Governor Announces Seventh Annual MWBE Forum

Meet One-On-One With Fortune 500 Companies And New York State Agency Procurement Officials

Panel Discussions on MWBE Opportunities in New York State's Top Projects

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York State's Seventh Annual MWBE Forum, to be held October 4 and 5, 2017, at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. In its seventh year, the Forum encourages business owners, community leaders, and other interested parties to register for New York State's largest annual business event for minority-and women-owned business enterprises. This year's program, "Transformation 2017: ENGAGE, EMPOWER, ELEVATE" builds upon the vast investments New York State is continuously making in its infrastructure and economic development initiatives. Attendees will learn about the State's efforts to support and inform MWBEs of the opportunities, strategies, and resources needed to access billions of dollars in State contracts.

"New York is leading the nation in expanding opportunities for women and minority owned businesses, which are an increasingly critical part of our economy," Governor Cuomo said. "MWBEs are critical to creating a strong and diverse workforce, and this forum helps build on that momentum, while continuing to overcome barriers and helping to create a stronger New York."

The Forum will introduce programs, workshops and panels to connect business owners with state contracting opportunities and learn about capacity-building. The Forum also features an Expo where small business owners and entrepreneurs can meet public and private sector decision makers from a variety of industries.

In 2014, Governor Cuomo set the nation's highest goal for MWBE procurement at 30 percent. For fiscal year 2015-2016, MWBEs secured $1.9 billion in State contracts and under the Governor's leadership, more than 5,500 MWBEs have been certified since 2011 - with a 40 percent increase in applications processed. Since Governor Cuomo took office in 2011, percentage of MWBE Utilization has increased by over 14 percent, resulting in a 71 percent increase in dollars paid to MWBEs. During his 2016 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo pledged to increase MWBE certification by an additional 2,000 businesses - the State is on track to meet that goal by 2018.

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