According to the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, PASSPort has a variety of features. With the platform, business owners can sign documents digitally, send invoices for contracted work and submit proposals through digital questionnaires. There is also a roadmap where owners can sort by industry and keyword.
Karen Eason serves as the CEO and Executive Director of Key to Success, an organization that works with small businesses to become more profitable. She helps owners set their action plan, so they have a mission for their work.
Even though she used PASSPort for almost three years, her primary source of business comes from contracts outside of New York City. Her experience with the new platform is that there are not many contracts within her field of management consulting.
“There hasn’t been a multitude of opportunities,” Eason said. “There is a steep curve to get in the door and those that have already gotten a contract are more likely to receive one in the future.”
While Eason has had obstacles with receiving contracted work through PASSPort, James Lyons has found success through the platform.
Lyons is the operations manager at 1 Star-Networks LLC, where the business specializes in installing alarms, access controls and closed-circuit television systems. His role is not only to find contracted work, manage business finances, in addition to other tasks.
After using the platform for more than a year, Lyons affirms that his business secured large contracts not only with the state, but on the city and municipal levels as well.
“The platform helps with the procurement process, which means asking and giving invoices in addition to sending bills.” Lyons said. “The processing is quite simple.”
Floyd Wright has a neutral opinion towards the PASSPort platform. Even though he has not received a contract, he believes that Mayor de Blasio’s new marketing strategy with the platform has potential.
He is the Community Outreach Director for Wright Media Group, where they have experts in fields such as entertainment and education speak to youth in underserved communities. He creates events, with his recent focus has been to discuss mental health in a holistic way.
Wright remembers when PASSPort created a different marketing strategy about two months ago. He was on a webinar event with Mayor de Blasio, when he explained his executive order. According to him, Mayor de Blasio’s order said that agencies were required to conduct more outreach to businesses, rather than maintaining relationships with previous contacts.
“After the meeting, I started getting more responses from clients that gear towards some of our services.” Wright said. “The Mayor and his wife are trying their best to market this during the pandemic.”
When asked about what it would take for her to use PASSPort, Eason maintained that there needs to be a range of contracts for different industries.
“If I felt there were more contracts available for the field I work in, then absolutely, I would be more cognizant in putting additional effort into using the platform.” Eason said.
The New York Amsterdam News reached out to the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, but they did not respond at the time of publication.