Ayo Jemiri of LOCOMeX Participates in Focus Group with NYC Office of Diversity Initiatives

Ayo Jemiri of LOCOMeX Participates in Focus Group with NYC Office of Diversity Initiatives
Over the past five years, Scott M. Stringer, NYC Comptroller, Office of Diversity Initiatives, has spearheaded an agency-by-agency review of MWBE spend in New York City, with the Office of Diversity Initiatives. “MWBE Making the Grade Publication: New York City Agency Report Card on Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises” reports on the progress made in 2019 and the history of supplier diversity in NYC. All agencies either matched or improved their status from previous years; yet, Stringer states that there is much room for improvement.

Here is the core challenge from the article:

Programs that expand these businesses’ opportunities in public procurement not only create a more equitable economy, they also drive competition and save taxpayer dollars in the long term. New York City’s efforts to buy more goods and services from minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs) were established 30 years ago and continue today …


The primary goal of this report is to help the City increase utilization of M/WBEs in procurement. With that goal in mind, for the second consecutive year, the Comptroller’s Office held a series of focus groups to gather input from more than 40 M/WBEs as well as members of the Comptroller’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth through Diversity and Inclusion. Based on suggestions from the focus groups, the Comptroller’s Office conducted a survey to elicit feedback from a larger population of M/WBEs. Over 550 business owners responded to the survey, and the results highlight some of the institutional problems that inhibit the success of women and people of color in New York City procurement. The focus group participants and survey respondents highlighted the following challenges:

The Need to Rethink Contract Language to Meet the Current Market
The Need to Get Paid on Time
The Need for Agency Responsiveness
The Need for Support Navigating City Systems
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