- New York City has created a $10 million fund to assist women- and minority-owned businesses win construction projects, according to Crain’s New York Business.
- The money will go toward paying for up to $500,000 of surety bonds per contract. City contractors are required to furnish the bonds, which guarantee they will satisfactorily perform work and pay their bills, but they are difficult to obtain for smaller companies without a track record of completed projects.
- Aside from helping women- and minority-owned firms become successful, New York City building officials said the program will help other contractors who are required to hire a certain percentage of these firms but can’t find enough of them to meet their mandated quotas.
The city aims to issue $16 billion worth of contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses by 2025, and the bond assistance program should help it meet that goal.
Considering that federal and state governments spend hundreds of billions on public construction work and typically set aside 5% to 10% for MBEs and WBEs, the potential payoff is substantial. However, many contractors have reported difficulty finding enough qualified firms.