WESTCHESTER – The latest revelations from the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) Annual Expenditure and Utilization Report found that MWBE businesses are thriving in Westchester and there are still untapped resources available to them. The report found that while we have reached the MWBE utilization goals set by Westchester County Executive George Latimer there is potential for major economic growth. Now Latimer is on a mission to encourage businesses owned by women and minorities to embrace the MWBE initiative.
Latimer said, “The County’s MWBE program provides minority and women owned businesses the opportunity to compete in the marketplace by gaining access to County contracts. We are a County that is committed to creating an environment where small businesses can succeed and thrive. I’m proud to see that as a County we reached the 20% participation goal, but we need more MWBEs registered in the system and aware that these contracts are available.”
Of the available $365M in eligible contracts during 2022 that were available to certified MWBEs in Westchester County, MWBEs utilized $95M or 26% of the $365M, which surpassed the 20% participation goal that was previously set by Latimer. This is a record-setting improvement over recent years where the utilization rate did not exceed 11.6% from 2019 to 2021.
Director of Minority and Women Owned Business Development Martha Lopez said: “The most important thing is letting those that would qualify as MWBEs know that these contracts and this support is out there. We know MWBEs are often underserved with limited resources. We want to encourage them and let them know the door to Westchester is open.”
Daisy Briones, a MWBE participant and President of IQ Contracting, Inc. & Associates said, “The message I wanted to give today, besides being grateful for these programs from the County, is that they are bringing jobs for me and jobs for my people. Through MWBE, 90 million dollars went to minorities – and that’s going back to the community and going back to our families.”
Keica Palmer-Cousins, a MWBE participant and CEO of Aero-Ba-Soul, Inc. said, “MWBE certification, contracts and getting on the Westchester County MWBE directory is critical for exposure and for collaboration. Through relationships and partnerships my company not only was able to receive contracts with Westchester County, but also local corporations.”
About the County’s Minority / Women-Owned Business (MWBE) Program
Under Westchester County’s Office of Economic Development’s efforts to support small businesses and entrepreneurship, the MWBE program is an extension of Westchester County’s commitment to creating a level playing field and helping everyone succeed.
The Minority and Women-Owned Business Program is an excellent resource for minority- and women-owned businesses, which may be just starting out or have long been established in the local economy.
The benefits of registering as a MWBE include having your business listed in the County’s online MWBE database and having high visibility to County departments, contractors and anyone interested in doing business with MWBEs. As well as receiving notification of contract opportunities and special invitations to workshops, seminars and trainings that are meant to help small business succeed.