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Cuomo calls for NYS to do more business with women and minorities

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During his state of the state address, Gov. Cuomo said he wants the state to contract more with firms owned by women and minorities.

As part Governor Andrew Cuomo plan for what he calls “economic opportunity for all New Yorkers,” he’s calling for the state to do more business with women and minorities.

During his campaign, the governor called for upping the amount of business the state does with women and minority owned firms. Cuomo wants to take it to 20 percent, up from the 10 percent goal, set by his predecessor governor David Paterson.

He made the proclamation again during his state of the state address.

Lea Webb is an organizer for Citizen Action of New York, an advocacy group for racial equality. She says New York is one of the most diverse states, so Cuomo’s plan helps mirror that.

“We have to have programs in place if were really talking about fostering business. We need to foster those opportunities for everyone,” says Webb.

One roadblock to making that happen is getting women or minority businesses to self-identify, so the state can expand its Rolodex when looking for contracts. Assembly Democrat RoAnn Destito from the Utica area says the way to do that is by promoting the Minority and Women Owned Enterprises program and recruiting more participants.

She praises Cuomo’s new goal.

“That to me says that he wants to see all small business people involved in the commence of the state,” says Destito.

The state has a ways to go, according to Destito. She says because of the newness of the program, whether the state has reached Paterson's initial goal of 10 percent or not still hasn't been determined.

Innovation Trail alumnus Ryan Morden is originally from Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's in journalism, minoring in political science and Scandinavian studies. Morden was Morning Edition producer and reporter at WRVO before moving over to the Innovation Trail project. Before landing at WRVO, Morden covered the Washington State legislature as a correspondent for Northwest News Network (N3), a group of nine NPR affiliates in the northwest.
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