2003-02-08 / Community

Economic Opportunity Legislation Touted By Smith

Economic Opportunity Legislation Touted By Smith

In keeping with his agenda to help build business and increase economic opportunity, State Senator Malcolm A. Smith has announced that he has introduced legislation that would enhance economic growth in New York State by continuing to promote the development of small business, equal opportunity for all persons, and equality of economic opportunity for minority group and women-owned businesses.

Senator Smith’s bill would extend certain provisions of a law, first enacted in 1988, that served as an important step by New York State to help ensure that minority and women-owned businesses were guaranteed an opportunity to participate in New York’s economic community by "opening the door" to the government contract process. Under Senator Smith’s proposal, these parity provisions – originally set to expire on December 31 of this year – would be extended through the year 2018.

"It is imperative that New York State continue to promote the inclusion of minority and women-owned businesses in the government contract process and continue to train and provide technical assistance and other services that aid in the development and certification of these companies," Senator Smith said. "These entrepreneurs constitute a rapidly growing sector of New York’s economy, and this assistance has proved to be invaluable in the growth process."

Once a company is certified by the State of New York as a minority and women-owned business, it is listed in a statewide directory distributed to all state agencies and to contractors doing business with the State. To become certified, a business must be 51% minority or women-owned, in business for at least one year, and have a business certificate in New York State. Once these businesses become certified, they are able to expand and have greater access to economic opportunities.

"During these difficult economic times that we face as a State, and as we recover from the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11, it is crucial that we continue to encourage the creation and expansion of business, and also to ensure that the economic door of equal opportunity remains open," stated the Queens lawmaker. "This bill accomplishes both of these goals, and I will continue to support and advocate legislation that helps create jobs and economic opportunity for all New Yorkers."

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