Weekly Feature

2018-02-07 / Business

Legislation would expand state’s enterprise program

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday said legislation has been drafted to reauthorize and to expand the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program to more contracts entirely funded by the state.

According to Governor’s Office representatives, the proposed legislative changes and expansion to include all state-funded contracts will leverage the largest pool of state funding in history to combat systemic discrimination and create new opportunities for MWBE participation.

Cuomo said the legislation adds on his work to support women and minorities in achieving representative participation in the economy.

In 2014, the governor increased the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise goal for state contracting from 20 to 30 percent — the highest in the nation.

Since 2011, state-certified MWBEs have won more than $10.4 billion in state contracts and the state has certified more than 6,600 MWBEs and recertified more than 4,700 MWBEs.

“In New York, we know that our economy is strongest when everyone is empowered to participate, which is why we continue to work to increase access and opportunities for success for minority and women owned businesses to strengthen and diversify our economy,” Cuomo said. “These actions will break down barriers to success and empower these business owners to help fuel our economy and move this great state forward.”

Under current state law, MWBE goals apply only to state-funded contracts issued by state agencies and authorities but do not attach to contracts issued by localities and other entities that are funded by the state.

The legislation will require MWBE goals on state funds used for contracting purposes on the local level.

These initiatives are included in Cuomo’s 2019 Executive Budget.

Governor’s Office representatives said the legislative proposal also creates a Workforce Diversity Program, which would establish workforce participation goals for contractors to use women and minority group members as employees on state projects.

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