|The Black Institute President and Founder, Bertha Lewis|
More funding needed
Much of the pressure has come from The Black Institute, a New York-based organization that works to educate new leadership and develop initiatives to build wealth, power and justice for African Americans. So far, only about 4 percent of the city’s prime and sub contracts have gone to M/WBEs. Not good enough, says The Black Institute President and Founder, Bertha Lewis. “In a city that is majority minority, to have minority- and women-owned businesses scrap and beg for 4 percent of city contracts, it’s a little bit disgraceful,” commented Lewis.
Increasing business opportunities for M/WBEs has been an issue for a long time in New York. To ensure that New York's recent commitment is followed through, advocates for M/WBEs are asking de Blasio to appoint a chief diversity officer who would be in charge of ensuring that the city’s M/WBEs have access to resources and are actually getting more contracts.
The mayor has already tasked two individuals with getting more M/WBEs certified with the city of New York to make sure more contracts are awarded to these small companies.
Read more at www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/11/8582515/city-announce-20-m-firms-owned-women-minorities