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Small-business owners weigh in on Paterson plan

"We have been hit very hard with manufacturing jobs being sent overseas. When I am bidding with someone from China to do a job, China is bidding less than what it costs to buy my raw materials. . . . The money I received allowed me to catch up on bills and allowed me to make improvements and innovations in machinery.

- Anita Bowra, president and owner of Gentry Manufacturing Corp. in Ronkonkoma, which received a $70,000 low-interest loan from the Long Island Targeted Revolving Loan Fund and welcomes a proposal for a much broader program.

"Small businesses are the fuel that drives the biggest growth, whether it's New York or any other state. . . . Having this available to businesses that can't access capital is vital."

- Michael Petrucelli, chief financial officer of Uncle Wally's, a Shirley-based muffin company that received and repaid a $300,000 low-interest loan through the Long Island Targeted Revolving Loan Program. (He noted that he didn't know the details of the governor's proposed loan program.)

"As a manufacturer, our only edge is to try to stay state-of-the-art because it's very difficult to compete when labor is a component of what you do. Because of the Internet, the world has shrunk. Now we are not just competing with Texas. We are competing with Indonesia and Saigon, so you have to invest in new equipment to keep the labor factor to a minimum."

- Louis Nigro, president and owner of Kleer-Fax, Inc. in Amityville, which manufactures paper-based office supplies and received a $250,000 low-interest loan in June.

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