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M/W/DBE Certification Process

Understand what is required in order to comply with NYCEDC’s M/W/DBE programs, find specific M/WBE firms, and adopt strategies for bringing certified firms on board. 


Whether you are bidding on a project, responding to an RFP, or looking to buy City-owned land, there are different requirements for M/WBE planning and engagement.  

If You are Bidding on a Construction Project

Bidders are expected to begin engaging subcontractors before bids are due. The Contractor Statement on M/W/DBE Goals is due at bid opening and the confirmed low bidder is given a couple of weeks to submit a formal Subcontractor Participation Plan (SPP). If the SPP is approved and all other requirements are met, NYCEDC can move forward and award the low bidder.  If the SPP is subpar and Good Faith Efforts have not been made, the bidder will be disqualified and NYCEDC will enter negotiations with the next lowest bidder. 

Responding to an RFP

Since the consultant team must be formed prior to proposal submission, respondents must submit a formal Subcontractor Participation Plan (SPP) together with their proposal. If a respondent submits a subpar plan and Good Faith Efforts have not been made, the respondent will be disqualified.

Buying Land

Buying and developing land is a long process that spans years. It would be impractical to enlist subcontractors so far in advance of construction. Rather than requiring a Subcontractor Participation Plan from interested developers, we require an M/WBE Participation Strategy Form in which the party sets its own appropriate MWBE goals and lists the strategies it will use to achieve those goals.  

Finding M/WBE Firms

Since NYCEDC receives funding from City, State, and Federal sources, recognized certifications differ from project to project. It is your responsibility to review solicitation materials and understand which designation applies to the project of interest. Click on the appropriate online database below to search for eligible M/WBE firms:

In addition, you should visit the project webpage and select ‘View Interested Subcontractors & Suppliers’ to see firms that have expressed interest in working on that project. The certifications held by each firm are also indicated. 

Good Faith Efforts

Engage in Direct Outreach: send written notices, by email, certified mail and facsimile, in a timely manner, to advise MBEs and WBEs that their interest in the Contract is solicited; Such solicitation must be for appropriate portions of the work which could be performed by MBE and WBE subcontractors, and shall clearly describe the plans and specifications of such work.  A lead time of less than 10 days will not be considered reasonable.

Seek Assistance from NYCEDC: submit timely written requests for assistance to the NYCEDC’s Opportunity M/W/DBE officer.

Advertise Opportunities: Advertise in general circulation media, trade and professional association publications and small business media, and publications of minority and women’s business organizations.

Follow Up: Enterprises should be contacted following initial solicitations to determine whether the enterprises were interested in such contracting or subcontracting opportunity 

Hold Meetings With MWBEs: Hold meetings with MWBEs sufficiently prior to the date proposals are due, for the purpose of explaining in detail the scope and requirements of the work for which proposals were solicited.

Negotiate With Certified Firms: Made efforts to negotiate with MWBEs as relevant to perform specific Subcontracts

Alert MWBE Organizations: Provided notice of specific opportunities to participate in the Contract, in a timely manner, to minority and women’s business organizations

Designate Other Work for MWBEs: Made efforts to identify portions of the work that could be substituted for portions originally designated for participation by MWBEs in the Consultant’s M/WBE Utilization Plan, and for which the Consultant claims an inability to retain MWBEs

Held Direct Subcontractors Accountable: (for Construction Management contracts only) Ensured subcontractor commitment to achieving MWBE Participation Goal by passing goals on through subcontract agreement. Goals for each subcontract can vary, and may be higher or lower than the goals on the overall project, depending on the availability of MWBEs that perform the trade(s) being subcontracted. 

Reached Out to Vendors on Interested Subcontractor List: Used the ‘View Interested Subcontractors’ function on the project’s webpage to identify and reach out to subcontractors interested in working on the project who are certified with the appropriate authority. 

Attend Pre-Bid/Pre-Proposal Meeting: Attend Pre-Bid/Pre-Proposal information session where specifics about MWBE participation will be presented by an officer from the Opportunity M/W/DBE group. These meetings also present opportunities to meet potential MWBE partners. 

Real Estate Development & Procurement

Find out if you're an eligible subcontractor or supplier for one of our open RFPs.

Key Documents
  • Good Faith Efforts Worksheet
  • Intent to Perform as a Subcontractor Form
  • Subcontractors Participation Plan

Contact Us

Danielle Da Costa 
Program Manager, Opportunity M/W/DBE 

Stephania Ponce
Assistant Vice President, Opportunity M/W/DBE

Or via email