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Local disabled-veteran-owned businesses could see boost from increase in state contracts

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An increase in the number of contracts the state will award to disabled-veteran-owned companies could provide a boost to a handful of local businesses.

An initial Associated Press report quoted an unnamed state offical who said that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will set a goal during his State of the State address today of awarding 5 percent of contracts to disabled-veteran-owned companies.

According to a U.S. Small Business Administration directory, there are nine such businesses in Jefferson County and one each in Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

One business that could get a boost is Taylor Concrete Products Inc., Watertown. Though the company primarily supplies materials to other contractors, it does small concrete repair projects for the state Department of Transportation.

“I think it’s a good thing, and I’m looking forward to see the details,” said Richard T. O’Connor, the company’s vice president.

Peter J. Fazio, director of the Jefferson County Veterans Service Agency, said the change could increase the viability of the businesses, which like nonveteran entities struggle to compete with larger companies.

“I’m sure statewide veterans are happy for the chance to compete,” he said.

The tax rules are one of several rule changes in recent years designed to aid veterans across the state.

Last week, about $75 million in tax credits went into place offering substantial savings to businesses that hired unemployed post-9/11 military veterans.

Those making the hires will receive a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the total wages paid to the veteran during the person’s first full year of employment, up to $5,000. The amount will go up to 15 percent of the veteran hire’s wages if the new hire is disabled, with that credit capped at $15,000.

The state also has authorized localities to give veterans municipal and school tax breaks and credit military experience when establishing lists for government hiring. In 2011, Gov. Cuomo directed state agencies to consider military experience in licensing, credentialing and granting academic credits from state universities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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