By Phil Corso
Two area politicians took to Bellerose Thursday morning to advocate for state legislation that would require contracting opportunities be procured to veteran-owned businesses, similar to a current federal law.
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) joined with U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Hauppauge) at the John F. Prince Post No. 6478 at 242-37 Braddock Ave. to voice support for the state measure, which Avella said has been held up in committee.
The legislation, cosponsored by Avella, would require that 3 percent of all state contracts be secured for veteran businessowners, particularly those who were disabled during their service.
“With the unemployment rate among veterans in New York at an all-time high, setting aside 3 percent from the state’s total expenditures of contracts will help boost businesses owned by veterans and help New York veterans transition back into civilian life,” Avella said.
Current federal law requires that 3 percent of the federal government’s procurement budget be directed to veteran-owned businesses. Israel said there was a common sense way to approach the issue on the state level.
“Our veterans valiantly served our country and many come home with the hopes of starting a small business,” Israel said. “We should be supporting their goals and help these vetrepreneurs succeed.”
Avella said he was working on the issue with Israel, who has promoted tax credits for hiring veterans and incentives for veteran-owned businesses.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.