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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

January 21, 2020

New York State Extends MWBE Certification Window, Increases Personal Net-Worth Cap

Two important changes took effect on January 11, 2020 for businesses certified in the NYS Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program.

First, the state extended the MWBE certification period from three years to five years. This will provide significant relief to currently certified companies. The extension applies to all current and future certifications, other than provisional certifications. This change also has two significant practical implications: (1) it will reduce the significant backlog applicants have faced in having New York State review their application for MWBE certification, and (2) it will also allow certified MWBEs to rely upon the validity of their certification when bidding for more long-term contracts.

Second, the personal net-worth limitation was increased to $15 million. The prior personal net-worth cap was $3 million, and, as such, many more businesses are likely now eligible for the MWBE program.

The legislation effecting these changes, Senate Bill 6575, was signed by Governor Cuomo on July 15, 2019. The legislation had the further effect of extending the program beyond its prior expiration date of December 31, 2019 and made a number of additional clarifying changes. We will issue subsequent alerts highlighting these changes.

If you are an owner of a certified MWBE firm and have questions about the status of a pending application for renewal, are an owner of a business that was not previously eligible for the MWBE program due to the personal net-worth cap, or are an owner of any other business interested in exploring an MWBE application, please contact Barclay Damon.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Anneliese Aliasso, associate, at; David Burch, partner, at; or another member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Area.


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