Are you thinking about making the city of NYC your next client? If you’re a small M/WBE in the City of New York, maybe you should be!
Last year, New York City spent over a $1 billion on contracts with M/WBEs. That’s up over $32 million over the same period in 2017. Over that time, the city has made significant changes to their procurement policies and procedures, making it a lot easier for small companies and minority and women-owned businesses to gain access to opportunities. It’s been my experience that the difference a small/micro purchases contract can make to a small business is considerable!
In Dec 2017, the state legislature approved a bill that allowed NYC agencies to award contracts of up to $150,000 (Micro/Small Purchases) to NYC-certified M/WBEs without having to go through a formal competitive process. This provided for a shorter procurement system and increased opportunities for M/WBEs. Please keep in mind, this does not mean the city is waving any of their requirements or that they’re making any special considerations for companies other than the shortened procurement cycle. If you’re interested in doing business with New York City, your business needs to meet very stringent requirements, so be prepared to be carefully vetted.
Gaining access to a micro and small purchase is a tremendous opportunity for M/WBEs. It opens the door for smaller companies to get into the supply chain without many of the traditional barriers to effectively compete that have existed in the past, like needing experience, a past performance, and a large staff. Because the projects are “small,” you do not necessarily need all of the resources that a larger company would be able to put behind a bid.
Once you’ve landed your first small/micro purchase contract, you can begin to learn everything that you need to know about how to do business with the city. This includes how to register your contracts, to submitting your invoices, to navigating the different nuances of working with a government agency. It also gives M/WBEs the opportunity to gain the experience and past performance they need to compete for larger projects down the road effectively.
Another significant benefit of these contracts up to $150,000 is that they create jobs. Many of the small businesses that acquire small/micro purchase contracts can’t necessarily perform these services or provide the goods on their own, hence the need to increase their staff. So, in addition to creating opportunities, micro/small purchases boost the workforce.
Landing a small/micro purchase contract is basically like building up a muscle. The knowledge and experience your small business gains through working on the contract will develop the skill set that’s required for doing business with the City of New York, and beyond. You can then apply this experience to the state, federal, and corporate supply chains, gaining bigger and bigger contracts. Plus, micro/small purchases contracts will give you the resources you need for sustainable growth of your small business.
With that said, there is still an extensive process required for registering your company, identifying opportunities, and marketing to the government. To help, we’re going to be hosting a free workshop, How to Be Successful with Micro and Small Purchases, at the NYC Department of Small Business Services on January 16th that will introduce you to everything you need to know to effectively complete for a micro/small purchase with the City of New York.
Based on our experience back in 2018, these free workshops fill very, very quickly. If you want to be sure that you will get a spot, be sure to register immediately!