expanding opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses, and this project is no exception,” Governor Cuomo said. “The LaGuardia Project will harness the spirit of New York’s thriving entrepreneurial community and continue to bring diversity and fairness to contracting opportunities across the state. With this initiative, we are once again raising the bar, significantly expanding economic opportunity for MWBEs in New York, and I look forward to seeing it get underway.”
Since December, the state has hosted three outreach events in Buffalo, Albany and New York City to ensure that the MWBE community is fully informed about the opportunities presented by the LaGuardia Project. New York also held a statewide webinar on January 19, 2016. Together, these events attracted more than 600 MWBEs and other stakeholders. A fifth event, which took place in New York City on January 29, was hugely successful and in fact was oversubscribed.
The next event that is open for registration will take place in New York City on Thursday, February 11th and will provide attendees with an overview of contracting opportunities related to the project as well as information on bonding and vendor pre-qualification requirements. To register for this event, please visit: http://www.panynj.gov/events/mwbe-forum-nyc-2016/index.cfm.
The state will continue to host MWBE outreach events for the LaGuardia Project at least once a month throughout 2016. Invitations for each event are automatically sent to certified MWBEs listed in both Empire State Development and Port Authority’s online MWBE directories, business associations, and other stakeholders. Anyone interested in learning more about contracting opportunities associated with the LaGuardia Project should register and attend an outreach event.
“Meeting the LaGuardia Project’s 30 percent MWBE utilization goal is a top priority,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “The Port Authority has and will continue to support MWBEs and supplier diversity initiatives whenever possible.”
Managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, LaGuardia Airport is undergoing an extensive, multi-year capital redevelopment resulting in billions of dollars in contracting opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses. Upon completion, the airport will be transformed into a single, structurally unified terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space, and best-in-class passenger amenities.
State MWBE Initiatives and Resources to Help the State Reach the 30 Percent Goal
MWBE Certification Campaign
To support the state’s efforts in reaching the overall statewide 30 percent MWBE goal, Governor Cuomo recently launched the MWBE Certification Campaign to encourage minority and women business owners to certify with the state and take advantage of current and upcoming state procurement opportunities.
Since 2011, the state has certified more than 4,300 MWBEs and recertified more than 3,600 MWBEs. During his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo pledged to increase MWBE certification by an additional 2,000 businesses, a goal that the state exceeded earlier this month. As a result, the number of state-certified firms has more than doubled in just five years. To further support top state initiatives like the LaGuardia Project, the Governor pledges to certify another 2,000 firms over the next two years.
State MWBE certification has many benefits and allows small, emerging businesses to increase revenue and build capacity. Dream Catcher Communications, a state certified woman-owned business enterprise located in Niskayuna, New York has won contracts with six different state agencies since 2013 alone. Mary Beth Mooney, President and sole owner of Dream Catcher Communications, directly credits her business’ success to its New York State certification.
Shandra Spicer, President and CEO of the Spicer Group, a construction management firm located in Buffalo, said, “As a New York State certified MWBE, our firm has won state contracts that were once only accessible to large, majority businesses. As a result, we have maintained a steady, healthy growth rate in revenues and contributed to job growth in Western New York.”
Supply & Demand Initiative: Opportunities for Real MWBE Growth
Launched by Governor Cuomo in March 2015 and set to be fully implemented over the next year, the Supply and Demand Initiative will inform MWBEs about state contracting opportunities within the industries and sub industries that have low rates of MWBE utilization. Through this initiative, the state has already identified millions of dollars in contracting opportunities in areas such as advertising and marketing, financial and legal services, information technology services, general commodities and medical supplies.
To support this initiative, the state will fast track certification applications of businesses and co-host MWBE certification drives with trade organizations and chambers of commerce working within the target Supply and Demand industries. In addition, the state will work with Regional Economic Development Councils to identify businesses that meet the state’s MWBE certification criteria.
Capital Funding and Mentoring Programs
Since 2012, Governor Cuomo launched four groundbreaking initiatives designed to provide MWBEs with technical and financial support:
- New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program: Launched in February 2012, this program provides technical and financial assistance to help MWBEs and small businesses secure surety bonding. Since program inception, over 440 MWBEs and small businesses have graduated from bond readiness training and received approximately $50.6 million in surety bonding authority as a result of New York State training, credit facilitation, and surety bond collateral support.
- “Bridge to Success” Loan Program: Launched in March 2014, the “Bridge to Success”loan program will invest at least $20 million to expand MWBEs’ access to short term bridge loans. The program provides qualified, state-certified MWBEs with the short-term capital necessary to participate in the up to $2 billion in state contracting opportunities. To date, lenders participating in the Bridge to Success Loan Program have made 68 loans totaling $10.6 million in capital. These loans were leveraged to fund over $54 million in contract opportunities for NYS MWBEs working on state-funded projects.
- BusinessMentorNY: Launched in May 2014, BusinessMentorNYis a free, on-line mentoring program that connects volunteer business professionals to MWBEs and small businesses to help them address specific challenges and obstacles to success. Since launching the program, 2,517 entrepreneurs and 1,016 mentors have signed up on the BusinessMentorNY platform.
- MWBE Investment Fund: Announced in May 2015, the MWBE Investment Fund will use more than $2 million to support innovation, job creation, and high growth entrepreneurship for state-certified MWBEs. The Fund’s objective is to invest in start-up MWBEs working with emerging technologies and that have a proprietary or differentiated product or service.
These initiatives reflect a robust menu of state programs and services designed specifically for MWBEs. Together, these resources will encourage more MWBEs to certify with the state and help them grow their businesses, which in turn increases the pool of MWBEs available to successfully bid on state contracts. New York State is committed to the MWBE community.
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