State Senator Elaine Phillips recently hosted a hearing in Mineola to gather feedback from business owners, industry leaders and other stakeholders on ways to improve New York’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program.
The discussion followed similar hearings held this summer in Albany, Watertown and Binghamton, where over a dozen individuals provided testimony detailing many of problems they have encountered with the MWBE certification program, including participation thresholds, the lengthy certification process, project delays, as well as forcing businesses to hire contractors outside the area.
“While the MWBE program is a very well-intentioned program that I believe has the potential to help our businesses and entrepreneurs thrive here on Long Island, we are learning of recurring themes how the program is causing significant hurdles for those local business interested in participating”, said Senator Phillips.
Representatives from the General Contractors Association of NY, the Long Island Contractor’s Association, the Association of General Contractors of NYS, the Women’s Builder’s Council, the NYS Sustainable Corporation as well as a number of local businesses and interest groups participated in the hearing.
“We heard from numerous individuals and businesses on how requirements of the program have caused project costs to rise, be delayed, and, in many cases, forced local businesses to hire contractors and workers from areas outside of Long Island. Our local businesses are already overregulated and we need to find ways to better reduce the amount of unfunded mandates so we can find more efficient and effective ways of producing local jobs,” said Senator Phillips.
Senator Phillips said another hearing hosted by the Senate will be held in October in New York City.