Assemblyman Santabarbara: New Law to Make NY a Leader in Awarding Contracts to Service-Disabled Veterans

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam), member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, announced the governor signed into law the “Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act” (Ch. 22 of 2014). This law will make New York a national leader in helping the small businesses of our returning heroes by setting a 6 percent participation goal in the awarding of state contracts to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

“Our service-disabled veterans have made enormous sacrifices to defend our nation and protect our freedom. Supporting their small businesses will not only strengthen our region’s economy, it will ensure these military servicemen and women and their families are supported upon their return home,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara.

The act will create the Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development within the Office of General Services (OGS). Small businesses – which will be certified for five years – must be at least 51 percent owned by a service-disabled veteran who controls daily operations to qualify.

A public directory of certified businesses will be posted on the OGS website in order to compile information and assist and promote service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. This act will also require annual reporting to help assess the effectiveness of the program and identify areas that require change or improvement.

Over 900,000 veterans reside in New York State and 72 percent have served during periods of conflict. Additionally, approximately 88,000 New Yorkers served in Afghanistan or Iraq.1 According to census data, approximately 35,485 veterans reside in Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery counties. In addition, one in seven veterans are self-employed or small business owners.

Earlier this month, Assemblyman Santabarbara attended New York State Industries for the Disabled Inc.’s (NYSID) Veterans’ Summit. The event was an opportunity for lawmakers, veterans organizations and military servicemen and women to work together on ways to support and care for disabled veterans.