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New Haven Board of Alders approve five-year update of MWBE program

CT News - Published Aug 05, 2020

On August 3rd, the New Haven Board of Alders voted unanimously in favor of a five-year renewal for the law that sets procurement goals for minority- and woman-owned business enterprises (MWBEs).

Among the updates included in the renewal are: a reduction of the threshold at which department heads can obviate the requirement for an open bid process and select three contractors to bid for a given contract (from $50,000 to $10,000); and allowing contractors seeking certification from the city's small business contractor program to enter a "precertification program" if they have open for six months, while leaving the period of operations necessary for full certification at a year. There was also a recent Board vote in favor of a working group being established to review the small business contractor program in greater detail. 

The update maintains the same procurement participation goals that were present in the prior version, those being: 10 percent of construction contracts and 10 percent of subcontracts to be awarded to African American-owned businesses; 2.5 percent of contracts and 6 percent of subcontracts to be awarded to Hispanic American-owned businesses; and 11 percent of contracts and 15 percent of subcontracts to be awarded to woman-owned businesses.

The passage of the five-year renewal comes after local groups of African-American business owners and others criticized the city for failing to meet its own hiring guidelines while working on the Dixwell Avenue community center construction project.

For more information, see https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/minority_biz_contractor/.