Jamie Garry, a Morris Park business woman and owner of Cybermania LLC, a web site and graphic design company located at 1558 Stillwell Avenue, has spent the past two years trying to obtain Minority Owned Business Enterprise Certification from the Empire State Development Corporation.
On February 28, after almost giving up and a lot of back and forth with the ESD, Garry received the certification.
According to Garry, Senator Jeff Klein was instrumental in helping her to obtain her certification.
“ Even after providing more than the requested documentation and resubmitting my application multiple times throughout the course of over a year, I was unable to successfully receive MWBE status as a woman-owned business,” said Garry. “Without the help of Senator Klein, I would have not only given up on achieving MWBE certification, but would have also lost a client as a result. The senator’s staff was more than just instrumental in helping push the process along - They were inspirational in continuing to assure me that I should retain a positive outlook and that we would reach our goal.”
The program is intended to assist small businesses in their growth by ensuring that entities that are either New York State agencies or those engaged in contacts with New York State agencies are awarding a fair share of state contracts to MWBEs, in order to promote a diversified workforce.
Garry said she decided to pursue the application because her client, Westchester Disabled on the Move, asked if she would obtain the certification because they were being offered grant money to pay for the web site but needed to use a company that had a Minority Owned Business Enterprise Certification.
“They wanted to continue to do business with me, but they also wanted to be able to use the grant money, so they asked me if there was any way I could get this certification,” Garry said. “So I decided to get the certification because it would allow me to continue working with this client and I also figured it would be something good to have looking forward.”
According to Garry, she completed and filed the application along with the other required materials and sent them to the ESD.
“I received my first rejection letter on Christmas eve, which said I had been denied because I needed to send more documents,” she said. “So I wrote back and told them that since I was an LLC some of the documents did not apply to me but I sent them everything else they asked for.”
After filing all of the necessary paper work for the second time, Garry said she received another letter of rejection, again asking for more documents.
“At that point I kind of gave up,” she said. “I told my client that I love working with them but that trying to obtain this certification was taking away too much time from work that I needed to get done.
“After that, I was at a Morris Park Alliance meeting, and a representative from Senator Jeff Klien’s office heard me talking about my situation and offered to help.”
According to Garry, Klein continued to work with her and the ESD for over a year until he was able to arrange a site visit between her and the development corporation, which then resulted in her receiving the certification.
“The MWBE program was developed precisely for businesses just like the one Jamie owns,” Senator Klein said. “I’m proud to have helped her cut through this red tape and am working to ensure that other business owners are not forced to jump through hoops every time they have to deal with our state bureaucracy.”