NEW YORK, NY – At this week’s Stated Meeting, the New York City Council plans to pass Int. 1624, requiring key data points already tracked by regularly researched disparities studies governing Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises procurement to be updated in real-time. Impacted communities will no longer need to wait years to find relief with out-of-date data having an impact on millions in city contracts.
“Outdoor dining is a welcome change in our urban environment that is beautifying and activating streets that had gone empty for far too long. We are cutting the red tape to make it easier for restaurants to renew and new owners to take over sidewalk cafes,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it came right from a small business owner, as an example of a bureaucratic problem, that seemed stupid not to fix. Thank you to the New York Hospitality Alliance for hosting opportunities for small businesses to meet with elected officials so that we can work together to foster a better environment for small businesses to thrive.”
The legislation will require the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the Department of Small Business Services to expand the data in the quarterly Minority- and Women- Owned Business Enterprise (“M/WBE”) report to include the change in the number of certified M/WBE firms and certified Emerging Business Enterprise (“EBE”) firms in each industry classification since the most recent M/WBE disparity study and the percentage increase for such firms since the previous quarter. The bill would also require the division’s updated vendor directory to be submitted to the Council at the same time it is sent to contracting agencies.
The policy will improve disparity analysis of the utilization of M/WBEs in New York City procurement activity which compare City relates to the availability of M/WBEs in the larger market area.
On June 20, 2019, Council Member Ben Kallos chaired a Contracts Committee hearing on the disparities study, highlighting that a decade ago, Asian Americans providing professional services were doing so well in getting subcontracts on city jobs that the 2012 City of New York Disparities Study found there was no longer a disparity and their inclusion in the city’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program was no longer necessitated. As result the removal of Asian American-owned professional services was enacted as Local Law 1 of 2013. In the years the followed, Asian American-owned professional service lost their market share to the point that the 2018 City of New York Disparity Study found that for professional services “Asian American-owned firms were underutilized, with a substantial and statistically significant disparity index of 45.33.”
If you own a business and may qualify as an MWBE, you can learn more here: https://www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/description/minority-and-womenowned-business-enterprise-certification-program-mwbe