WEBSTER, NY (WROC-TV) Marine veteran and business owner Dan McDonald has been an advocate for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Act. He says this will give veterans returning home a chance to get a head start. 

“We’re just trying to take our own brothers and sisters and take care of them. We just need a little hand,” says McDonald, who is also the commander of American Legion Post 942 in Webster.

The act has passed in a number of counties across New York, but not Monroe. McDonald says percentages of government contract work is awarded to women and minorities; this act would allow disabled veterans who own small businesses that same preferred-status treatment.

“I’m passionate about this. They need to understand this is something we’ve earned,” says McDonald. “(Politicians) like to wrap themselves with the flag… (A veteran) wraps themselves around the flag,” he adds.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo says there are already a number of programs that give veterans preferred status. She says her administration not passing this act is in no way a reflection of their commitment to veterans.

“We have looked at veteran-owned businesses and provided expanded opportunities for those businesses to either start, to grow, to address the needs that they might have,” says Dinolfo.

Monroe County Legislator Justin Wilcox, who has fought to pass the act, told News 8:

“We often ask great sacrifice from those who serve in uniform, and in return we owe them our full support as they re-enter civilian life. Moreover, requiring a percentage of contracts to go to service-disabled veteran business owners can be done at no additional expense to Monroe County taxpayers. New York State and four other county governments have already done so, and I believe we should follow suit. Assisting disabled veteran-owned businesses will be one of my top priorities in the new year, and I look forward to working with County Executive (Elect) Adam Bello on this issue.”

Justin Wilcox (D) 14th District, Brighton

McDonald this act would be a win for all in Monroe. “It will cost the tax payer nothing. As a matter of fact, competition is good in business. All this will do is add more players into the pool,” he says.