New York City is home to the largest and most diverse cluster of businesses in the United States: some 305,000 women-owned firms and 403,000 minority-owned firms that help to power the City’s economic engine.
The fact remains, however, that minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) continue to receive an unacceptably small slice of the City’s procurement budget. As set forth in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Procurement Indicators Report released last month by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, only 5.3 percent of the City’s $13.8 billion procurement budget was spent with M/WBEs.
In an effort to boost agency M/WBE spending and increase transparency, Comptroller Stringer introduced Making the Grade in 2014—an annual report card that grades mayoral agencies on their M/WBE spending in the prior fiscal year. In Comptroller Stringer’s initial Making the Grade report last year, the City received an overall grade of “D” with 21 of 32 agencies reviewed receiving a “D” or “F” grade.
This year’s Making the Grade report suggests that some progress has been made, with nearly half of the 32 agencies reviewed receiving grades between “A” and “C.” Eight agencies received a higher grade this year than last year, while only four agencies saw their grade decline. Despite this progress, the citywide grade for FY15 is a paltry “D+.” . . .