In an effort to level the playing field for women and minority business owners, City Council speaker, Christine Quinn plans to introduce a bill that would send more city contracts to companies run by women or by Asian-Americans, African-Americans or Hispanics, says the New York Times.
Under the current law – which was passed in 2005 – the city works to award a percentage of contracts under $1 million to companies owned by women and minorities. The problem is that there are no such goals for larger contracts, and some civil rights leaders believe this penalizes successful businesses dealing in costlier contracts.
Also, there are few consequences for agencies that do not meet their goals, and such, little accountability, says the paper. In the fiscal year 2011, the city met only 48 percent of its goals for contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses.
In May, when the Nostrand Avenue Construction Project began, Patch took a look at , and found that the process of applying to be certified as a “Minority or Women-Owned Business Enterprise” (as it is designated) is long and rigorous.
“A lot of companies get intimidated, discouraged and give up because they feel like it’s too much of a hassle,” Community Board 3 President Henry Butler told Patch.
Quinn’s new proposal would set goals for all contracts – not just smaller ones – and would require a quarterly report on their progress.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s spokesperson said the mayor is currently working with Quinn’s office to advance the legislation.