Senate Majority Passes Legislation To Help Small Businesses

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

March 07, 2019

Albany, NY-The Senate Democratic Majority today passed legislation to support New York State’s small business community. These bills include Senate Bill S.3163 that will allow small businesses to create a tax-deferred savings account for specific business needs, Senate Bill S.1087, to establish the Small Business Crime Prevention Services Program, and Senate Bill S.1265 to create a pilot project to improve business and public participation in the rule-making process by permitting agencies to use innovative techniques in organizing public hearings on proposed rules.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy and they face a diverse set of challenges daily,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “The Senate Majority understands that state government must help, not hamper, small businesses and entrepreneurs. Our common sense legislation will help empower job creators to unleash their full potential and invest in local communities across New York. I commend the bill sponsors, Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris, Commerce, Economic Development And Small Business Committee Chair Senator Kaplan, and Senator Persaud for their hard work.”

Bill Sponsor and Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Michael Gianaris said, “More public input in agency decision-making will help government make better decisions. This proposal would empower New Yorkers to force a public discussion of important proposed regulations before they are decided.”

Bill Sponsor and Chair of the Commerce, Economic Development And Small Business Committee, Senator Anna M. Kaplansaid, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, supporting thousands of local jobs, and helping New York to have a more robust and diversified economy. As Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business, I have a solemn duty to ensure that New York State is focused on supporting our small businesses, so they can continue to grow and thrive. This legislation will be a valuable tool to help small businesses, not only on Long Island, but across New York State, and I look forward to this being the first of many common-sense solutions we will pass to support our small business community.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Roxanne Persaud said, “Small businesses often lack the necessary resources to protect themselves from being targeted by criminals. By establishing the Small Business Crime Prevention Services Program, the Senate Majority is giving these proprietors essential tools that will help them operate and prevent losses more easily. Under this legislation, we aim to empower small businesses to thrive and continue to serve as New York's economic engine.”

The legislation advanced by the Senate Majority includes:

·         Senate Bill S.3163, introduced by Senator Kaplan, will allow small businesses to contribute into a small business tax-deferred savings that can be withdrawn during times of specified economic hardship, for the purpose of job retention or creation, or times where the Governor deems it a natural disaster to warrant assistance from the federal government.

·         Senate Bill S.1087, introduced by Senator Persaud, will provide the organizational and financial resources needed to deliver cost-effective crime prevention programs to New York's small businesses, to the benefit of the wider community.

·         Senate Bill S.1265, introduced by Senator Gianaris, will enhance the ability of businesses and the public to participate more meaningfully in the rule-making process by permitting agencies to use innovative techniques in organizing public hearings on proposed rules.

o   It also establishes a 3-year pilot project for seven major regulatory agencies to hold public hearings upon petition of 125 or more New York residents.

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said, “Small businesses are a critical part of the fabric making up our communities. Their economic importance and local job opportunities are extremely important. The business’ input is invaluable whether it relates to new ventures, business incentives, regulations or neighborhood projects. With this Senate bill package, small business owners will one day have the necessary tools to better protect their business at little to no cost and greater access to participate in rule-making decisions before the state.”

Senator Jamaal Bailey said, “Small businesses are the core of our economy and should be provided with tools to grow and sustain their businesses. I am proud to be a part of a legislature that ensures that our ‘mom and pop’ shops are provided with crime prevention services, a tax-deferred savings account, and the opportunity for a seat at the table to discuss issues concerning them. I want to thank Senator Kaplan, Senator Persaud, and Senator Gianaris for their leadership on this important issue.”

Senator Brian Benjamin said, “Before I was elected to the Senate, I was a partner at a local minority / women owned business which worked with the community to build the affordable housing they needed. I know first-hand how important it is that local businesses are given the tools they need to survive and thrive. The bills we are passing today will help people shop in their neighborhoods, work in their neighborhoods, and live well in their neighborhoods.”

Senator Alessandra Biaggi said, “It's essential to help small businesses stay healthy and grow. They create thousands of jobs and keep local economies and neighborhoods thriving. We will continue to look for more opportunities like these to support and protect our local businesses.”

Senator John E. Brooks said, “By passing this legislation, the Democratic Senate Majority is reinforcing that New York is indeed open for business by creating mechanisms of support for small business owners. These are the building blocks of a healthy economy in our state and a signal to the endangered middle class that there is finally a majority that understands their needs.”

Senator Neil Breslin said, “Small businesses are one of the most important economic engines in our upstate economy. This package of bills will further strengthen our small business community and allow them to continue to flourish and thrive.”

Senator Jim Gaughran said, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of a vibrant community. Today's initiatives will help make it easier for them to thrive, provide important public safety programs, and will enhance their participation in the governmental rule making process.”

Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “I’m proud to co-sponsor Senator Kaplan’s important piece of legislation. Allowing small businesses the ability to create tax-free savings accounts means opportunities to combat times of economic hardship without having to shutter and supporting local job creation. As the foundation of our communities, we must do all we can to ensure that small businesses in New York State have the support they need for a more certain future.”

Senator Pete Harckham said, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of New York’s economy. When natural or financial disasters strike, too many go under because they don’t have the funds saved to weather the crisis. Allowing small businesses to contribute annually to special tax-deferred savings accounts, will encourage owners to build a rainy day fund that will help them stay afloat in time of need and keep many New Yorkers employed.”

Senator Brad Hoylman said, “Between sky-high rents and the popularity of online retailers, New York can be a tough climate for many small business owners. The measures we pass today give small business owners the extra hand they need to thrive, creating more jobs and opportunities for New Yorkers across our state in the process. I'm proud to be a part of a Conference that supports small businesses and thank Leader Stewart-Cousins for her attention to this critical issue.”

Senator Liz Krueger said, “Small businesses are the engine of our state’s economy from New York City to the North Country, from Long Island to Grand Island. By passing these bills today, the new Senate Majority is taking the first steps in fulfilling our commitment to addressing the needs of small business. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to build an economy that delivers for all New Yorkers.”

Senator Monica R. Martinez said, “Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and I am proud to support this legislation that will equip these small business owners with the tools they need to protect themselves and their livelihoods. As a small business owner, the road to success can often be paved with uncertainty and unpredictability. I am proud to support this important piece of legislation that will allow these businesses to prepare for times of economic hardship as a result of circumstances out of their control. The success of our democracy depends on the participation of those we represent. When we make it easier for our citizens to have a voice in the rule making process, we empower our communities to become involved and make a difference when it comes to the laws and circumstances that affect all of us.”

Senator Rachel May said, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the engine of growth for our region. I am proud to support legislation that will ease some of the burden and uncertainty that comes from owning a small business. Common sense measures such as allowing businesses to create savings accounts to help them weather difficult economic times are the types of legislation that will make is easier to build and grow our small business economy.”

Senator Shelley Mayer said, “I am proud to support a package of bills which demonstrates the Senate Majority conference’s commitment to supporting small businesses throughout the state. Together, these bills create a tax-deferred savings account for small businesses to save for a rainy day; establish additional resources for small business owners to prevent crime in and around the premises of their business; and empower small business owners and community members to have a greater voice in the rulemaking process of agencies that affect their businesses and communities. Most small businesses are operated by families who live and serve in the communities in which their businesses are located. Their success is pivotal in creating vibrant communities and a competitive marketplace. I am proud to continue to support policies that support small businesses.”

Senator Jen Metzger said, “Small businesses are the economic engine of our state, and especially in our rural towns and villages, helping our local communities to thrive. This package of bills that we passed today will give small businesses some valuable tools that will help them flourish for the long-term.”

Senator James Sanders Jr. said, “As the Chairman of the Senate Majority Task Force for Minority & Women-owned Business Enterprises, I support legislation that ensures a stronger focus on furthering small businesses and job creation in our communities.”

Senator Kevin Thomas said, “Small business owners are the lifeblood of our economy, employing a majority of the workforce in New York State. Small businesses typically grow faster than larger companies, and offer good benefits and wages to their employees which contributes to the local tax base. Funding and tax benefits are not always readily available and the process is often cumbersome to negotiate. This package of bills is aimed at protecting small business owners and providing the tools they need for success in today's global economy. I’m proud to stand with my Senate colleagues in championing New York’s small businesses.”