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Schumer Supports Minority Business Aid

By JERRY GLEESON, THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: May 10, 2003)

F 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 of NY.
F 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 of NY.

DRYE — 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.

Schumer 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.

Chamber 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.

But the 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 companies.

Schumer said he shared her concern.

Hon. Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator of NY"Bundling 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."

He described 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.

In the 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.

The tax 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 to climb.

 

     

 

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