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New York Committing $20 Million To Help Small Businesses Owned By Women and Minorities

New York Committing $20 million To Help Small Businesses Owned By Women and Minorities
The Black Institute President and Founder, Bertha Lewis
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that the city intends to help small businesses owned by women and minorities by committing $20 million in funding. The announcement comes following pressure from groups advocating the increase of city funds for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses (M/WBEs).

More funding needed

Much of the pressure has come from The Black Institute, a New York-based organization that works to educate new leadership and develop initiatives to build wealth, power and justice for African Americans. So far, only about 4 percent of the city’s prime and sub contracts have gone to M/WBEs. Not good enough, says The Black Institute President and Founder, Bertha Lewis. “In a city that is majority minority, to have minority- and women-owned businesses scrap and beg for 4 percent of city contracts, it’s a little bit disgraceful,” commented Lewis.

City responds

Increasing business opportunities for M/WBEs has been an issue for a long time in New York. To ensure that New York's recent commitment is followed through, advocates for M/WBEs are asking de Blasio to appoint a chief diversity officer who would be in charge of ensuring that the city’s M/WBEs have access to resources and are actually getting more contracts.

The mayor has already tasked two individuals with getting more M/WBEs certified with the city of New York to make sure more contracts are awarded to these small companies.