Ms. McCray and Mr. Buery. File photo
First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, Citywide Director of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs), have announced the launch of the Contract Financing Loan Fund, allowing M/WBEs to apply for low-interest contract financing loans of up to $500,000 for M/WBEs.
The loans, offered by the Department of Small Business Services, include flexible repayment schedules to help M/WBEs increase access to capital and grow their business.
In addition, the First Lady and Deputy Mayor unveiled a streamlined application for M/WBE certification and a separate, more accessible and user-friendly M/WBE certification application for small businesses owned and operated by one person (sole proprietors). The latter will directly benefit women business owners, who comprise 90 percent of sole proprietors across the United States.
“Our city reaches its greatest socioeconomic potential when every New Yorker, regardless of race, gender or ethnicity, have the tools and support they need to succeed in our economy,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Today, my team is following up on a commitment announced in September by launching a low-interest Contract Financing Loan Fund that will help minority and women-owned businesses get their foot in the door, as well as sustain and grow their businesses. We are also streamlining our certification process to make it easier and faster for M/WBEs to stay up to date on the latest contracting opportunities. With these new initiatives, we are ensuring that all New Yorkers have the means they need to thrive.”
“In order to create a fifty-fifty world, we need to create a fifty-fifty economy. The tools we are announcing today will help women who are entrepreneurs in New York City go from getting by to becoming business owners on their own terms,” McCray said. “Through the Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, we are unleashing one of our city’s greatest resources – the talent of thousands of women who need a little support to turn their savvy and fierce work ethic into successful companies.”
“We launched the Mayor’s Office of M/WBE’s last fall to assist businesses that play a vital role in our City’s economy but are often restricted in their ability to contract with the City. Today, we take another step toward fulfilling that promise by providing a critical resource M/WBEs actually need to compete and complete ever-larger projects. I encourage all minority and women small business owners to take advantage of this tool for increasing capacity – apply for a loan and benefit from the lowest rates of its kind in the state!,” sRichard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Citywide Director of M/WBE’s, said.
The plan to make low-interest loans of up to $500,000 available through a City-financed, $10 million revolving loan fund was first announced in September 2016 when Mayor de Blasio proclaimed his bold new vision for the City’s M/WBE program and created the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs.
A key pillar of the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs is to increase accessibility for minority and women business owners seeking to do business with the City. By offering loans capped at three percent and by streamlining the certification process, this Administration is addressing barriers that have historically made it difficult for more businesses to get in the market and compete.
Today’s launch of the low interest rate loan application, along with the new certification applications, provides a path for more M/WBEs to win and successfully perform on City contracts.
They are key to achieving Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aggressive goals that include: Awarding 30 percent of the value of City contracts to M/WBEs by 2021; Awarding $16 billion to M/WBEs by 2025; and certifying 9,000 M/WBEs by 2019.
Minority and women-business owners interested in contracting with the City by becoming a certified M/WBE should visit nyc.gov/sbs to complete an online application. There are currently over 4,500 M/WBE businesses certified with the City, an all-time high. Mayor de Blasio set a bold, new goal to double this record number by 2019.
Applicants in need of assistance can attend our certification workshops held at our Business Solutions Centers across the city. More information can be found at nyc.gov/sbs.