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NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phil Thompson announced that the City will connect Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) to City agencies with active business opportunities through a new event series called M/WBE Borough Forums. The series also will provide an opportunity for M/WBEs to learn about the benefits of doing business with the City. The M/WBE Borough Forums will kick off on September 26th in Flushing, Queens.

“Our City works best when everyone – regardless of race, gender or ethnicity – have the resources they need to participate in our economy,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With this series, we’re bringing business opportunities directly to our diverse and talented New Yorkers who provide our City with a variety of goods and services. It’s just another way we’re creating the fairest big city in America.”

“With this first-time series, we’re stepping up the City’s already aggressive efforts to increase opportunities for M/WBEs,” said Phil Thompson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “Mayor de Blasio is investing in minority and women-owned businesses at record levels because we know that when these types of businesses succeed, so do communities.”

“This Administration continues to breakdown historic barriers faced by minority and women-owned businesses, specifically barriers to accessing government contracts,” said Jonnel Doris, Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs. “M/WBEs are vital to their local economies and communities, this new event series brings much needed resources and opportunities directly to these firms allowing them to continue to grow and thrive.”

“The City’s commitment to building a more inclusive local economy is evident. Under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership, we’ve reached a record number of over 6,000 certified M/WBEs,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Now, we’re going one step further by bringing opportunities for success directly to M/WBEs’ neighborhoods through our borough forums.”


The event series, which will be run by the Department of Small Business Services and the Office of M/WBEs, is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s larger commitment to increase M/WBE participation in City contracting, which includes:

  • Awarding $20 Billion to M/WBEs by end of FY 2025.
  • Certifying 9,000 M/WBEs by end of FY 2019.
  • Awarding 30 percent of the value of all City contracts by end of FY 2021.

At the forums, M/WBEs will be able to connect with City agencies to learn about current and upcoming contracting opportunities. M/WBEs also will have the opportunity to learn how to certify their business with government entities; sign up for mentorship programs and workshops; market their business to City government; and access affordable loans to perform on City contracts.



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