Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE)


Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Participation Program


Welcome to the City of Niagara Falls Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Participation Program. The City of Niagara Falls is committed to promoting equality of economic opportunities for MWBEs and eliminating barriers to their participation in City sponsored initiatives and contracts.

MWBE Definitions

Minority and/or Women-owned Business Enterprise. MWBE is generally used to refer to a business entity that has been certified as a Minority-and/or Women-owned Business Enterprise by NYS Empire State Development’s (ESD) Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development (DMWBD).

Under NYS Article 15-A of the Executive Law, an MBE is a business enterprise in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, operated and controlled by citizens or permanent resident aliens who are meeting the ethnic definitions listed in the chart below:

  1. Black persons having origins in any of the Black African racial groups;
  2. Hispanic persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican Cuban, Central or South American descent of either Indian or Hispanic origin, regardless of race;
  3. Asian and Pacific Islander persons having origins in any of the Far East countries, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent or the Pacific Islands; or
  4. Native American or Alaskan Native persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North American.

A WBE is a business enterprise in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, operated and controlled by citizens or permanent resident aliens who are women.


Program Objectives

  • To encourage business development and certification of MWBEs through education and outreach activities.
  • To encourage and assist City departments, developers and agencies that are engaged in contracting activities to award a fair share of local contracts to MWBEs.
  • Encourage entrepreneurship.


Services we offer include

  • Technical support/assistance with municipality’s grant and loan assistance initiatives to increase the utilization of minority and women owned businesses.
  • Pre-certification workshops to address MWBE certification requirements and procedures for participation in City contracts.
  • Review applications by businesses seeking certification. NOTE: A business seeking MWBE certification must legally be in operation for at least one year.
  • Educational and awareness programs that assist in the formation, expansion, location and certification of businesses owned by MWBEs.
  • Connect startup and existing small businesses to a variety of business assistance services provided by Niagara County Community College’s Small Business Development Center and Buffalo/Niagara SCORE-(Service Corps of Retired Executives).


NF MWBE Media Center

Want to keep up with the latest MWBE developments in Niagara Falls and beyond? Check out our newsletters, press releases, meeting notices, and success stories featuring local MWBEs. CLICK HERE FOR OUR NEWSLETTER


City of Niagara Falls Directory of Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

Each year the City of Niagara Falls provides an updated directory of the City’s certified MWBEs. This list consists of businesses and enterprises in several different fields including but not limited to Construction, Good and Services, and Professional Services. View a complete list of certified MWBEs in the City of Niagara Falls here: City of NF MWBE Directory 2018


City’s Purchasing Division and Procurement Opportunities

The Purchasing Division is responsible for overseeing the procurement process. It is the City of Niagara Falls’ intent to have a purchasing policy which will build and maintain good community and vendor relationships while, at the same time, obtaining goods and services required at the best possible price. The City of Niagara Falls’ procurement system operates under the guidelines of New York State General Municipal Law. For more information, including procurement opportunities, click on link below:



City’s Commitment to MWBEs

“We are committed to encouraging the growth of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises capable of taking advantage of MWBE contracting requirements in government contracts. We know that even when the entrepreneurial spirit is strong, many obstacles—from lack of networking, to unavailability of mentors, to difficulty of obtaining capital for equipment purchases, to building bonding capacity—work against minority and women owned business people breaking through the glass ceiling. So we’re going to find more ways to help.” Mayor Paul Dyster’s 2016 State of the City address.



If you have questions or would like additional guidance on MWBE requirements, including how to become a certified NYS business, please contact Allen P. Booker, Minority Enterprise and Business Development Coordinator at (716) 286.4481 or by email at allen.booker@niagarafallsny.gov


MWBE Contact Information

Allen P. Booker, M.S.
Minority Enterprise & Business Development Coordinator
Office of Economic Development- Room 300A
City Hall
745 Main Street
P.O. Box 69
Niagara Falls, NY 14302-0069
Phone: (716) 286.4481
Email: allen.booker@niagarafallsny.gov


Links to MWBE Business Resources

City of Niagara Falls

Navigating NYS MWBE Certification

NCCC Small Business Development Center

Buffalo/Niagara SCORE

Doing Business with New York State

New York State Contract Reporter

New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program

Capital Access Program (through NYS Empire State Development)