HEATH — A U.S. Senate vote Wednesday sets the stage to correct a government mistake made nine years ago and to encourage business development at the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority.

The Senate Defense Authorization Act, approved in a 98-0 vote, included an amendment to designate the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center, operated by the Port Authority, as a Small Business Administration HUBZone through 2015.

The designation gives small businesses in the area, or those that employ residents of the area, preferential access to federal procurement opportunities to encourage economic development and job creation.

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