Irondequoit, NY - The Irondequoit Public Library welcomed State Senator Samra Brouk (SD-55) and Assemblymember Sarah Clark (AD-136) this Tuesday as they co-hosted an in-person Small Business Town Hall. Over 40 local business leaders came together to focus on how to support the mental health needs of our workforce, and the Senator and Assemblymember shared some of the emergency relief resources available in New York State and Monroe County to support small businesses.
“While more people are returning to the office and workplace, it is so important that we maintain support for our workforce and small business owners as we recover from the pandemic,” said Senator Brouk. “We need to listen to our community to understand their needs and ensure that we are working alongside them—not against them.”
“The New York State Legislature passed a historic budget this year, which allocated additional funding for sectors of the economy that were hit the hardest by COVID-19; making sure our area businesses can access these resources is my top priority,” said Assemblymember Clark. “And as more people are returning to the workplace, it is also critical that our small businesses and workforce are equipped with the resources and support to address emerging mental health needs. As a member of the Assembly Committee on Small Business, I along with Senator Samra Brouk, believe this is an important moment to host a Rochester area Small Business Town Hall. Our goal is to connect the small business community to vital information including funding opportunities, workforce development, mental health resources, and networking in an ever-changing economic environment. All of which will equip the small business community here with the tools that they need to build back better as we recover from this pandemic.”
Small businesses and the workers they employ continue to struggle in the wake of COVID-19. In this year’s state budget, Senator Brouk worked to provide over $1 billion dollars in emergency relief to New York’s small business community, including $800 million for the COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. The Budget also included $35 million in Restaurant Return-to-Work tax credits and $25 million for the Restaurant Resiliency Grant Program, which provides grant funding for small businesses that helped feed distressed communities during the pandemic.
In addition to support for workers and businesses through the Budget, Senator Brouk is the chair of the Senate Mental Health Committee. The Senator’s office has helped many families connect with unemployment insurance benefits since taking office in January and worked with local businesses to ensure they could comply with COVID-19 health regulations. Senator Brouk is committed to the health and safety of her senate district and will continue working in the Senate on efforts to rehabilitate and reinvigorate our post-COVID economy.