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New State Law Focuses on Service-Disabled Vet Businesses

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

A new state law facilitates the awarding of six percent of state contracts to service-disabled veteran owned small businesses. The six-percent threshold would be the highest in the country and double the federal standard.

"We very much wanted to assist these service-disabled veterans reintegrate into the community," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, a member of the Assembly's Veterans Committee.

But there are no set-asides for non-disabled veteran owned businesses.

Tom Crowley is the President of Crowley Fabrication and Machining in Endicott, which is certified by the Veterans Administration as a service-disabled owned business. He believes the state legislation should mirror federal guidelines.

Those rules set aside three percent of contracts to service-disabled owned and another three percent to all veteran-owned businesses.

"I would be willing to give up three percent and I know other businesses would go ahead and make it an even playing field for everybody," said Crowley.

"That was not part of this particular discussion although it is certainly worth talking about," said Lupardo.

Crowley wants the state to use the V-A standard of certifying service-disabled veteran-owned businesses to ensure legitimate participants.

"You must be the highest-paid person in the business, you must own 51-percent of the business, you must be involved in the day-to-day operations of the business," said Crowley.

The state law lists many of the same qualifications the V-A such as at least fifty-one percent owned by one or more service-disabled veterans, who must make the day-to-day business decisions.

The state will determine eligible veterans as those who have at least a 10 percent disability rating as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense.

Because the law doesn't include all veteran-owned businesses, Crowley doesn't think it is perfect but does see it as progress.

"People are recognizing it. It's been several years in the making but it's a start," said Crowley.


****In Endicott, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News****

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