Black businesses in New York City have received a much-needed boost. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Council have removed various barriers for minority- and women-owned business enterprises by signing into law Introduction 911-A, which will expand city contracts.
This will help small businesses, especially minority- and women-owned firms, as the new law eliminates the $1 million cap on programs eligible for contracts set forth by Local Law 129 signed in 2005. That law was meant to boost opportunities for black and women-owned businesses. It also calls for increased city procurement contracts in areas of goods, professional services, construction, standard services, and architectural and engineering services.
This move is similar to efforts made in Chicago. As we reported in October, black businesses in the Windy City were awarded more city contracts in recent months — 21 percent this year up from just eight percent last year.
If the push in the Big Apple goes as expected, black businesses in the city should see a significant boost. According to a press release, the new law “is estimated to triple the total value of contracts from $433 million to a projected $2.2 billion.”
The city is also planning to track the effort to ensue that progress is being made. There will be a tracking system for contracts in order to weed out non-compliant M/WBE (minority and women business enterprise) firms. An accountability program, states the press release, will include mandatory meetings for agency leaders to assess progress on the M/WBE goals and efforts to increase participation.
The Reverend Jacques Andre DeGraff , first VP of 100 Black Men and co-chair of The New Agenda, said in a press statement, “Local Law 911-A marks a bold step for the rights of minority- and women-owned businesses.”
Nationally, according to TheStreet.com, the government has missed its stated 23 percent goals for small business contracts, especially for women-owned companies, for the past six years. New legislation signed on the 3rd by President Obama hopes to boost that. If you’re a small business owner, check out the details for being considered in that story.