Monday, March 18, 2013

Women and Minority Owned Businesses Left Out of NYC Contracting

New York City awards only 5% of its spending to women- and minority-owned firms, and the city's population has achieved an all-time high.

Rising Certifications

Bloomberg's reign as Mayor has resulted in a growing number of minority-owned and women-owned firms that are certified to earn business from New York City. In fact, the Bloomberg Administration says that more than 3,500 such firms have been granted certification during the Bloomberg Era.

Unfortunately, certification provides only the possibility of earning business from NYC and provides no guarantee of revenue.

Lack of Contracts

Manhattan Borough President (and candidate for NYC Comptroller) Scott Stringer issued statements focusing on the need to turn certifications into city contracts for women-owned and minority-owned firms.
In the last budget year, only 5% of the $10.5 billion the city spent on contracts — for everything from construction projects to paper clips — went to firms owned by minority-group members or women.
“The good news is the city has done a terrific job boosting these certifications,” said Stringer.

“The bad news is we’re still falling short where it counts — which is getting contracts into the hands of the minority- and women-owned businesses.”

Stringer said those businesses complain about often-confusing applications, the lack of notice about contracting opportunities and fees charged by some agencies to view bidding documents.
Large, well-established companies have years of experience navigating the process. But for fledgling businesses — which are more likely to be owned by minority-group members or women — the process can be overwhelming, Stringer said.

“The city is not doing enough to help the businesses navigate the bid process, which remains too complicated and too time consuming,” Stringer said.
In our country's largest city, the lack of revenue for women-owned and minority-owned firms is heartbreaking. Let us hope that the next Mayor makes a priority of bringing these firms into the flow of the spending of our tax dollars.

NYC Population Growth

Our city's population grew significantly since the 2010 Census and now stands at more than 8.3 million.
The city's population has grown by more than 161,500 people since 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated. The increase is more than the entire population of Kansas City, Kan.; Savannah, Ga., or Hartford, Conn.

Mostly, New York City's growth is due to a widening gap between the numbers of births and deaths as life expectancy increases, according to city planners' analysis of the census estimates. But an influx of foreign immigrants in the last two years also played a role by outdistancing the number of New Yorkers who left town.

Brooklyn saw the biggest growth among the city's five boroughs, gaining more than 60,000 residents, as people flocked to a borough increasingly seen as having all the cachet of Manhattan – if not more – with less of the cost.

Manhattan's population growth was second only to Brooklyn, and the luster of Manhattan continues to drive NYC to greater heights.


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