The New York State Senate passed legislation to boost investment in small business and help grow minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs). The legislation advanced includes the creation of the New York State Innovation Voucher Program; the establishment of a matching grant program for recipients of the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer grants; exempting independent arts contractors from a qualification to access the Small Business Seed Funding Grant program; expanding eligibility to grants and flexible financing of the Urban Development Corporation Act to dry cleaning and cosmetic small businesses; requiring state agencies provide unsuccessful bidders that are certified MWBEs with a detailed statement detailing the reason for rejection; amending the Executive Law to clarify language concerning the maximum number of employees in an MWBEs company during a declared state emergency, and directing all contracting state agencies to develop a three-year growth plan to increase MWBEs’ participation in contract bidding.
“Small businesses including minority and women-owned businesses are key drivers of economic activity in New York State, but very often face persistent barriers to financing and other challenges,” said Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “We must do everything we can to support our small businesses through programming that can target resources to support their success. I commend the Chair of the Senate’s Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee, Senator Sean Ryan for his leadership and commitment to boosting small businesses and I thank the bill sponsors for working on smart legislation to help support small businesses to grow and thrive in the Empire State.”
Bill sponsor and Chair of the Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business Committee, Senator Sean Ryan said, “New York’s homegrown businesses are the backbone of our state. As we navigate our economic development policy in the wake of the pandemic, we must work to serve the interests of small business owners best. In order to do that, we must find new ways to support small businesses in communities across the state. Accelerating MWBE growth and unlocking funding to spur innovation are two key strategies to generate new businesses and help existing businesses expand, creating jobs in every region throughout the state. I thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my colleagues for putting forward these important pieces of legislation.”