At a meet-and-greet today at BNY Mellon in Lower Manhattan, Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Anne Roest announced the launch of the NYC Online Certification Portal. Designed to make the certification process easier, the portal will allow businesses to certify online, check the status of their applications and update their business profiles.
The collaboration between SBS and DoITT is expected to facilitate the certification process and add to the continued growth and development of M/WBEs.
“Procurement is a powerful lever to create opportunity for small businesses and ensure that City purchasing reflects the great diversity of New York City businesses, and our goal is to build the pipeline of M/WBEs and increase their performance on City contract opportunities,” said NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.
She continued, “The NYC Online Certification Portal will help increase the number of certified businesses by making it easier and more convenient for M/WBEs to certify and recertify, and through workshops, one-on-one assistance, and capacity building programs, we are working harder and smarter to support the M/WBEs that create local jobs, strengthen our economy, and anchor our communities.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s team has also thrown support behind M/WBEs. The
administration has appointed a diverse leadership team solely committed
to improving the status of M/WBEs and, so far, has integrated them into
the City’s housing policy and Hurricane Sandy recovery. In Fiscal Year
2014, SBS certified 923 firms, bringing the total to almost 3,800 firms
winning $690 million in City prime and subcontracts, a 57% increase over
Fiscal Year 2013.
“The NYC Online Certification Portal launched by SBS will make certification less burdensome for the hard working firms that want to avail themselves of the benefits of being City certified, and it increases the transparency of the certification process. This significant improvement of the process is just the type of change that is necessary in our quest to continuously improve the program’s impact,” Lisette Camilo, director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, said.
The news signals steady progress for M/WBEs. In December, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which is intended to help “women-owned small businesses to earn their fair share of the federal marketplace and gain economic opportunities.”
The NYC Online Certification Portal can be accessed at nyc.gov/certifyonline. Firms interested in certifying as an M/WBE or participating in M/WBE programming, can learn more by calling 311, visiting nyc.gov/getcertified, or meeting with a client manager at one of the City’s seven NYC Business Solutions Centers located in all five boroughs.