(Long Island, NY) Assemblyman Edward Hennessey (D-Medford) announced that the Assembly passed a piece of legislation that would implement the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act (A.9135). This act sets a 6-percent participation goal in the awarding of state contracts to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, which doubles the goal of the federal government.
“Helping New York’s service-disabled veterans pursue business ventures will strengthen our local economies while also doing right by the brave men and women who served our great nation,” Assemblyman Hennessey said.
New York is home to more than 900,000 veterans, 72 percent of whom have served during periods of conflict. Specifically, there are over 50,000 veterans living in Suffolk County , the largest population of veterans in New York State. In addition, 1 in 7 veterans are self-employed or small-business owners, Hennessey noted.
With passage of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act, New York will join 44 other states and the federal government in implementing a program to help self-employed service-disabled veterans gain more state contracts.
This act creates the Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development within the Office of General Services (OGS). To qualify, small businesses must be at least 51 percent owned by a service-disabled veteran who controls day-to-day operations. The businesses will be certified for five years. The director of this division will be tasked with providing and collecting information to help these businesses, developing a directory of certified businesses and promoting service-disabled veteran-owned business services statewide. To help assess the effectiveness of the program, OGS will be required to make public an annual report.
“This legislation is long overdue. I’m hopeful the Governor will sign this bill into law immediately because it’s time we protect those who protect us,” Hennessey concluded.