Harckham and Senate Help Small Businesses Build Back from Covid-19 Pandemic

State Sen. Pete Harckham

Albany, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham and members of the State Senate advanced a package of legislation this week to support small businesses that have taken the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic. This action builds on legislation passed in July 2020, and includes bills that will protect small businesses while also offering help to the hard-hit restaurant industry.

“The pandemic has decimated our small businesses and this package of bills will help to address the challenges they face,” said State Sen. Pete Harckham. “The substantial assistance that will be provided includes protections against small business evictions and foreclosures that will give cash-strapped businesses some breathing room. Meanwhile, a freeze on unemployment insurance costs and letting new part-time hires hang on to unemployment benefits will encourage job creation when we need it most.”

The bills included in the small business legislation package passed in the Senate are:

S.471A establishes the Covid-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Business Act to protect small businesses with Covid-19 related financial hardships from eviction and foreclosure until May 1. 

S.1197 freezes New York State’s unemployment insurance experience rating for one year, which will prevent significant increases in costs to employers who have experienced higher unemployment rates in 2020 due to the pandemic.

S.1042A establishes a system of partial-unemployment by shifting the current calculation that any day of work leads to a 25% reduction in benefits, and instead would reduce benefits by an amount proportional with the amount earned. This legislation will help incentivize part-time work by reducing the disincentive that a day of work will lead to a disproportionate reduction of benefits.

S.1630 prohibits any third-party food delivery platform from listing, selling or advertising products of any food service establishment without a written agreement with them.

S.1554 creates a maximum limit for the total fee that can be charged to a food service establishment by a third-party food delivery service, such as Grubhub, Seamless and Doordash.

S.18A creates a requirement for the state’s Department of Labor to increase their efforts to provide information to employers about shared work program eligibility and have information available on the Department’s website.  The shared work program can help reduce layoffs and is fully funded by the federal CARES Act during the pandemic.