Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber Conducts Forum for Minority & Women Business Enterprises at Berkeley College

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Keynote Speaker Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of NYC Small Business Services, acknowledges growth and opportunity, encourages business owners to become certified


Representatives of New York City (NYC) agencies from three boroughs and Rodneyse Bichotte, NY Assemblymember, 42nd District, and Chair, Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, gathered to present information and discuss opportunities for Minority & Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) at a Forum sponsored by the Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Berkeley College in Brooklyn on March 16, 2017.

“The opportunity for growth and access to resources has never been greater,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of New York City Small Business Services (SBS). “Now is the time for minority and women business owners to become certified, so they can take advantage of all the City has to offer.”

Certification requires submitting an application that allows a business to take advantage of government contracting.  Two of the preliminary business requirements to apply for certification include that the business has been selling products or services for a period of at least one year prior to the date of the application, and, that the business has a real and substantial presence in the geographic market of NYC. The geographic market includes the five boroughs of NYC and the counties of Nassau, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester in New York; and Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic counties in New Jersey.

SBS is working aggressively to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned firms by connecting them to a comprehensive range of programs that provide technical assistance and capacity-building support, as well as other resources – including access to capital – to help them navigate and compete in the public marketplace. SBS services for M/WBEs and small businesses are designed to help firms better bid on, win and perform on City contracts. In the first three months of fiscal year 2017, M/WBEs were awarded more than $379 million in prime contracts and nearly $73 million in eligible subcontracts subject to the M/WBE program.

Rick Miranda, President of the Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who also serves on the council that informs the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs, served as emcee for the Forum.  He enthusiastically acknowledged each of the representatives from the various NYC agencies and partners who continue to collaborate to help bring about growth for minority businesses. He also stressed the importance of not only registering to vote, but exercising that right by actually voting.

Assemblymember Bichotte spoke about the need to hold legislators accountable. She is working closely with her colleagues in government and the executive branch to ensure that the findings of a disparity study to examine M/WBE participation in contracts awarded from April 2010 to March 2015 is delivered on time and can inform legislation that targets goals for sourcing of goods and commodities by certified M/WBE businesses.

Additional organizations and agencies participating in the Forum included the offices of NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer, the Queens Economic Development Council, the Staten Island Business Outreach Center, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), NYC Department of Education, NYC Human Rights, NYC Police, the NYC Department of Design and Construction, NYC Department of Sanitation, NYC Parks, and the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council.


In addition to the above organizations, sponsors included Santander, impacto latino, Inca Kola, Nuchas, and Casa De Vinos. Entertainment was provided by a group of students from Epiphany Academy performing music on string instruments.



 Photo Captions: (Top): Rick Miranda, President, Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, serves as the emcee for the Minority & Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) at a Forum sponsored by the Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Berkeley College in Brooklyn on March 16, 2017. (Bottom, left to right): Rodneyse Bichotte, NY Assemblymember, 42nd District, and Chair, Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises; following her remarks, poses with Michele Figueroa, Career Services Counselor, Berkeley College in Brooklyn; and Rick Miranda, President, Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 8,000 students – including more than 550 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.


Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are five campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For four consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is


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