Doing Business with New York State
There are many opportunities to obtain business from NYS and its numerous agencies and affiliates. Doing business with New York State includes doing business with New York State agencies, lower level municipalities, NYS authorizes, NYS public benefit corporations, volunteer ambulance and fire departments, libraries, school districts (elementary and secondary schools), etc.
To find out the basics of doing business with NYS, go to www.nyspro.ogs.ny.gov and look at the “Learning to do business with New York State guide.” You can also look at www.nyfirst.ny.gov/resourcecenter/data/doingbusinesswithny.pdf - a guide to understanding NYS procurement processes.
New York State government and its affiliated entities buy/procure in four ways:
- First- through preferred sources;
- Second-through a centralized state contracting system for commodities, services and technology;
- Third-through agency established contracts and;
- Fourth-an agency conducts its own procurement including discretionary spending.
Certain municipalities, state agencies, public benefit corporations (including public authorities), schools are required to purchase commodities and services from preferred sources. Preferred sources are public entities (NYS Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision; NYS Preferred Source Program for People Who are Blind; NYS Industries for the Disabled). Private companies cannot be a preferred source. However, private companies can partner with a preferred source. Contact the preferred source directly for opportunities. For a list of NYS agencies see www.ny.gov/agencies.
Centralized Contracting System:
The NYS Office of General Services is responsible for the state’s system of centralized contracts for commodities, services, technologies and telecommunications. Generally, a centralized contract is established through an open, competitive bid process for the purchase of commodities or through the use of best value for service and technology contracts. Centralized contracts are used by various state agencies, state authorities, public benefit corporations, local government and municipalities, schools, ambulance and fire companies, libraries, etc. See www.ogs.ny.gov to learn more about NYS procurement or search for contracts. Customer service can be reached at 518 474 6717;firstname.lastname@example.org. The specific NYS procurement services web site is found at www.nyspro.ogs.ny.gov and includes the bid calendar, notifications, announcements and the ability to search contracts and resources. You should register with the Office of General Services through the online bidder notification service at www.ogs.ny.gov/purchase/bidcalendarlv.asp.
Agency or Multi Agency Established Contracts:
Generally, contracts re established by an agency or multiple agencies to procure something needed on an ongoing basis. Thus, these contracts are typically multi year contracts.
Agency Conducts Own Procurement including Discretionary Spending:
When an agency requirement cannot be met through preferred sources, centralized contracting or agency established contracts, the agency may conduct its own procurement- either through formal competitive bid process or through discretionary spending purchase (depending on value of the contract/purchase). For most agencies, procurements under $50,000 can be discretionary (except the agency can purchase up to $200,000 if using NYS certified minority or women business enterprises/MWBE, small businesses, service disabled veteran owned businesses, or if buying recycled or remanufactured commodities or technologies or if buying commodities that are food (including milk) and are grown, produced or harvested in NYS). To be considered for discretionary spending by the agency buyers, you need to establish relationships with them so they know about your capabilities, products and services. Get on their bidders’ lists.
Purchases of $50,000 or more must be published in the NYS Contract Reporter (www.nyscr.ny.gov).
More information about NYS contracting can be found at the NYS Comptroller’s Office - see www.osc.state.ny.us/contracts.
If you are just starting out, you may want to work with a Small Business Development Center (joint venture of the NYS SUNY system and the US Small Business Administration). The SBDC’s can go through the basics with you, help you get appropriate certifications, sign you up for bid/contract notifications and help you navigate the process. On Long Island - Farmingdale SBDC – www.farmingdale.edu/sbdc, 631 420 2765; Stonybrook SBDC- www.stonybrook.edu/sbdc, 631 632 9070. You can also contact the LaGuardia Procurement Technical Assistance Center for assistance with getting federal and other contracts, certification, etc.- www.laguardia.edu/ptac, 718 482 5306.