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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis April 5, 2013
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N.Y. MTA Introduces Small Business Program

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has awarded the first contract to a company participating in its new Federal Small Business Mentoring Program, created last year to foster small business participation in MTA contracting.

Under the $1.88 million contract, the Urban Group Ltd., an MTA-certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) based in Woodhaven, Queens, will build facilities in Grand Central Terminal that will be part of the East Side Access megaproject.

The MTA’s Federal Small Business Mentoring Program is a set of initiatives that provide a supportive framework to help eligible small businesses including DBEs establish stable, long-term ­business relationships with the MTA as they develop and grow. The program’s components provide direct prime contract opportunities, access to small business loans, surety bonding assistance, technical assistance, and classroom construction training.

The purpose of the MTA program, which has received federal approval, is to stimulate the growth and development of small businesses including MTA-certified DBEs. The focus and goal is to develop a larger pool of qualified contractors, reduce MTA construction costs, and ultimately create local middle-class jobs within the small business community.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has established an overall goal of 20 percent participation by minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) for state agencies. The MTA has exceeded that goal, with 26 percent of its $590 million in state-funded contracts awarded to certified MWBEs in the most recent nine-month reporting period.

In addition to expanding opportunities to historically disadvantaged communities, the program expands the overall pool of businesses that are bidding for MTA contracts. It provides direct prime construction contracts up to $3 million.

The New York State-funded Small Business Mentoring program was created in 2010 following enabling legislation introduced in the New York State Senate by John L. Sampson and in the New York State Assembly by Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright.

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