In efforts to push businesses owned by women and people of color forward, the city of New York has invested $1 billion in MWBE firms, Black Enterprise reported.
The milestone was announced as the city’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises celebrated their one-year anniversary, the news outlet writes.
The MWBE office was launched as an avenue to overcome racial and gender disparities in the realm of business. It’s led by Deputy Mayor Richard Buery. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment to the growth of businesses owned by women and individuals from diverse communities came after his administration was criticized for not doing enough to help fund and support these establishments.
The $1 billion investment is a part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to allocate $16 billion towards minority and women-owned businesses by 2025. In 2015, the city signed $400 million in contracts and it invested $700 million in MWBE firms the following year. According to Black Enterprise, the city also plans on allotting $30 million towards the launch of three loan programs that women business owners and entrepreneurs of color can leverage while seeking city contracts. “We know that when all people—regardless of race, gender or ethnicity—have the proper resources to thrive, communities across the five boroughs will flourish economically,” said de Blasio earlier this year while detailing plans about the city’s MWBE initiative, according to the Observer.
With the extra push from the city, MWBEs account for 11 percent of New York City’s vendors, reports the source. According to Black Enterprise, de Blasio hopes that figure will reach 30 percent by 2025. Both Buery and de Blasio are aiming to create pathways for women and minority-owned businesses to gain capital. “New York City buys so much – on an average of $15 billion to $20 billion in spending last year,” Deputy Mayor Richard Buery told Bloomberg News. “That is a tremendous, tremendous leverage point to encourage businesses led by women and people of color.”
According to the outlet, there are currently 5,100 MWBE businesses in New York City.