Senator Flanagan To Be Honored As A Champion Of Small Business By Ssa

John J. Flanagan

October 16, 2006

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently was informed that he has been chosen by the Support Services Alliance (SSA) as one of their 2006 Champions of Small Business. The honor, which recognizes Senator Flanagan's hard work on behalf of New York small businesses, will be officially presented at a future ceremony.

In a recent letter, Vice President of Membership Services and Marketing Christopher A. Koetzle stated, "Thanks to your dedication to the small-business community, several pro-small-business bills were introduced into the Legislature. In particular, you have worked with SSA and our members on getting installment payments for civil penalties noticed, and this past year you paid particular attention to SSA's simplification initiatives including the '5-1-1' Hotline and the 'Virtual Business Toolbox.' Without your efforts, this would not have been accomplished."

Senator Flanagan was the sponsor of the legislation to provide the "511" hotline. This would have expanded a call center dedicated to providing answers to simple questions and directing small businesses to the appropriate agency and staff. The bill would also collect information from calls in order to create and update a FAQs area on the one stop web site based on caller inquiries and ensure that efforts are made to address the underlying questions. This measure passed the New York State Senate but was not voted on in the Assembly.

Senator Flanagan also sponsored legislation that would have authorized installment payments to satisfy fees and civil penalties owed to the state by a small businesses. This would have protected small business owners from huge one-time bills that would cripple their ability to operate. This piece of legislation passed both houses but was vetoed by Governor George Pataki.

The SSA began its efforts on behalf of small business in 1977. Founder Herb Heaton, an author and CPA, believed small businesses were the economic backbone of America and could strengthen their economic position by forming a purchasing alliance.

Now SSA provides benefits and assistance to thousands of small businesses and the self-employed in upstate New York. Combined, SSA's member companies employ more than 100,000 New Yorkers. SSA staff use their expertise, experience, and contacts to assist small business with more than 20 programs and services.

For more information on SSA, please visit www.smallbizgrowth.comor call their toll-free number at 1-800-909-2772.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the New York economy and we must continue to protect their ability to prosper. The need to ensure that they are a healthy component of the future by easing the financial burden they face is essential to our economy. Small business owners need to know that New York State is a supportive and willing partner in their success," stated Senator Flanagan. "I appreciate the honor and I look forward to working with SSA in the coming years because small business is good for our entire state."