Council Member James has used her position in the New York City Council to strengthen small businesses- from leading the NYCC's Contracts Committee to address the administrations Department of Education outsourcing book contracts to large out-of-state companies over local bookstores, to co-sponsoring local laws 2005/129 and 2008/067, and Resolution 1773-2009. This important legislation increased opportunities and benefits for minority-and-women-owned (MWBE) businesses, especially. Local law 129 specifically increased opportunities for certified MWBE's to bid on public contracts, increase their capacity, and effectively contribute to the City's economy. You can read more about the history of the legislation here.
Additionally, Council Member James has always offered her personal support and encouragement to small businesses in the 35th District. She has consistently encouraged local businesses to hire youth and unemployed adults in the communities they serve, and early-on supported expansion of the Brooklyn Navy Yard to create more industrial business opportunities.
In her continuing effort to build upon small business opportunities, the Council Member James has drafted a resolution in support of U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke's Congressional bill H.R. 3771, a bill that was amended and re-introduced into Congress in October 2009. This bill was designed to aid MWBE small businesses in building their capacity in the industry of construction. The bill would amend the Small Business Act to charge the United States Small Business Administration with establishing and/or expanding mentorship programs, and identifying problems and creating solutions to meet construction needs/demands. The bill was recently amended to include veteran-owned small construction companies, as well as to establish grant programs to enhance access to specialized education and resources.
Council Member James looks forward to using her position in the New York City Council and as Chairperson of the Council's Contracts Committee to strengthen business opportunities, and helping small businesses stay afloat in these harsh economic times.