New York City’s Minority-and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program (MWBE Program) was codified in subsection 1304 of the New York City Charter, subsection 6-129 of the Administrative Code, and Title 11 of Chapter 66 of the Rules of the City of New York. New York City’s new MWBE program goals (enacted by Law 129 of 2005 and amended by Local law 1 of 2013) went into effect July 1, 2013 and were adopted to increase the participation of Minority and Women Owned Businesses (MWBE) in the City’s procurement process. Certified businesses obtain greater access to, and information about, contracting opportunities through classes, networking events, and targeted solicitations. They receive technical assistance to better compete for contracts and benefit from inclusion in the City’s directory of certified businesses.
New York City Goals
Local Law 1 amended the Administrative Code to change the participation goals for each of the four industries, construction, professional services, standard services, and goods, to reflect updated levels of disparity and removed the one million dollar cap on eligible contracts. In addition, it establishes a single goal for each procurement category for prime contracts and subcontracts.
Firms qualify as MWBEs if they are:
- A Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Liability Company or Corporation. Not-for-Profits are ineligible.
- Authorized to do business in New York State.
- At least 51% owned, controlled and operated by US citizen(s) or permanent resident(s) who is/are member(s) of a designated minority group(s) including Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific, and Asian-Indian OR a woman or women.
- An eligible business also must have:
- Been selling products or services for a period of at least one year prior to the date of application.
- A real and substantial presence in the geographic market of New York City, which includes the five boroughs of New York City and the following counties: Nassau, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester in New York, and Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic in New Jersey. Businesses located outside of New York City must have a significant tie to the City’s business community (e.g., have derived 25% or more of gross receipts from business conducted in the City, possess a license issued by the City, etc.).
How to Certify, Re-certify, or Update Business Profile with NYC SBS
SBS has launched an online portal to simplify the certification and registration process of MWBE companies who wish to do business with the City.
The following are the three most common certifications:
- Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) To be certified as a WBE, a business must show ownership by a woman for at least 51% of the business.
- Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) An MBE business has at least 51% ownership by a member of a minority population.
- Locally Based Enterprise (LBE) The LBE program is for small construction and construction related companies in New York City with annual revenue of less than $2 million. LBE firms must conduct at least 25% of their work in economically disadvantaged areas. NYC requires all prime contractors to use LBE certified sub-contractors to complete at least 10% of the total value of their contracts.
To check eligibility, click here.
If you are already certified as an MWBE firm with another qualifying agency, you may still need to certify with NYC SBS. NYC SBS has developed a new fast-track system to expedite the process.
If you have certified with NYC SBS within the last five years, please update your company profile to ensure maximum visibility.
New York City MWBE Disparity Study
In May 2018, the city released its new "City of New York Disparity Study." A related press release from the Mayor's office state that, "The Administration is reviewing all findings and recommendations of the study as it relates to the current citywide MWBE Program."
New York City Department of Small Business Services (NYC SBS)
Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity
110 William St, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10038
For further assistance, please call 311 and ask for: MWBE Certification Program