Senator Anna Kaplan and LI Main Street Alliance Celebrate Record Assistance For Small Businesses in 2021-2022 State Budget

Budget Includes Over $1 Billion in Small Business Pandemic Relief Programs, Support For MWBE's, Entrepreneur Mentorship, and more
Senator Kaplan stands with Senator Kevin Thomas, Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander, and members of the Long Island Main Street Alliance. Senator Kaplan stands with Senator Kevin Thomas, Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander, and members of the Long Island Main Street Alliance.

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MINEOLA, NY (April 19, 2021) - Today, Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills), Chair of the New York State Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business, stood with the Long Island Main Street Alliance, Vision Long Island, Chambers of Commerce from across Nassau County, local officials, and local small business owners to celebrate the inclusion of over $1 billion in grants and relief for small businesses in the recently enacted state budget, and announced that the State is seeking to form grassroot partnerships around the state to help get these resources into the community through trusted messengers.

Senator Anna M. Kaplan, Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business said "the pandemic has been devastating to New York's small business community, and they need our help if they're going to survive these challenging times. I'm proud to have fought to bring back over a billion dollars in grants and other assistance for our small businesses in the State budget, and as the program rolls out statewide, I encourage every small business owner to apply for the assistance they need and deserve."

Eric Alexander, Vision LI & Long Island Main Street Alliance said Local businesses are working to build back from the impact of Coronavirus regulations. These grants available from NYS can begin to level the playing field as we work towards a recovery that helps our local communities. Kudos to Senator Kaplan and members of the Legislature for pulling this program together for our deeply impacted small business community.”

Small business initiatives included in the recently enacted 2021-2022 State Budget include:

  • $800 Million for The COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. This new program will provide direct grants, which do not need to be repaid, to small businesses who lost revenue or suffered economic harm as a result of the pandemic. Businesses with 100 or fewer employees will qualify, and the program will be designed to ensure that microbusinesses with 10 or fewer employees are not left out of the process. Grant funding can be used to pay rent, mortgage costs, operational expenses, payroll, insurance, utilities, repayment of local property or school taxes associated with a business's location, PPE expenses, ventilation upgrades required to comply with COVID safety regulations, and any other documented COVID-19 related costs incurred over the last year.
  • New York State Restaurant Resiliency Program: $25 million in grants to restaurants providing free meals to economically disadvantaged individuals in economically distressed communities to cover their operational and material costs of meal preparation, provisions, and delivery.
  • Arts & Cultural Organization Recovery Grant Programs: $40 million in grants to nonprofit arts and cultural institutions for operating costs, mortgage/rent, equipment, and other related costs. This grant program will be facilitated and administered by the New York State Council on the Arts.
  • NYC Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit: This two-year, $100 million tax credit program will help the Broadway tourism sector to recover from COVID shutdowns.
  • Restaurant Return to Work Credit: Provides $35 million in refundable tax credits for restaurants that were subject to an extended ban on indoor dining.

In addition to appropriating the financial resources for these programs, the budget also makes available a portion of these funds to help the State conduct outreach and provide technical assistance to small business owners to ensure that these funds reach the smallest of businesses in every corner of our community, not just those who are well connected and have staff dedicated to seeking such funding.

Senator Anna M. Kaplan continued "It's critical that these grants get in the hands of the small businesses who need them right away, and I'm thrilled that Empire State Development is working to develop a grassroots outreach effort, potentially including Chambers of Commerce as trained outreach experts, as a means of reaching every small business in our community."

Senator Kevin Thomas said, “Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. The small business, arts, entertainment and restaurant relief package we secured in this year’s state budget will provide the resources small businesses need -- not only to endure this crisis, but thrive in spite of it. I thank Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Senator Kaplan, and my Senate colleagues for their tireless advocacy on behalf of all of our small businesses here in Long Island and throughout the state.” 

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "I am proud to stand with Senator Kaplan to highlight the state’s tremendous $800 million investment in small businesses. This will allow the shops in our downtowns, arts and entertainment venues and many others recover and bring back jobs. We are on the other side of this pandemic and support like this, coupled with our robust vaccine rollout will fast track us on our road to recovery. Encouraging all eligible to seize this opportunity to boost your business.”

Greg Biryla, NFIB’s New York Sr. State Director, said “Since the pandemic began over a year ago, NFIB has been clear that our economic recovery must begin on Main Street and New York’s struggling small businesses require leadership and solutions from federal, state, and local representatives. Senator Anna Kaplan provided that leadership during a trying state budget process. Her efforts helped restore personal income tax relief for pass-through small businesses, protected small businesses from a new franchise tax assessment, and delivered long-awaited grant relief to the local job creators who need it most. NFIB thanks Senator Kaplan for her continued partnership and looks forward to working with her to support and sustain the neighborhood small businesses we all know and love.”

Village of Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said“Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy. They are our leading employers and the lifeblood of our communities. Nowhere more so than right here in Mineola. Given the changing nature of our national and global economies, small businesses, and the families they support, are often struggling just to remain viable and competitive. In the last decade or so, Mineola has experienced a downtown revitalization through the efforts of our Village government working together with our local businesses. I am proud that Mineola has been one of the Long Island villages leading the way on re-energizing our downtowns through Smart-growth initiatives, Transit Oriented Development, and public-private partnerships. Before the pandemic hit, we started to see many of the fruits of these labors, but now many of our local businesses are barely hanging on through the pandemic and continue to survive out of sheer determination and grit. These small business grants will go a long way toward helping small business in Mineola and elsewhere not only to survive, but to begin prospering again as the pandemic begins to wane. Thank you to our federal and state officials for remaining committed to our local businesses and our downtowns, and for funding these important community partnerships for our region’s continued economic and social health.”

Sarah Oral, Village of Roslyn Trustee, said “We’re so happy that New York State has enacted the COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program to help our local businesses, the true backbones of our communities. The resources that will be provided will help make our business owners whole and will make the transition to post-COVID operations easier for everyone.” 

Frank Camarano, First Vice President of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce said “Many of our members are self employed and sole proprietors without employees. Many are single parent homes where they support their families and are their only means of income. It is time for NYS to give the “smallest of the small businesses” a fair chance at the capital available. They have been severely affected by the pandemic where we were forced to be closed and consumers were in the habit of shopping on the internet and not in their local shops.

Luis Vasquez, President, LI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said “The negative impact of COVID-19 was felt the most in our Hispanic and minority communities and the inequities that existed before COVID were magnified since the beginning of the pandemic. The Small Business Recovery Grant will begin the restoration process and bring racial and economic equity to our Hispanic and minority businesses who are vital to our community. “

Valerie Anderson Campbell, Nassau County Director, Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, said “those of us that provide outreach are passionate, creative, and tenacious about getting the information out to our members, networks, and communities. This support will go a long way and allow us to go even deeper in those hard-to-reach communities to disseminate the information and resources available to them.”

Holly Byrne, Executive Director of the Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District said “The Port Washington Business Improvement District thanks Senator Kaplan for leading this initiative to support the smallest and most vulnerable of our local businesses. Especially helpful is the appropriation of funds for outreach and technical assistance so business owners can access the funds available.”

Lisa DelliPizzi, President, Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce, said “Supporting independent businesses fosters creativity and it shows we are invested in our communities and their futures. Local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbors and are often the character of a neighborhood”. 

Julie Marchesella, Elmont Chamber of Commerce, and Legislative Chairperson for the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, said “We are grateful to our representatives in New York State for appropriating the funds in the upcoming budget to support recovery from the Covid 19 Pandemic. Many of our "bricks and mortar" businesses - NOT JUST RESTAURANTS - will have the opportunity to take advantage of this grant being supplied in our region. Main Street shops and boutiques have in the past few years, seen tremendous competition with the internet, The pandemic worsened the situation forcing many to close permanently. This grant will give remaining stores in our Downtowns an opportunity to continue without a huge debt load. They will be able to sustain and rehire already trained employees as well as purchase inventory.”

Clariona Griffith, Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, said “The survival of our small businesses will help bring our communities back”  

“Over the past eight weeks, we’ve come together to use our voices to advocate for small businesses across New York,” said Azra Khalfan-Kermali, owner of Plaques by Azra in Queens and a member of the 10,000 Small Businesses Voices communitythe policy advocacy initiative for alumni of 10,000 Small Businesses, a program that provides access to education, capital, and business support services to help entrepreneurs create jobs and grow.  “The state legislators heard us and reached a budget agreement that prioritizes small businesses. This budget sends a clear message: small businesses are the engine of the economic recovery and for New York to win big again, we must start small.”