New York’s contracts with minority-,women-owned firms grow

The value of contracts that New York City awarded to businesses owned by minorities and women rose 57 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30.

The city awarded contracts worth $690 million to minority- and woman-owned business (M/WBEs) in the one-year period," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

"That is a beginning, and we are committed to increasing that number," de Blasio said at the city's Eighth Annual Procurement Fair, which aims to build connections between businesses and M/WBEs.

Representatives of more than 800 M/WBEs attended the fair along with more than 70 purchasers — mostly government agencies and contractors.

De Blasio noted that of the 3,802 firms with M/WBE certification, 749 received the certification in the first 10 months of 2014.

M/WBE certification gives the business owners more opportunities to sign contracts with the government and to be enrolled in the city's business management education programs.

Most M/WBEs are small businesses, according to Mario Osori, assistant commissioner of New York City's Small Business Services.

"Small businesses do the most hiring," she said. "During the recession going back to 2008, it was hard to get into big corporations, but small businesses would hire people," she said. "So it helps in building their neighborhoods and communities and improves the development of the city."

From 2005 to the end of June, more than $4.1 billion had been awarded in contracts to M/WBEs, according to New York City.

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