A proposed bill that would grant local veteran-owned small businesses and local service-disabled veteran-owned businesses preference in the awarding of the thousands of public contracts the town signs annually was officially passed by the Town of Hempstead last week.
Supervisor Laura Gillen lauded the new town law, which was passed unanimously by the town board, seeks to expand the participation of local veteran and disabled veteran owned small businesses in the county’s economy by granting them a preference to the Town of Hempstead’s contracting opportunities over non-local bidders. The local preference policy now grants local veteran-owned small businesses located in Nassau County that submit a bid within 7.5 percent of the next overall lowest bidder, when the lowest bidder is an entity located outside of Nassau County, preference in the awarding of local town contracts.
“We are expanding opportunities and helping ease the transition to civilian life for our brave service men and women,” said Gillen. “Service to our country deserves to be rewarded.”
Local veteran and disabled veteran business enterprises will have to be registered with the federal or state government and show proof of registration.
There are more than 75,000 veterans and more than 11,000 veteran owned firms, who call Nassau County home. The Town of Hempstead will be reaching out to qualifying veteran owned business owners in order to ensure they are aware of the new procurement policy.
“The Town of Hempstead has a proud tradition of helping our service men and women once they return home,” said Gillen. “In keeping with the town’s longstanding values, we will continue to honor and help support our local veterans whenever possible.”
According to spokesperson Michael Fricchione, businesses would need to be registered as either a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and/ or a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) through the Department of Veterans Affairs. He noted that New York State uses that list, and business owners can contact the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
Last month town officials staged a press conference announcing the proposal at the Levittown American Legion Post 1711, a fitting setting as Levittown is the hamlet where many veterans settled into their first homes, thanks to a nation’s gratitude and largesses via the GI Bill.
“As a Vietnam veteran and a town councilman, I am always looking for ways in which to help those who have answered the call of duty,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne Sr. “I am proud that this initiative gives back to our veterans who have done so much to protect us, and I look forward to providing an opportunity for local veteran-owned businesses to work with the Town of Hempstead.”