Westchester County Executive George Latimer has signed into law legislation aimed at awarding service-disabled veterans more of the county’s future contracts.
The Certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses in County Contracts law requires county departments and offices to encourage the participation of service-disabled veteran-owned businesses in the county contracting process. It does not establish a fixed quota but aims to give at least 6 percent the county’s future contracts to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.
Westchester County’s Office of Veterans Affairs will submit a report in cooperation with the various county departments to the board each year. The legislation is similar to a New York State executive law set to expire on March 31, 2019. There are approximately 15 certified service-disabled veteran businesses in Westchester County and nearly 450 businesses statewide.
Latimer signed the measure into law at American Legion Post 1097 on Thursday. “This is one of the most important things we can do to help disabled veterans make the transition to civilian and private life from a business standpoint,” the county executive said. “We believe this type of outreach will really help us get a much higher percentage of veteran owned businesses to participate in the economic strength of this county.”
Prior to Latimer’s signing the law on Monday, legislation was passed unanimously by the Westchester County Board of Legislators last week.
“Coming from a military family, I was honored when I proposed this piece of legislation that all my colleagues at the Board of Legislators came on board and co-sponsored this,” said County Legislator Margaret Cunzio, who introduced the bill. “This is the least we can do to thank those who have served our country.”
Willian Segel, a combat veteran and owner of Segel & Co. in White Plains, said, “What this will do for companies like mine is allow us to gain a strong foothold in the industries we work in. This not only helps us business owners, but helps all veterans.”