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Hochul: Minority and women-owned business enterprise utilization rate leads nation at 30.51%


Thu, Dec 16th 2021 09:55 am

New York surpasses 30% goal for utilizing MWBEs in state contracting

√ More than $3 billion in state contracts awarded to MWBEs for fiscal year 2020-21

√ Full report can be found here

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced New York state has surpassed its official utilization rate goal for minority-and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) on state contracts with 30.51% – the highest in the country – for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Additionally, more than $3 billion in state contracts were awarded to MWBE firms during the same time period, with more than $21 billion in state contracts awarded since 2011.

This achievement was announced in conjunction with New York state's 11th annual Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Forum, which runs through Dec. 16. The forum is a premier opportunity for MWBEs from across industries to forge new professional connections, learn about state contracting updates, and become more competitive in an ever-changing market.

"New York state sets ambitious goals – and my job is to deliver on them," Hochul said. "Our diversity is our greatest strength, and a top priority for my administration is making sure that economic opportunity in our state is equitable and reflects that diversity. MWBEs are the economic backbone of our communities, and the 30% milestone we have surpassed and will continue to exceed is a testament to my firm belief in that fact."

Lt. Gov. Benjamin said, "As we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must build back inclusively, and I'm proud of the aggressive measures New York state has taken to ensure everyone is empowered to participate in our growing economy. Gov. Hochul has worked tirelessly to break down systemic barriers to MWBE's participation in state contracting, and by surpassing our 30% utilization goal – the highest in the nation – we are ushering in a new era of equal opportunity for MWBEs to succeed.”

The theme for this year's forum is "Innovating Forward" and offers in-person events and full-scale online sessions that bring together MWBEs, state agencies and authorities, prime contractors, and other strategic partners. Programs include panels and working sessions, plus live and virtual networking meetups. Scheduled programs address a wide range of topics, from discussions on investing and growing a business by accessing capital and leveraging technology, to emerging opportunities for MWBEs in the state's growing cannabis industry. The forum focuses on lifting, strengthening and celebrating MWBEs with the goal of ushering in a new era of connectivity between state agencies, private sector partners and MWBEs.

New York State Chief Diversity Officer Julissa Gutierrez said, "This year's utilization rate confirms that New York has the boldest, most aggressive MWBE program in the nation. Meeting this ambitious goal now challenges us to continue the momentum to remove structural and societal barriers and ensure our economy reflects our state's great diversity."

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight said, "As New York begins to reopen, MWBEs need to be equipped with the tools necessary to adapt to a new reality as the state rebuilds, and as they forge pathways to economic success through state contracting opportunities."

ESD Division of Minority and Women's Business Development Executive Vice President and Executive Director Jerome A. DuVal said, "Our mission – and government's obligation – is to support opportunity for all, particularly those who have been historically disenfranchised from being able to fully participate in and benefit from economic growth. Surpassing our 30% utilization rate goal represents the hard work and positive, productive partnership between the public and private sectors – elected officials, community leaders, business owners, advocates and entrepreneurs – to ensure MWBEs have fair and equal opportunities for success."

ESD's Division of Minority and Women's Business Development also issued its annual report for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The report outlines the historical achievement and success made by New York state to support MWBEs in the past and over this year, which is particularly significant due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full report can be found here.

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