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Meng Wants More Sandy Aid Contracts for Local Businesses

Congresswoman urges Small Business Administration to contract more small, local firms for work.

Are you a small business owner who took a hit during Hurricane Sandy? Help could be on the way if a pair of New York legislators get their way. 

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, D-Flushing, wants to see more Sandy-relief projects funneled into local businesses, in particular those which may have lost business as a result of last year's superstorm.

In a letter written to the Small Business Administration, Meng and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velasquez, D-Brooklyn, pressed the organization to find more small, local businesses which could do the work now being promised to larger firms.

According to Meng and Velasquez, roughly 15 percent of the relief-work contracts have been doled out to small businesses. A stipulation in the recently-passed legislation says that should be at least as high as 23 percent.

"Small businesses from across New York were devastated by the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, and ensuring that they fully recover remains a top priority of mine in Congress," Meng said. "I urge the SBA to do everything in its power to get small businesses back up to speed, and making certain that they receive a greater share of Sandy-related contracts would be a major shot in the arm towards accomplishing that critical goal.”

Velasquez, of Brooklyn, is the ranking Democrat on the House Small Business Committee. She called contracts for small businesses a "win-win."

“Not only will these firms perform quality work, but when they receive federal contracts they hire from within the community, helping reinvigorate our local economies,” Velasquez said.  

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