Opportunities for minority and women owned businesses in New York

Nov 1, 2017

Lourdes Zapata addresses a group of business people and others at MCC Wednesday morning
Credit Alex Crichton

There are billions of dollars in state contracts that are going to be available to minority and women owned businesses, or MWBE's, in New York State.

That's according to Lourdes Zapata, Executive Director of Minority and Women's Business Development at Empire State Development.

Zapata is working to develop programs and policies which are designed to increase contracting opportunities for that group.

She addressed an audience at MCC today, talking about the benefits of MWBE certification, and the governor's goal of 30 percent of state contracts going to minority and women-owned businesses.

Zapata says her office is working to get minority and women owned businesses certified and that they have their fair share of contracting opportunities in New York

"We closed out the last fiscal year, 20116-17 at 27.2 percent, which translated to over 2.2 billion dollars in state contracts that went directly to MWBE firms throughout the state of New York, and we're really proud of that," she said. "Twenty seven is not thirty percent, so we continue our efforts to make sure that all qualifying women and minority owned businesses throughout the state, number one, are aware of the opportunities, number two, get engaged with our state agencies and authorities, and number three, and probably the most important, are aware of the Governor's commitment to the MWBE community and small business community in the state."

Zapata says every state contract is subject to MWBE goals, so there are opportunities across the board.

There's more information at esd.ny.gov.