Columbia Hosts NYC’s 13th Annual Procurement Fair for Minority, Women and Local Businesses

June 11, 2019

More than 500 city-certified Minority, Women and Local Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) joined city and state agencies at Columbia’s Lerner Hall to explore economic opportunities during the 13th annual NYC Procurement Fair.

Cedric Gaddy, AVP for Capital Finance and Administrative Support, welcomed participants to Columbia and invited them to build business relationships with the University. Gaddy emphasized taking advantage of the many programs and services Columbia provides for minority-, women-, and local-owned businesses.

“Our commitment to the community is evident in the goals set forth for construction contracting and labor force across the university,” Gaddy told participants, adding that the University has surpassed its goal to achieve 40% participation for minority, women and local workforce at the Manhattanville construction project—since 2008, Columbia has achieved 47%, or almost half the Manhattanville workforce. “I hope you all are able to make the most of today’s opportunity. We look forward to continuing to foster this important partnership.”

The annual event, which provides information about business opportunities at more than 70 city and state agencies, was established in 2006 by the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to support M/WBEs in building relationships with the New York agencies that are likely to need their offerings.

Other speakers at the event included SBS leadership, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson, and Toll International Founder and CEO Nure M. Aiza Bezares.

In addition to networking opportunities, the event offered headshots for M/WBE business owners, an SBS Client Services room to help business owners with the M/WBE certification process, and a series of Opportunity Rooms with individual City and State agencies where participants could learn details about specific upcoming business and project opportunities.