The 2018 New York State MWBE Forum in Albany, NY.

New York’s Nation-Leading MWBE Utilization Announced at the Annual 2018 NYS MWBE Forum

New York State has reached its highest utilization rate – 28.62 percent—for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) in State contracts since 2011.  With MWBEs winning more than $2.5 billion in contracts, this year’s utilization rate not only reflects the country’s highest percentage of state contracts awarded to MWBEs, but also the largest dollar value of contracts awarded.  New York State leads the economic empowerment of MWBEs at every level with MWBEs having been awarded more than $14 billion in New York State contracts since 2011.

The utilization announcement was part of the opening session of this year’s Eighth Annual 2018 New York State MWBE Forum: Grow with NYS, held October 3 and 4 in Albany. This year’s Forum featured 43 workshops designed around the theme of “Gather industry intelligence. Gain new relations. Generate new Business.” The annual MWBE Forum supports the Governor’s goals, built on the idea that New York’s growth and stability depends on the success of its small businesses and MWBEs. The Forum helps ensure access to information about billions of dollars in upcoming New York State contracting opportunities and  connects MWBEs to resources for  gaining technical assistance and developing business strategies needed to grow their businesses.

This year’s Forum was attended by over 2,000 businesses, state agencies and authorities, and government officials. Throughout the course of the two-day event, attendees were able to visit more than 190 exhibitors, and there were more than 500 one-on-one meetings between MWBEs, prime contractors, and state agencies, as well as  200+ meetings with certification analysts.

The Forum also highlighted Empire State Development programs, including the Bridge to Success Loan Program, the New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program and others that  provide MWBEs with low-cost loans, working capital, equity investing and assistance in winning larger contracts and creating jobs. For the first time this year, MWBE firms were able to meet directly with lenders for special one-on-one sessions.

The 2018 MWBE Forum also built on New York State infrastructure investment and economic development initiatives, underscoring new upcoming opportunities for MWBE firms. To ensure MWBE participation on the State’s top projects, specific contract opportunities were highlighted at the MWBE Forum:  the Belmont Park Redevelopment; Jacob Javits Convention Center renovation and expansion; John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports Redevelopment; Moynihan Train Hall/ Pennsylvania Station-Farley Complex development and the MTA Capital Plan.