Governor Cuomo Announces Certification of More Than 2,100 New Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

Exceeds Goal Established in January 2016 to Increase Certification by 2,000 MWBEs; Milestone Achieved in 22 Months

January 9, 2018

Governor Cuomo today announced that New York State has certified 2,123 minority and women-owned businesses, exceeding the goal established in his State of the State Address two years ago. This objective was achieved within 22 months, the fastest this milestone has been achieved to date, reflecting the State's efforts to streamline and expedite the certification process and maximize access to the benefits of MWBE certification. Under the Governor's leadership, more than 6,600 MWBEs have been newly certified since 2011. The New York State Directory of Certified Firms currently has over 8,500 certified firms, and is one of the largest listings in the nation of MWBE firms ready, willing and able to perform on public contracts. 

"Diversity and opportunity are critical to a vibrant and growing economy, and these goals are vital to our efforts to support the business community," Governor Cuomo said. "MWBE certification opens doors and generates opportunities for businesses across the state, and this momentum will continue to ensure that these businesses are fully represented in the Empire State." 

Governor Cuomo has set the nation's highest goal for the utilization of MWBEs on New York State contracts at 30 percent and under his leadership, the rate of utilization has increased nearly every year since 2011. For the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, the rate of MWBEs participating in State contracts increased to 27.2 percent, totaling more than $2.2 billion in State contracts. This rate of utilization not only reflects the highest percentage of State contracts awarded to MWBEs in the nation, but also the largest dollar value of contracts awarded.

ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "New York State's robust MWBE program makes our economy stronger by fostering access and capacity across the board. This milestone is a testament to our commitment, and we will continue our work to ensure entrepreneurs and small businesses have the tools and resources they need to succeed." 

Read the full press release here.