Curran Recounts Progress For Minority Communities

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s Administration recently highlighted key policies and engagement initiatives benefiting minority communities.

“When I took office, I promised to fight for the interests of all of our residents—not just for the few and powerful,” said County Executive Laura Curran. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to create a new standard for inclusiveness in Nassau County’s business community. We have more work to do to open doors of opportunity for all our residents, and I will continue to work with our legislature to build on the progress we’ve already made.”

Regarding supporting woman- and minority-owned businesses (MWBEs), one initiative has been eliminating a $125 fee for vendors seeking to do business with Nassau County. The fee was a barrier to entry for MWBEs since it had to be paid even before a potential vendor could view available opportunities. Since elimination of the fee, the county has seen a 135 percent overall boost in vendor registration, including a steady increase among MWBEs. Since Jan. 1, 197 minority-owned, 262 women-owned and 58 minority women-owned vendors have registered.

Another initiative was the launching of a platform in August 2018 to ensure that all departments comply with certain policies regarding MWBE. The new Solicitation Tracking System (STS), allows for advanced notice to the Office of Minority Affairs (OMA) of any formal competitive solicitation; flagging of any solicitation that includes MWBE goals (state or federal) and submission of any required utilization plan; and more efficient identification of MWBEs and promotion of MWBE participation.

Developing a claims application that will allow the county to capture the MWBE participation at the initiation of the claim for payment. This would have cost savings by eliminating the need for manual entry of the data. Leading the effort to secure a MWBE “Disparity Study,” funded in the recently approved Capital budget. The county’s last such study was

in 2003, making it impossible to establish meaningful MWBE contracting goals.

Other initiatives include leading the effort to secure a MWBE “Disparity Study,” funded in the recently approved Capital budget and serving as a key partner in Ascend Long Island, a partnership of Hofstra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies, Center for Entrepreneurship and the Scott Skodnek Business Development Center and BOC Capital, a Community Development Finance Institution.

—Submitted by Nassau County

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