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Construction & Design

State launches new program to help MWBE compete for DASNY construction contracts

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) is partnering with community non-profit LISC NYC and The Cayemitte Group, a full-service insurance and surety bond brokerage, to launch an innovative program to help businesses owned by minorities, women and service disabled veterans compete for DASNY construction contracts.

The program, supported by a $10 million commitment from LISC’s Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF), will provide critical lines of credit and other supports to help qualified Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) successfully bid on and execute DASNY construction contracts as prime contractors.

This funding will enable NYS Certified MWBE/SDVOB contractors to qualify for required surety bonding and, through a line of credit, pay project-related costs while awaiting reimbursement. In addition, The Cayemitte Group will provide these contractors with back-office supports, including financial management and funds control, to ensure timely payments on all project-related expenses.

This program is the first of its kind in the nation and will serve as a model for increasing MWBE/SDVOB participation in public works through public-private partnerships. It supports Governor Kathy Hochul’s goals of providing increased access to state contracts for MWBE and SDVOB contractors and continuing New York’s leadership in providing opportunity for businesses to grow.

According to a recent survey funded by J.P. Morgan, 60% of startups and 40% of established businesses owned by Black entrepreneurs were unable to secure a bank loan or institutional capital from a financing company between 2015 and 2020. This program will directly address this obstacle, which is routinely faced by MWBEs and SDVOBs.

“For far too long, minority-owned businesses, through no fault of their own, have been prevented from accessing the capital and credit necessary to lead public projects,” said Valerie White, executive director of LISC NYC. “We’re thrilled to partner with DASNY and The Cayemitte Group to ensure that MWBE/SDVOBs have the same opportunity as any other firm to secure public contracts to build and maintain health and education infrastructure that is the foundation of inclusive, sustainable communities. We look forward to working with other state agencies to replicate this model so that all minority-owned firms have the opportunity to play a role in building an equitable future for New York.”

DASNY’s future construction bid requests will include information on how to participate in the program with The Cayemitte Group, which will facilitate operational support and access to working capital for those qualified contractors with liquidity needs through the LISC BEDF investment agreement.

“The Black Economic Development Fund is committed to ensuring that Black entrepreneurs have the capital and resources necessary to make a difference in their communities and to create a more equitable playing field for these businesses,” said George Ashton, LISC’s Managing Director of Strategic Investments. “This relationship with DASNY and The Cayemitte Group will give minority-owned firms across New York the ability to pursue projects where their expertise will make the greatest impact and encourage other state agencies to take necessary steps to meet their MWBE/SDVOB goals as well.”

DASNY, LISC NYC and The Cayemitte Group’s agreement ensures a lack of access to capital will no longer be the prime reason preventing MWBE and SDVOB contractors from winning prime contracts.

“This program supports DASNY’s long-standing commitment to ensuring our partners reflect the diversity of New York State and to encouraging the growth of MWBEs and SDVOBs to create jobs and strengthen our economy,” said Reuben R. McDaniel, III, President & CEO of DASNY. “We thank LISC NYC, The Cayemitte Group and the DASNY staff for developing this innovative program to meet a capital access issue that has been a well-known impediment to MWBE and SDVOB firms bidding as prime contractors on public construction projects. This is another step in promoting inclusion and providing new opportunities for smaller business to grow and succeed in New York State.”

“This innovative and game-changing program allows MWBES/SDVOBS contractors to focus on the work they do best,” said Michael M. Clay, DASNY’s Senior Director of the Opportunities Program Group – Procurement. “With The Cayemitte Group’s expertise and LISC’s funding, New York’s MWBE/SDVOB businesses can contribute their skills to important projects, while getting resources to help build their businesses and expand their capacity for the future.”

“We developed our proprietary Cayemitte Capital Management product to support and build the back-office capacity of diversely owned businesses to qualify to access capital and bonding” said David Cayemitte, CEO of The Cayemitte Group. “We are delighted that our services will empower more minority-owned businesses to bid as primes on DASNY projects.”

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