Money Matters: Columbia University-Sponsored Workshop Helps Prepare Minority, Women and Locally Owned Construction Firms

 On July 31, 2014, 22 participants (pictured) graduated from the "Money Matters" workshop series, a Columbia University sponsored six-week seminar designed to help improve the loan readiness of minority-, women- and locally-owned (MWL) construction contractors and enable them to access crucial financing to perform on government and institutional contracts. The workshop series, co-sponsored by New York City Economic Development Corporation and BOC Capital Corporation, combined six classes with intensive individual business counseling. Contractors learned to build credit, evaluate projects from a cash flow perspective, access much-needed financing, and understand key construction documents.

"As a result of our participation my company is better equipped to manage the cash flow of our business as it relates to both existing clients and upcoming new project," said Ray Jones of SGL Services Corp, a NYC-based minority-owned elevator and escalator specialist company. "In addition, it has fully informed us and provided useful tools to better position ourselves as owners for credit and access to capital which is critical to our growth. The program put its money where its mouth is by extending a $2,000 Credit Builder Loan as well as a $45,000 line of capital for a project we were recently awarded with MTA.  It is without question that a year from now as we celebrate our recent growth that the Money Matters program was the key and needed ingredient to make things happen for us."

"Columbia University has a long-standing commitment to support the minority- and women-owned contractor community and is excited to help these firms become more financially prepared for the work they are awarded with the University and government agencies," said Joe Ienuso, Executive Vice President of Columbia University Facilities.