April 2, 2015

Assembly Announces Support for MWBE Programs
In Enacted 2015-16 State Budget

Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, chair of the Government Operations Committee, today announced vital Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) initiatives as part of the enacted 2015-16 State budget.

The financial plan includes $1 million for the Minority and Women-Owned Business Development and Lending Program, which provides financial assistance to MWBEs, as well as to projects and programs that assist the development of entrepreneurship among minorities and women in New York.

The budget extends the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program for an additional year and allows for the hiring of seven new full time employees to support the program. This important program has provided valuable opportunities for MWBE-certified businesses to access state contracting opportunities and technical assistance to secure them. The budget also extends the completion date of the MWBE Disparity Study by six months. The report will now be due by August 15, 2016.

"The Assembly is committed to ensuring New York cultivates the best business environment in the nation, and that must include providing a leveled playing field for minority and women-owned businesses," said Speaker Heastie. "It is imperative that we support programs that not only strengthen MWBEs, but also examine where disparities are greatest so they can be fixed."

"With the economy returning from the recession it is imperative that New York continues to support the growth and stability of minority and women-owned businesses," said Peoples-Stokes. "Financial support requires research to identify disparities and resources to address them. The 2015-16 budget includes actions to address both issues."