A U.S. Senator promotes manufacturing legislation that she says can benefit Queens businesses. NY1's Shannan Ferry has that story from Long Island City.
The factory floor is usually bustling at Boyce Technologies in Long Island City.
The company builds transit safety technologies and has more than 70 employees.
But leaders said manufacturing in Queens comes with its fair share of obstacles.
"When you're competing with you know especially with foreign companies who have very low labor costs, it can be very challenging to price our products at a rate that is competitive," said Nisha Menon, General Counselo at Boyce Technologies.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand believes the 'Made in America' Manufacturing Communities Act would help businesses like Boyce Technologies grow.
The legislation would designate specific areas as manufacturing communities and give them preferential consideration when applying for federal funding.
She promoted the bill at Boyce Technologies on Monday.
"We make amazing things, and this is something we need as a country, as a city, and as a state," Gillbrand said.
Gillibrand said manufacturing communities already exist under a program led by the White House.
However, she tells us that program will expire at the end of the year. The bill would make it permanent.
In order to earn the designation, Gillibrand said communities would have to demonstrate how manufacturing is significant in their region.
"And then once you're designated, you get to have that designation for two years, which really allows you to come up with a regional plan, what your target industries are," she said.
Boyce Technologies CEO Charles Boyce has high hopes for Gillibrand's proposal.
"We fear that the Long Island City manufacturing community is getting smaller, the bill brings us financial assistance so we can overcome some of those issues," Boyce said.
Gillibrand said there's no vote scheduled, but hopes the bill will pass by the end of the year.