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More Government Contracts Available to Women-Owned Businesses in New York City

Believe it or not, until recently, women-owned businesses and businesses owned by minorities were only able to secure small work contracts from the U.S. government. The thought process was that women- and minority-owned small businesses could only handle government work under $1 million. It limited the amount of money these small businesses could earn through government contracts.

What's changed?

The federal government last year removed the limitations on the size of government contracts awarded to women- and minority-owned businesses. Now there is no limit to the size of the contracts these businesses can get from local, state and federal government entities. New York City is one state that is fully committed to supporting Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) that do business with the city.

According to research done by American Express OPEN regarding small business and government contracts, women-owned businesses are 23 times more likely to be million-dollar businesses if they are included in government contracts. It makes good economic sense to remove barriers and encourage their growth. The result is growth for small business owners, but also increased growth and more jobs for city governments.

According to the NYC Department of Small Business Services, removing the cap on government contracts has expanded opportunities for MWBEs in NYC from $400 million to $2.2 billion.

Be prepared

In order to secure government contracts, MWBEs need to complete a certification process with the city government. It is more work but worth the effort. According to American Express OPEN, 47 percent of small business owners hit $1 million in revenue by going after government contracts, compared to just 5 percent of small businesses in general and 1.8 percent of small businesses owned by women.