Mayor Bill de Blasio released the first-ever report Monday on businesses owned by minorities or women and the city broke records in its goal to diversify the entrepreneurial pool.
New York certified more than 4,100 Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, or M/WBE, in the last fiscal year, and gave out over $1.6 billion in contracts. De Blasio said boosting these mom-and-pops is an essential element to fighting income inequality in the city.
"We are committed to leveraging every tool to meet our goal of spending $16 billion over the next 10 years, and we will hold every agency accountable in this process," he said in a statement.
In the summer, the administration issued a directive to all city agencies that put forth new accountability measures to raise the number of contracts to minority and women-owned firms. De Blasio made some changes that made it easier for those businesses to get contracts such as online certification, and improving the Payee Information Portal to identify and contact those companies that may not be certified.
About 1,500 M/WBE received certification during the mayor's tenure.
"We won't rest until M/WBEs have the same opportunities to prosper in this great city as the successful firms who've come before them," Maya Wiley, the citywide M/WBE director, said in a statement.