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ESD: Hochul to visit minority, women-owned businesses across New York during Women's History Month

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Wed, Mar 6th 2019 11:00 am

Statewide tour highlights Cuomo administration’s efforts to support MWBEs in every corner of New York, create inclusive economy

Empire State Development announced Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul kicked off a series of visits to Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) across New York state in celebration of Women’s History Month. The statewide tour brings renewed focus to the administration’s work to support women and minorities in achieving representative participation in the economy. Hochul’s first stop was at GENESYS Consulting Services in Albany.

In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo set a goal of utilizing MWBEs for 30 percent of state contracting – the highest such goal in the nation. In 2018, New York reached 28.6 percent utilization and MWBEs secured $2.5 billion in state contracts. Last month, the governor announced legislation to re-authorize the MWBE program and advance numerous provisions designed to expand opportunities for MWBEs that want to engage in state contracting.

Hochul said, “New York remains committed to leveling the playing field and giving women and minority-owned businesses increased access to state contracts and funding. We are continuing our unprecedented commitment to MWBEs around the state by setting the highest utilization goal in the nation at 30 percent, and we are taking the next steps to continue breaking down the barriers these entrepreneurs face.”

ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “We cannot have a successful economy unless we have an inclusive economy. Every business owner should have equal ability to compete for and win state contracts – and our nation-leading MWBE program is doing just that. I look forward to continuing to work with Gov. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Hochul to re-authorize and expand this critical initiative.”

ESD Executive Vice President and Executive Director of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development Valerie White said, “Across the state, women and minority entrepreneurs are applying for MWBE certification and competing for state contracts in record numbers. This program is working – it’s helping businesses grow, scale, and hire more employees – and we will continue to ensure state government helps uplift all business owners.”

Since 2011, state-certified MWBEs have won more than $13 billion in state contracts, and New York has certified more than 7,500 MWBEs. In total, there are more than 8,600 certified New York state MWBEs – one of the largest groups of MWBE firms ready, willing and able to perform on public contracts in the nation.

To learn more about becoming a state-certified MWBE, visit http://www.ny.gov/MWBECertification or call 212-803-2414.

For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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