News

New York State Assembly Passes Legislation to Reform New York State's MWBE Program

Strong support for New York State’s Diverse businesses and the communities they support:

“With New York’s MWBE program set to expire this year, the New York State Assembly Majority is committed to continuing to support minority- and women-owned business enterprises here in our great state," said Speaker Heastie. "New York has always worked toward leveling the playing field for underrepresented communities. Minority and women entrepreneurs are critical generators of jobs and innovation in our communities, and should be able to access the same opportunities as non-minority owned businesses."

"Expanding opportunities for MWBEs will continue to be a priority in New York State," said Assemblymember Titus. "Socially and economically disadvantaged businesses like many owned and operated by minorities and women have been continuously overlooked. Supporting these businesses means investing in our economy, communities and equal opportunity for all New Yorkers."

"The MWBE program strengthens our economy while ensuring that minority and women owned businesses are given the opportunity to partake in New York’s procurement contracts," said Assemblymember Bichotte. "By increasing the personal net worth threshold to $15 million, implementing a streamlined certification process, and increasing the discretionary spending threshold to $500,000, the participation level of MWBEs will increase substantially with a direct positive economic impact."

MWBE banks team up with NYC comptroller to win more business

Representatives of minority- and women-owned small banks from around the country are teaming up to expand business opportunities in New York City. Politicians and firm representatives said they hope to show other cities and states how they can incorporate a more diverse business model into their investments.

Attending MWBE University, last Thursday’s session focused on how small minority depository institutions can become a New York City-designated bank and receive tax breaks for contributing to the city’s development efforts.

MWBE University is a program developed by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to aid businesses owned and operated by women and people of color.

"We believe that minority banks can and should play a pivotal role in the economic success in the neighborhoods of our city,” Stringer said at the gathering held at the comptroller’s office at the David M. Dinkins Municipal Building in Manhattan. “But right now there’s a big barrier between minority banks that could do business with the city and the ones that aredoing business with the city.”

2018 Annual Report: NYC has increased its M/WBE spending, but continues to fall short on M/WBE utilization

NYC’s Annual report on Diversity, Access, and Inclusion of Minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) in the City’s public economy is out and the the City continues to lag in execution on its mandated goals.

Minority- and women-owned business enterprises are critical to the country’s job market, employing millions of Americans and contributing more than $1 billion to the national economy each day.

Nevertheless, these businesses continue to confront disparities that deny them the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. In New York City, people of color and women account for 84 percent of the population and 64 percent of business owners.

The City’s recently published disparity study showed that while more M/WBEs are available to contract with the City, there was persistent underutilization of these firms in the last six years of City contracting.

Toward a Fair & Equitable Massachusetts Economy: Practical Steps for a Diverse & Inclusive Entrepreneurial Community.

Developing policies, practices, and processes that increase diverse and equitable business participation in the economic development of the Commonwealth was front and center this past week at The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts 29th Annual Conference: Toward a Fair & Equitable Massachusetts Economy: Practical Steps for a Diverse & Inclusive Entrepreneurial Community.

The room was full of dedicated and passionate business and community leaders representing nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies who are working every day to build a sustainable and just economy in Massachusetts.  Of special focus this year: mobilizing community assets to drive awareness & inclusion, enhance collaboration, and match capabilities of ready, willing, and able diverse businesses with relevant and timely public sector opportunities.

Learn more about SBN’s efforts at http://sbnmass.org/.

VeraCloud recognized by The Social Innovations Journal for democratizing access to social and economic opportunity.

The Social Innovations Journal has named VeraCloud “one of Boston’s most innovative solutions to society’s biggest problems.” We are humbled to be recognized alongside some of Boston’s, New England’s, and our country’s most committed advocates for democratized access to social and economic opportunity.

The Journal chronicles social innovations and enterprises addressing the nation’s most challenging issues surrounding social policy, leadership, human capital, and systems. In collaboration with government, philanthropy, nonprofits and universities, the Journal bridges formal research and real-life experience.

The Journal has joined forces with the:
•    Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics
•    Social Innovation Forum
•    Harvard Kennedy School, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
•    MassChallenge
•    City Awake
•    Social Venture Partners Boston
•    GreenLight Fund Boston
•    Amplified Impact
to convene groundbreaking social innovators, social enterprises, and public - private partnerships at a December 5th symposium that will showcase Boston’s most innovative solutions to solve society’s toughest problems. 

VeraCloud's solution to jump-start Diversity is a powerful tool for incentivizing and aligning prime contractors and other hiring entities to scale their use of diverse businesses (MWBE’s, DBE’s, & VBE’s) in the US public sector contracting market.

VeraCloud addresses systemic market failures by enabling efficiency and best-in-class diversity practices, while delivering a superior experience. VeraCloud’s solution can be used to build capacity in areas of need; enables focused efforts for inclusion; and enables public sector contracting market participants to discover, connect, and collaborate more efficiently and effectively.

Please join us and other innovators in shaping and expanding the 2018 agenda for Boston’s Social Innovation Ecosystem on December 5, 2017:  1:45 – 5:00 at the BOSTON HARBOR HOTEL: 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110.  

Please Register HERE to attend.
 

Equal Pay Day: VeraCloud supports all who work to dismantle systemic inequalities in the US economy.

Legislation + Implementation: The best intentions of the most progressive public servants REQUIRE collaboration with the Private Sector.

As part of his great vision for a New Frontier, John F. Kennedy signed The Equal Pay Act of 1963, a US labor law aimed at abolishing gender-based wage disparity.  Half a century later great disparities still exist, and the more diverse the population, the greater the inequalities.

According to the Voter Participation Center:

54 years after the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, women are still fighting to earn the same earnings as men for equal work. According to the most recent data on 2016 available from the U.S. Census Bureau, women on average make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Earning disparities are even greater for unmarried women, who have seen a steady three-year decline on their earnings in comparison to married men. Unmarried women now earn only 59 cents to every dollar a married man earns, part of an ever-consistent pattern of unmarried women being left behind, even in a growing and improving economy.

In short, there have been no real substantive gains for women. In fact, equal wages is seeing a backwards trend while married men continue to see their earning power grow.

 

This is not just a US problem, but a global one: In 2006 The World Economic Forum introduced theGlobal Gender Gap Index to capture and track the magnitude of gender-based disparities over time. At #45 globally, the US has a lot of catching up to do.

At VeraCloud, we partner with those also driven to dismantle systemic inequalities, change lives, transform communities, and positively impact generations. 

We have built our platform to better equip the private and public sectors to deliver on progressive policies, and to substantively impact the bedrock issues of diversity, access, and inclusion that continue to threaten the advancement of multiple diverse communities throughout the United States. 

Today as we recognize these issues, we join in with leaders like Sheryl Sandberg who work with great purpose and intent to resolve these systemic inequalities at whatever scale is needed.  From Forbes:

Today is Equal Pay Day. #20PercentCounts highlights that women are, on average, paid 20% less than men in the U.S.; that statistic is worse for black women (37% less) and Hispanic women (46% less). "Equal pay is essential to the goal of gender equality," says Sheryl Sandberg, one of America's few self-made women billionaires, in a statement on the launch. "This issue speaks to how we value women’s labor, knowledge, time, training, and so much more. In short, it’s about women’s worth. There’s nothing more fundamental than that."