NASSAU COUNTY EXECUTIVE LAURA CURRAN ANNOUNCES RECORD NUMBER OF WOMEN, MINORITY AND SERVICE DISABLED VETERAN OWNED BUSINESSES REGISTERED IN COUNTY
(MINEOLA, NY) – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today announced that a record number of businesses have registered as minority, women and service disabled veteran owned businesses in Nassau County. The County registered approximately 600 new Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) so far in 2020, with a large influx coming in during the pandemic. In total, approximately 42% of newly registered businesses this year are either an MWBE or SDVOB and 28% of businesses registered and qualified to do businesses with the County now fit into one of these categories – the highest recorded percentage in the County’s history. For perspective, there were less than a dozen MWBEs and SDVOBs registered to do businesses with the County in 2018, whereas today there are nearly 1,500.
“As we look to revive our economy, my Administration is making sure our minority, women, and service-disabled veteran owned businesses are positioned to grow and thrive on Long Island,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “Our outreach agencies, including the Office of Minority Affairs, are expanding opportunity for MWBEs and supporting programs that help entrepreneurs in every community take their business to the next level. We’ve introduced much-needed transparency, fairness, and inclusion to the County contracting processes - and the results are showing.”
In addition to registering new MWBE’s, the Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs (OMA) has supported more than 15 of the County Executive’s community food distribution drives – servicing over 20,000 families – along with the placement of COVID-19 and antibody testing sites in minority communities hard hit by the pandemic. The Office has also helped notify small and minority owned businesses of the County’s Boost Nassau initiatives, including a free PPE kit giveaway and low interest loan program.
“County Executive Curran understands that when we empower minority and women-owned businesses to compete for County contracts, we create a better Nassau County for all. Especially in these unprecedented times, the Office of Minority Affairs will continue doing all possible to expand opportunity for our minority residents and support the advancement of minority-owned businesses in Nassau County,” said Executive Director of the Office of Minority Affairs Lionel Chitty.
During the last few months of the pandemic, OMA launched a new online certification system for MWBEs that allows for easy uploading of documents for staff review – streamlining the process for new businesses and OMA staff. The new system, spearheaded by OMA Deputy Director Regina Williams, includes a step-by-step online tutorial to assist constituents with the certification process. This recent system enhancement builds on the Administration’s prior improvements to the contracting process, including a robust Solicitation Tracking System which ensures OMA is notified of all County contracts.
“As the Deputy Director of Diversity and Community Engagement for the Office of Minority Affairs I feel that the department was confronted with many adverse conditions that we have been able to successfully navigate through with the stellar leadership of our County Executive Laura Curran at the helm,” said Bishop Lionel Harvey. “Realizing the many needs of our communities and business partners we were able to provide invaluable information to help residents connect to resources to during these unprecedented times.”
OMA is also working alongside Suffolk County to procure consultant services on a joint MWBE/SDVOB disparity study — the first conducted in Nassau since 2003. The initiative will review minority, women, and service disabled veteran owned businesses capacity and utilization with the aim of further boosting successful MWBE/SDVOB participation in county procurement on Long Island. All these efforts build on Nassau County’s elimination of a $125 fee for vendors seeking to do business with the County. The fee had been a barrier to entry since it had to be paid before a potential vendor could view available opportunities.