Assemblymember Peoples & Senator Thompson to Host Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises Reception

June 8, 2007
Buffalo, NY – NYS Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples, 141st District (Buffalo), Antoine M. Thompson, NYS Senator, 60th District (Parts of Erie & Niagara Counties), the NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s Office, LPCiminelli, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Canisius College Women’s Business Center, and the University at Buffalo School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership will host a networking reception at the Buffalo Museum of Science, located at 1020 Humboldt Parkway, on Thursday, June 28, 2007 from 2pm-4:30pm. Please click here for more information.

The reception, entitled “The Time is Now for MWBE’s” is free of charge and open to the public and is specifically targeted for minority and women-owned (MWBE) businesses, which are certified, eligible for certification, or currently undergoing the certification process. Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson and Michael Jones-Bey, Director for the Division of Minority and Women's Business Development at Empire State Development Corporation, will present New York State’s executive plan for MWBE’s and discuss New York State contracting opportunities. Firms interested in expanding their businesses are able to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to meet with decision-makers and explore ways to help rebuild Western New York.

Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson states that, "Assemblymember Peoples and Senator Thompson's leadership is invaluable in our administration's quest to provide new tools and opportunities for firms that have historically been locked out. These outreach programs are empowering eligible business owners to improve their ability to compete for state contracts."

In addition to the informative presentations and networking opportunities, participants can also meet agency representatives, listed on Empire State Development Corporation’s “Top Ten List”, which are targeted for increased MWBE participation, as they are among the “top ten” list of agencies with the highest expenditures in New York State.

“The Time is Now for MWBE Opportunities,” stated Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples. “I am especially excited about this time in our state’s history when more attention, analysis and mechanisms are in place to address the disparities in opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses,” added Assemblymember Peoples.

Western New York is strategically well-positioned to advocate for increased MWBE opportunities as Assemblymember Peoples serves as Chair of the Oversight Committee on MWBE’s in the NYS Assembly and Senator Thompson serves as a Co-Chair of the Senate Minority’s MWBE Taskforce.

Senator Thompson stated, “The issues of Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises are critical to the future of the Western New York economy, as their numbers are on the rise… Clearly, positive attention from the state will go a long way to assist these small business owners.”

Partnering agencies had this to say about the MWBE Reception:

  • Althea Luehrsen, Executive Director, UB School of Management, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership states, “It’s extremely important that Western New York entrepreneurs have access to new and important information on MWBE opportunities… This information is crucial to the success of our business owners and the economic viability of our region.”
  • Melinda Rath Sanderson, Executive Director of Canisius College Women’s Business Center comments, “This commitment spearheaded by Lt. Governor Paterson, Assemblymember Peoples, and Senator Thompson to educate minority and women-owned businesses on opportunities with New York State will offer many benefits to not only our small businesses but to the community as well.”
  • Jennifer Parker, CEO of Black Capital Network, LLC responds, “There is a need for creativity, innovation, and collaboration to effectively plan for a financially successful future in Western New York…We need an active agenda to develop, retain, and grow businesses. An increase in opportunity could act as an economic stimulus for this area.”
  • Tracey Houston, Small Business Development Manager for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership had the following to say, ”The Partnership’s mission is to organize and undertake actions to expand private sector jobs and stimulate investments in the Buffalo Niagara region…We’re committed to MWBE development… We’ve developed a Diversity Supplier Program, a diversity advisory board, and an upcoming purchaser’s roundtable.”
  • Donna M. Brown, Director of Community Relations for LPCiminelli says that, “LPCiminelli is committed to helping MWBEs grow and become successful…We believe the diversity goals that are part of the Buffalo Schools Reconstruction Program have been a step in the right direction, but we must do more like today’s discussion so we collectively can figure out how to sustain MWBEs long after the program is finished.”