Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the creation of the "Bridge to Success" loan program which will invest at least $15 million to expand access to short-term bridge loans for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). The program will provide qualified MWBEs with the short-term resources they need to participate in the up to $1 billion in contracting opportunities with New York State.
"Our "Bridge to Success' loan program builds on the State's commitment and efforts to promote and increase participation by MWBEs in state contracting," Governor Cuomo said. "The State has already identified more than $1 billion in contracting opportunities, and providing these short-term loans to smaller, disadvantaged MWBEs will give them the capital they need to secure a contract to do business with New York's agencies and authorities. By helping our MWBEs succeed, we can create new jobs in our communities and grow the entire State of New York."
Under the terms of the "Bridge to Success" program, Empire State Development (ESD) would provide up to $2.25 million in loan loss reserves to support the $15 million in short-term loans provided by participating lenders. Loans will typically be under $200,000 with terms under two years and would support $100 million in state contracts.
Once fully implemented, the program would provide qualified MWBEs the short-term working capital they need to hire staff, buy materials, or purchase equipment, giving them a better chance to secure and perform on the up to $1 billion that is currently available in State contracting opportunities.
These efforts complement the New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program, also launched under Governor Cuomo. That program provides training and financial support to help MWBEs and other small businesses access the surety bonding necessary to bid and perform on State construction contracts. Over $40 million.