The Fate of the MWBE Program (Article 15a)

 

Written by Tunisha W. Walker, Senior Vice President, Capalino

On October 4, 2017, I had the opportunity to attend the New York State MWBE Forum in Albany, New York. This year, over 2,000 businesses, entrepreneurs, and government officials attended the Forum, which is New York State’s largest annual business event. The Forum’s programming, developed around the theme “Transformation 2017: ENGAGE, EMPOWER, ELEVATE”, informed MWBEs of the strategies and resources available to win State contracts and grow their businesses.

Throughout the Forum, state officials shared information on the progress of the MWBE program, known as Article 15a. Alphonso David, Counsel to Governor Cuomo, announced that New York State has hit 27.2% participation, not far off from the 30% target. Currently, there are 8,000+ certified MWBEs in the State program, with $2.2 billion in State contracts going to those firms. These successes are a huge accomplishment for the State, bolstering the administrations status as a leader in MWBE assistance.

There were, however, some important concerns presented at the Forum as well.  Unfortunately, this MWBE program is set to expire in 2018.

What Does This Mean for MWBEs?

With the State so close to reaching its 30% goal, ending this initiative could have devastating implications for MWBEs. There is a critical need for MWBEs to assist the State with its overall mission of creating a diverse and inclusive economy.

The future success of the State’s MWBE program depends on the following:

A Call to Action for MWBEs

Without the MWBE Program, MWBEs will be left without a seat at the table and will be unable to demonstrate their capabilities and capacity for doing business. Businesses will no longer be asked to include MWBEs as subcontractors on their projects, which would leave MWBEs and their communities out of the State procurement landscape. I encourage all businesses, both MWBEs and non-MWBEs, to carefully consider the immense value of the program to New York and to take steps that will ensure its future.

Tunisha WalkerThe MWBE Consulting Group is dedicated to ensuring that all efforts are being made for the continuation of the MWBE program. For more information, contact us at mwbeconnectny@nullcapalino.com.

If you are an MWBE seeking to do business with the City or State, or a non-MWBE seeking assistance with fulfilling MWBE goal requirements, contact the Tunisha W. Walker at tunisha@nullcapalino.com

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Tunisha W. Walker-Miller

About the Author

Tunisha W. Walker-Miller

Tunisha has extensive knowledge of governmental affairs on a City and State level. She runs a number of the firm’s legislative and community engagements and oversees the Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) practice group.

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