Dawanna Williams is the Managing Principal at Dabar Development, which builds housing in the city. Her company currently participates in the both the city and state's minority and women business enterprise program (MWBE), which is designed to give those businesses a leg-up.
"Traditionally, MWBEs are not given an extra opportunity to be considered in bidding processes such as RFPs, or requests for proposals," Williams explained.
High costs associated with bidding on city contracts have sometimes been a barrier for smaller businesses.
"That cost generally can be prohibitive if you are paying for architects and engineers and other professionals to help you submit an application," Williams said. "And depending on the size of the project and the competitive nature you may decide that you may or may not want to apply."
But a bill passed at the end of the legislative session in Albany earlier this year could help change that. It would allow all city contracts below a certain threshold to be doled out without a competitive bidding process, giving the city more say over which companies get them.
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about the bill on "The Road to City Hall Monday."
"We are making a lot of progress as a city, but we need state law changes to help us do it," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in his "Mondays with the Mayor" segment Monday. "The state is very flexible with its own contracts; we've asked for some of the same right here."
The bill is a big priority for de Blasio, who has often clashed with the governor. According to the governor's office, state officials are reviewing the legislation with counsel's office.
But there has been a lot of back-and-forth among the stakeholders, including Cuomo's office, behind the scenes.
"No, they have questions just like every other bill, they need clarifications, and we've been working with them and our legal team to make sure that it is done," State Sen. Marisol Alcantara said. "But I think that, at the end of the day, both the governor and the mayor want what is best for underrepresented communities of minorities and women."
Cuomo currently has more than 90 bills on his desk. The MWBE is expected to arrive there Monday night.
He will then have until Dec. 29 to either sign or veto the legislation. If he takes no action, it automatically becomes law, but Cuomo usually makes a decision, one way or the other.