Mayor Wu Launches $750,000 Grant Fund to Support Growth of Businesses and Access to City Contracts

Mayor Wu Launches $750,000 Grant Fund to Help Progress of Companies and Entry to Metropolis Contracts

Beginning April tenth, small, native companies can apply for grants as much as $15,000 to assist handle important working wants and develop capability

Mayor Michelle Wu as we speak relaunched the Metropolis of Boston’s Contracting Alternative Fund with $750,000 out there to assist small, native companies construct their operational capability and degree the taking part in subject for traditionally deprived companies interested by Metropolis contracts. The fund is a part of Mayor Wu’s complete strategy to addressing disparities within the awarding of Metropolis contracts to small and numerous corporations. Grants as much as $15,000 will likely be out there to certified companies that submit a aggressive software.

Funds could also be used, amongst different issues, to buy new tools, develop a enterprise’ rental house, purchase bonding or insurance coverage, and supply different working wants to permit the corporate to scale to the subsequent degree. The fund was designed via intensive dialogues and neighborhood conversations with small, numerous enterprise homeowners to deal with limitations to enterprise success in public contracting recognized within the Metropolis’s 2020 Disparity Examine. The examine confirmed that companies owned by ladies and folks of colour are broadly out there to carry out Metropolis contracts, however are considerably underrepresented within the Metropolis’s spending on development, skilled companies, and items. This grant program is a part of Mayor Wu’s dedication to help these small, minority- and women-owned companies in turning into licensed distributors and to make Boston an economically equitable metropolis that provides alternatives for all communities to construct wealth via enterprise possession.

“We should use each device potential to interrupt down limitations for companies trying to win Metropolis contracts, develop financial alternative, and guarantee Boston is a metropolis for everybody,” mentioned Mayor Michelle Wu. “The relaunching of the Contracting Alternative Fund will assist small, native companies construct their capability and develop alternative for our minority-owned and women-owned small companies.”

This yr, the Contracting Alternative Fund may have a robust desire for funding candidates that function companies in a set of precedence sectors through which the Metropolis does substantial contracting. Licensed MBEs (minority-owned enterprise enterprise), WBEs (woman-owned enterprise enterprise), SLBEs (small native enterprise enterprises), and Metropolis-recognized VBEs (veteran-owned enterprises) within the following sectors are inspired to use for grant funding: waste assortment and administration, snow removing, landscaping, design and architectural companies, meals and eating companies, and development (plumbing & hvac companies; electrical work; normal contracting companies; roofing, siding, and flooring work; insulation, drywall, masonry, and weatherproofing work). Candidates should be licensed with the Metropolis of Boston’s Provider Range Program. Extra details about enterprise certifications is on the market right here.

These precedence sectors have been chosen based mostly on areas of excessive Metropolis spending, and also will be the main target of a brand new enterprise accelerator pilot program launching this fall. Companies chosen to take part on this program will obtain customized and normal consulting companies, monetary administration instruments, and Metropolis procurement help that may assist them develop and put together to bid on bigger contracts of their industries. This program will construct on Mayor Wu’s dedication to assist numerous companies change into Metropolis contractors by bringing collectively Metropolis departments and enterprise service organizations to offer a brand new degree of intensive, sector particular technical help to assist remodel the Metropolis’s provider base.   

The Contracting Alternative Fund software will likely be out there right here on Monday, April tenth at 12 p.m. These can join right here to obtain an electronic mail notification from the Division of Provider Range’s publication.

“This fund is one more device that this Administration is utilizing to make sure we’re investing in numerous firms and increasing alternatives to do enterprise with them,” mentioned Segun Idowu, Chief of Financial Alternative and Inclusion. “Mayor Wu and our staff are centered on responding to what we’re listening to from native firms by filling funding gaps and eradicating any barrier to reaching our aim of making fairness within the Metropolis’s procurement course of.”

In Spring 2022, the Metropolis’s Division of Provider Range offered grants of as much as $15,000 for licensed MBE, WBE, SLBE, and Metropolis acknowledged VBEs to help capacity-building actions. A complete of $1 million was awarded to 71 companies, of which 71% have been licensed minority-owned companies and eight% have been women-owned companies. Not less than 8 companies that obtained previous Contracting Alternative Fund grants went on to win Metropolis contracts. 

“The Boston Alternative Fund has helped enhance my enterprise by giving me the power to fund the mandatory insurance coverage protection to assist with progress,” mentioned Brittany McLemore, proprietor of Breezie Cleansing and Janitorial Companies and a earlier Contracting Alternative Fund grant recipient

Breezie Cleansing and Janitorial Companies is a Roxbury-based small and women-owned enterprise that was awarded a contract to offer cleansing companies for a Metropolis-owned constructing in Roxbury. 

The renewal of this fund builds on important investments made by the Metropolis of Boston in provider range and equitable procurement initiatives since February of 2021 when it established annual Metropolis spending targets of 25% to ladies and minority-owned companies. In Could 2022, Mayor Wu and Boston Public Colleges awarded Metropolis Recent Meals, a Roxbury-based employee- and Black-owned meals service firm, a contract with a challenge worth over $17 million, the most important non-construction contract to licensed Black-owned enterprise. In December 2022, the Metropolis awarded three firms owned by ladies or folks of colour with snow removing contracts, with two of these contracts being a part of the Metropolis of Boston’s Sheltered Market Program to advance fairness in procurement with direct outreach help from the Division of Provider Range.  In December 2021, Mayor Wu filed an order, later permitted by the Metropolis Council, that allowed Boston to designate as much as six Metropolis contracts for procurement from minority- and women-owned companies. By means of key investments in staffing and programmatic wants, the Metropolis is implementing new initiatives that search to deal with the previous and current results of discrimination, disparities, obstacles, and limitations in its procurement course of that influence minority-owned and women-owned companies. Extra data is on the market right here.

This renewal additionally builds on Mayor Wu’s years of dedication to require equitable Metropolis contracting and shut the racial wealth hole. In 2016, then-Councilor Wu and then-Councilor Ayanna Pressley presided over the Metropolis Council listening to that examined the Metropolis’s procurement course of and efforts to help native companies. In 2017, Mayor Wu and Congresswoman Pressley co-sponsored an ordinance as Metropolis Councilors that required the Metropolis to gather extra knowledge on contracting. Mayor Wu handed a groundbreaking ordinance that required the Metropolis of Boston to shift its meals procurement practices to satisfy sure requirements round racial fairness, truthful pay for staff, environmental sustainability, and diet.

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