Supports Minority Business Aid
JERRY GLEESON, THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: May 10, 2003)
rom left to right: Robin Douglas, CEO & President of AACCWR,
Inc., Hon. Earnest McFadden, Sandy Miller, Director of Community
Affairs, Con Edison, & Hon. Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator
— U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told a black business
group yesterday that he would set up a meeting between regional
minority business organizations and the Lower Manhattan Development
Corp. to clarify the awarding of World Trade Center reconstruction
contracts to minority businesses.
also spoke in support of a Democratic alternative to President
Bush's tax cut plan as a means of reviving the flagging economy.
He met for about a half-hour with about 40 members of the
African-American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland
at a luncheon at Consolidated Edison offices in Rye.
President and Chief Executive Officer Robin L. Douglas estimated
about 150 local minority businesses would benefit from contracts
for rebuilding the office complex that was destroyed in the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which oversees the development,
has not announced how the share of construction contracts
for minority businesses will be awarded, Douglas said. She
added that she was concerned that local businesses would be
excluded from bidding on the work if the contracts were "bundled"
in a way that would make them competitive only for much larger
said he shared her concern.
hurts all small-business people," he said. "Since
small-business is such a wellspring of growth in America and
New York, we have to avoid that."
the economy as "squishy soft," yet he said he was
optimistic about its long-term prospects. Federal Reserve
Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has said businesses have used
only about 25 percent of the productivity gains of the 1990s,
Schumer said. Growth through 2010 will outpace that of the
past decade as businesses exploit the remainder of that productivity,
the senator said.
meantime, the country needs a policy that will pick up the
slack. Schumer said he endorses a plan that would eliminate
Social Security and Medicare taxes on the first $20,000 of
income over a one-year period.
cut would have an immediate impact for both businesses and
workers, who share Social Security and Medicare taxes, he
said. It would not worsen the federal deficit and it would
benefit a broader economic spectrum of taxpayers, he said.
Schumer said he also supports a bill that would provide $40
billion in aid to states and localities, arguing that income
tax cuts won't help taxpayers if their local tax bills continue