December 2, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces First State-Certified Disabled Veterans Businesses

Governor Cuomo Announces First State-Certified Disabled Veterans Businesses

21 New York Businesses Granted Certification as Part of Nation's Most Robust Program

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the first round of businesses certified as New York State Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses. The 21 newly-certified businesses cover a range of goods and services including construction services, financial services and a variety of commodities. The designation, created by the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act, makes each business eligible to participate in contracting opportunities with the State.

"Creating this program for New York's service-disabled veterans is another way to show our deep appreciation for the brave men and women who serve our country," Governor Cuomo said. "By providing these opportunities, New York is again leading the way in how our nation supports those who serve, and I am proud to announce the first businesses certified under this initiative."

The businesses are certified by the Office of General Services Division of Service Disabled Veterans' Business Development, which is led by two veterans with extensive business experience. Since applications were made available in early October, the Division has implemented an aggressive outreach and marketing strategy to further encourage applications. A list of the 21 newly-certified businesses can be viewed HERE.

The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act, signed into law by Governor Cuomo this past May, established a six percent goal for participation on State contracts by service disabled veteran owned firms in addition to other measures to support these companies. The federal government's goal for awarding contracts to veteran-owned businesses is only three percent and no other state in the nation offers as robust a program which includes set-aside contracts to these small businesses.

Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito said, "I am pleased OGS has certified the first businesses under Governor Cuomo's Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act. It is only right that service-disabled veterans receive public support and be fully and meaningfully involved in public procurements and State contracts."

New York State Division of Veterans Affairs Director Eric J. Hesse said, "The news that the first wave of certifications has been made will be welcomed by New York State's veterans. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's commitment, this program will create great new economic opportunities for veterans."

To qualify as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business, the owner or owners must have received a compensation rating of 10 percent or greater from the United State department of Veterans Affairs or have incurred an injury while in uniform equivalent to a compensation rating of 10 percent or greater from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. National Guard veterans may also be eligible upon confirmation of a service-disability by the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs.

Governor Cuomo has made job assistance for veterans a hallmark of his administration. The Governor's "Experience Counts" initiative translates veterans' military skills and experiences into opportunities for employment, and his $74 million tax credit encourages employers to hire New York's post-9/11 veterans who have been unemployed for at least six months prior.

New York is home to nearly 900,000 veterans, 71 percent of whom have served during periods of conflict.

More information on the program, including the application for certification, is available online here. Businesses can also contact the Office of General Services directly by calling (844) 579-7570 or emailing [email protected].

Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418