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Legislative Update on the MWBE Program: 3 Actions You Can Take to Support Article 15a 

Written by Tunisha Walker, Senior Vice President, Capalino+Company

Last weekend, the New York State legislature passed the FY 2019 Budget. Several programs and initiatives were voted on, including the MWBE Article 15-A program. Although the original proposal was for the program to be extended for five more years, the budget only extended it for one more year. Read details from the Budget here,

As a result, the future of the MWBE program is still in limbo. The State will have another opportunity to review the program and create a more comprehensive piece of legislation that will benefit MWBEs in the long-term. Throughout the next year, the MWBE community must mobilize effectively to ensure that the program is renewed.

Here are 3 actions you can take in the upcoming year to support Article 15a.

1. Speak to your State Legislators

Contact your local representative in the State Legislature. Tell them that you’re a State-certified MWBE business in their district and explain how you have grown through the program. Encourage them to continue to support Article 15a when the question of extension comes up again next year.

2. Engage in More Projects

Ensure that the market is aware of your business. The more often that the market, and your elected officials, see that an MWBE business is succeeding because of the program, the more likely they are to understand its benefits. Critics of the program often say that they don’t know of MWBE businesses across the breadth of the services that the State procures. By being active, you’re ensuring that this argument doesn’t hold.

3. Join MWBE Organizations

There is strength in numbers. Join groups or organizations that advocate for MWBEs and Article 15a. Join your local Chamber and get involved with their MWBE committee. By expanding the MWBE community, our voice can be amplified.

If you have questions about how the one-year renewal of Article 15-a will impact your MWBE or non-MWBE business, please contact our MWBE team Tunisha Walker at tunisha@capalino.com.

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