New York State to Launch Bid Bond Program

February 19, 2008

New York’s minority- and women-owned businesses could have an easier time getting surety bonds needed for state and private contracting work under an ambitious program that will launch in New York City later this week and in Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Albany next month.

The new program, called the New York State Bonding Initiative, substantially expands a previous plan geared at helping businesses obtain so-called bid bonds. It includes workshops and one-on-one sessions for contractors with bonding experts, increased participation by the federal Small Business Administration, loan and grant programs, and a commitment from the surety bond industry to develop programs tailored to small and emerging contractors.

The move comes after several months of negotiations between the state, the insurance industry and advocates for small contractors in the Empire State.

“Minority and women entrepreneurs have not been given a fair shake at the opportunity to do business with the state. This additional access to borrowed capital will help New York get back on track by supporting businesses that are vital to New York’s communities and overall economic growth,” Lt. Gov. David Paterson said.

Superintendent of Insurance Eric Dinallo said “The New York State Bonding Initiative will open up new opportunities and give these business owners the chance to tackle more and larger projects, to grow their businesses, to create jobs and foster economic development all across this state.”

Michael Jones-Bey, executive director for the New York State Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development said “This new collaboration between the Lt. Governor, the Superintendent of Insurance, the surety industry and other stakeholders represents a model for how government should work to solve longstanding problems. The creation of our new capital access pilot program together with this new bond access initiative will open up unprecedented opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses.”

Added President Lynn Schubert of The Surety and Fidelity Association of America: “The Board of Directors and members of The Surety and Fidelity Association of America are excited about the prospects of expanding bonding opportunities for small, minority- and women-owned contractors in New York State.”

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