Minority and women businesses get one-fourth of state contracts

By Bill Heltzel

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Minority- and women-owned enterprises secured $1.9 billion in state contracts during the past fiscal year and accounted for one-fourth of the expenditures.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo trumpeted the accomplishment in a press release that claims that New York leads the nation in increasing opportunities for businesses owned by minorities and women.

When Cuomo took office in 2011, minority and women contracts accounted for 10.3 percent of state contracts. Cuomo initially set a 20 percent target and then revised the goal to 30 percent two years ago.

In five years, the state has increased the rate of such contracts by 144 percent, according to reports by Empire State Development.

Even as total spending on state contracts has dropped by 30 percent since 2011, spending on minority and women contracts has increased by 71 percent.

Women enterprises have benefited the most, gaining $516 million, or more than doubling the value of their contracts in five years. Minority businesses gained $273 million, or 45 percent, over that period.

More than half of the contracts last year were for construction and construction consultants. Nearly one-third were for service consultants.

The state agency with the highest rate of minority and women contracts, at 92.4 percent and $27.6 million, was the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. The greatest amount by contract value, at $239.2 million and 30.1 percent, was Empire State Development.

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About the author

Bill Heltzel
Bill Heltzel has covered criminal justice, courts, government and sports – as a beat reporter and investigative reporter – for daily newspapers in Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He worked for Bloomberg LP in training and sales. He joined The Business Journal in 2016.

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