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Office of Business Affairs
Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise


The University is committed to maintaining an equitable and competitive business environment. As part of this commitment, the University adheres to a comprehensive non-discrimination policy. In addition, the University has developed procedures and initiatives to help ensure all suppliers in the procurement process receive fair consideration.

In 1984, SUNY adopted the policy on “Procurement Opportunities with New York State Certified Minority and Women-Owned Businesses”. This policy calls for the University to take affirmative action to ensure that minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE's) are given the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to provide the University with commodities, services and printing at competitive prices.


Minority-owned business enterprise (MBE)

A business enterprise, including a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation that is: (a) at least fifty-one percent owned by one or more minority group members; (b) an enterprise in which such minority ownership is real, substantial and continuing; (c) an enterprise in which such minority ownership has and exercises the authority to control independently the day-to-day business decisions of the enterprise; and (d) an enterprise authorized to do business in this state and independently owned and operated.

Minority group member

A United States citizen or permanent resident alien who is and can demonstrate membership in one of the following groups: (a) Black persons having origins in any of the Black African racial groups; (b) Hispanic persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Central or South American of either Indian or Hispanic origin, regardless of race; (c) Native American or Alaskan native persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America; (d) Asian and Pacific Islander persons having origins in any of the Far East countries, South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent or the Pacific Islands.

Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

A business enterprise, including a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation that is: (a) at least fifty-one percent owned by one or more United States citizens or permanent resident aliens who are women; (b) an enterprise in which the ownership interest of such women is real, substantial and continuing; (c) an enterprise in which such women ownership has and exercises the authority to control independently the day-to-day business decisions of the enterprise; and (d) an enterprise authorized to do business in this state and independently owned and operated.

For an all inclusive listing of NYS Certified MWBE suppliers please review the NYLOVES MWBE web site.

A listing of Regional MWBE, Preferred Source and NYS contract suppliers can be found below:

  • Regional Supplier List—Please contact ESF Purchasing for a current listing.

Responsibilities and Regulations

SUNY has taken the following steps to provide opportunities to MWBE's:

  • Establish goals of 20% participation for certified MWBE's (10% for MBE's and 10% for WBE's);
  • Employ and document good faith efforts in the procurement process (see below for more information);
  • Require prime vendors to submit utilization plans and EEO policies for achieving MWBE goals;
  • Require prime vendors to submit periodic compliance reports; and 
  • Determine vendor’s good faith effort and when appropriate grant waivers based on good faith documentation.

In 1988, the NYS Executive Law was amended by the addition of Article 15-A : “Participation by Minority Group Members and Women with Respect to State Contracts”. Article 15-A authorized the creation of an Office (now Division) of Minority and Women's Business Development (DMWBD) to promote employment and business opportunities on state contracts for minorities and women. A main function of the DMWBD is the review of applications submitted by business and the determination of their MWBE status (see below for a discussion of the application process). All state agencies are required to establish employment and business participation goals for certified minorities and women.

The DMWBD maintains a searchable listing of certified MWBE's. The search can be vendor specific, product specific or by market area. In order for the University and prime contractors to get MWBE credit, the MWBE business must be certified as an MWBE by the DMWBD. Instructions have been developed to assist users with searching the database.

In addition to Article 15-A, the University is governed by SUNY Procurement Policy, specifically document numbers 7553 (Purchasing and Contracting), 7556 (Procurement Opportunities for New York State Certified Minority-and Women-Owned Businesses), 7557 (Participation by Minority Group Members and Women (MWBEs) with Respect to State University of New York Contracts), Exhibit A (Standard Contract Clauses) and Exhibit A-1 (Affirmative Action Clauses).

Summary of SUNY Policies and Contract Clauses

SUNY Policy Number

Policy Description


Established the procurement process that the University is to follow.  Among the areas covered are publication thresholds, preferred sources, centralized state contracts and reporting requirements.


Sets forth the principle that the University will take affirmative action ensuring certified MWBEs are given the opportunity to provide the University with commodities and services at competitive prices. Provides definitions for MBEs, WBEs and minority group member.


This procedure sets forth guidelines to assist state-operated campuses of the State University of New York (University) in the procurement of materials, supplies, equipment and services (including printing) from NYS certified minority- or women-owned businesses (M/WBEs).

Exhibit A

Contains twenty-two standard clauses that are part of all University contracts. The clauses include equal employment opportunities for minorities and women which prohibit the vendor from discriminating against employees or applicants.

Exhibit A-1

Contains eleven Affirmative Action clauses that are part of all University contracts. The clauses cover the language of the solicitations placed by vendors, the need to provide periodic EEO reports and MWBE participation goals.


MWBE Certification

A business must be open for at least one year prior to applying for certification as a MBE and/or WBE with the DMWBD. Upon receipt of the application the DMWBD will conduct an audit of the applicant and a render a final decision.  If approved the MWBE designation is good for three years. Every three years the DMWBD will send a “Verification Request” to the business.  The business will need to attest to their continued MWBE status.  Failure to respond to the Verification Request will result in termination of a business’ status as a NYS Certified MWBE. If an application is denied, a business can request a written appeal or an oral hearing and present evidence supporting their claim.  If the appeal is denied an application must wait two full years from the date of the original notification of denial. For complete information, please visit the DMWBD home page or call the DMWBD at 1-800-782-8369.

Doing Business with the University

In order to best meet the needs of the University and of the vendor community the Office of Purchasing and Contracts maintains a database of vendors. This database contains the pertinent information of vendors including contact information and the goods and/or services that the vendor provides. If you would like to be entered into the database, please complete the Registration Form and return it to the Office of Purchasing and Contracts.

Pursuant to the NYS Office of the State Comptroller mandate, it is the responsibility of the University to collect from each vendor from which we do business with a Substitute Form W-9. Prior to any purchase order being issued or any contract being finalized a Substitute Form W-9 must be on file with the Office of Purchasing and Contracts. Sole proprietors who are not U.S. citizens and businesses organized/incorporated outside of the United States are required to complete and submit an IRS Form W-8 in addition to the Substitute Form W-9.

The New York State Office of General Services enters into contracts that are available to all state agencies and must be utilized if the goods and/or services on state contract meet the form, function and utility that is being sought by the University. For information upcoming state contracting opportunities, please visit the New York State Contract Reporter.

The table below provides information on the forms that are required to be filed as part of the overall good faith effort.   Select an individual form by clicking the name of the form.

Name of Form

Filing Requirement

Submitted By

Basic Information to Provide

MWBE Good Faith Effort Policy and Bidder’s Attestation

With Bid/Proposal Response


Attestation that Contractor will make a good faith effort in meeting the University’s goal of 10% MBE  and 10% WBE participation on the procurement.

MWBE Utilization and Waiver Plan

With Bid/Proposal Response


General business information; MWBE Goals; Description of work to be performed; MWBE Waiver Request.

Consultant/Contractor Affidavit

With Bid/Proposal Response




Contractor certifies that all of the information provided on the MWBE Utilization and Waiver Plan, the EEO Staffing Plan is true, and that they will notify the University of any material changes to the information provided.

Contract Breakdown

Prior to contract award.


Contractor provides information on all MWBE subcontractors and MWBE suppliers.

EEO Staffing Plan

Prior to contract award and on a monthly basis.

Contractor and all subcontractors

Break down by job category of work force by gender, race, disability, and veteran status.

MWBE Compliance Report

Monthly basis


General business information of all MWBE subcontractors plus payments made to subcontractors broken out by MBE and WBE status.

Pursuant to Exhibit A-1, the above forms are required for all procurements with a total expenditure of $25,000 for labor, services, supplies, equipment, or materials and for procurements exceeding $100,000 for the acquisition, construction, demolition, replacement, major repair or renovation of real property and improvements.

Contractor Utilization Plans

Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of Section 313 of Article 15-A of the NYS Executive Law, the University is required to post the utilization plans of the contractors and any waivers of compliance granted by the University. The contractor’s utilization plans are available by selecting the following links:

  • Utilization Plans to be added

Vendor Fair

The Office of Purchasing and Contracts periodically holds an MWBE Vendor Fair. NYS certified MWBEs are invited to campus to introduce the products and/or services they provide to the campus end users. As the end users are the campus personnel who initiate the purchasing process, this event can potentially lead to increase in business for an MWBE in attendance.