New City Programs Help Women and Minority-Owned Businesses



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CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia (212) 267-6646, ext. 225,


New City Programs Help Women and Minority-Owned Businesses


The Minority and Women-Owned Business (MWBE) Program, a new affirmative action undertaking, will provide a considerable advantage for women and minority-owned contractors, including law firms, accountants, experts and others. Under the program, eligible firms that are certified through the Department of Small Business Services will be listed in an online directory –, which will be maintained by the Department and accessible to City agencies. Agencies can then use the directory as a resource in selecting appropriate organizations and persuading them to make proposals and bids for City business.


“Agencies will set participation goals for professional and construction contracts…and contractors will be required to make good faith efforts to meet the goals as a term of their contract,” Hon. Michael A. Cardozo, New York City Corporation Counsel, said.


The MWBE Program was enacted by the City Council and signed into Local Law by Mayor Bloomberg in 2005. A variation of the MWBE Program, the “Emerging Business Enterprise” Program, which provides opportunities for businesses owned by “socially and economically disadvantaged” individuals, was passed earlier this year. Both programs are applicable for contracts and subcontracts totaling less than $1 million.


The Department of Small Business Services offers free training on the certification process. Updated information is available on the Department’s website at KEN=96657604. You can also contact the Law Department’s MWBE Officer, Martha Mann Alfaro, at 212-788-1084 or email her at


If your law firm is eligible for certification, you can download an application at – formsupple.pdf.


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