3 #NYSMWBE 2020 NYS MWBE VIRTUAL FORUM Welcome to the 2020 New York State Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Virtual Forum. Now in its 10 th year, the Forum is the state’s largest annual business event for certified minority and women-owned businesses, attracting thousands of attendees from across the Empire State. This year’s theme – “Building Businesses Better” — highlights New York’s strong record of creating opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses, and our nation-leading numbers of state contracts awarded to MWBEs. It also recognizes entrepreneurs like you, who are included in one of the country’s largest public directories of MWBE-certified firms. In New York and across the U.S., diverse small businesses have been disproportionately impacted this year by COVID-19. We are committed to providing MWBEs with the tools and resources needed to navigate the pandemic and continue building their businesses. Small companies like yours are the backbone of our economy. We know that when we utilize the talent and innovation that MWBE firms bring to the table, we are more competitive, more efficient and more successful. Throughout this three-day virtual event, special semi-live and on-demand programming will help you Prepare, Identify and Connect with Opportunities. Top leadership from New York State, procurement representatives from state agencies, authorities and business representatives from every market sector will be on hand. They’re here to provide you with the critical information you need to build your business better: from an Access to Capital spotlight on COVID-19 programs and the 2020 NYS MWBE Contract Opportunities eBook, to the new MWBE Business Resource Toolkit and Top Projects and Market Sector sessions. I hope you take advantage of everything that the 2020 MWBE Virtual Forum has to offer. While we cannot meet in person this year, I am glad we are still able to work together to build a better New York State.