(Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Majority this week will advance legislation to boost small businesses across the state and help grow New York’s economy. Small businesses are often unable to get the necessary funds to grow and remain unaware of state assistance that is available to them. The legislation being advanced by the Senate Majority will help small businesses by closing the information gap and improving small businesses’ access to state capital assistance. Additionally, these bills will create crime prevention services for small businesses and increase reporting on potentially negative effects that new rules and regulations may have on small businesses across New York.
“Small businesses are essential job creators and economic drivers,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “The bills advanced by the Senate Majority will provide small businesses with support and opportunities to grow, expand, and unleash their full potential. I applaud Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee Chair Senator Anna Kaplan, and all the bill sponsors, for their hard work to help New York small businesses.”
The legislation being advanced by the Senate Majority includes:
- Small Business Assistance Programs List: This bill, S.7350, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan, directs Empire State Development to compile and maintain a list of small business assistance programs and have it available on their website.
- Small Business Regional Revolving Fund: This bill, S.844A, sponsored by Senator Brian Benjamin, renames the “Regional Revolving Loan Program” to the “Small Business Regional Revolving Fund” and allows the fund to be used for new loans for microenterprises and refinancing of existing loans.
- Department of State Confirmation Receipts: This bill, S.7355A, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan, requires the Department of State to send confirmation receipts by mail and email, as well as include contact information of relevant regional offices and resources available to support and assist new businesses.
- Small Business Liaison: This bill, S.7357, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan, directs five state agencies, (Departments of Agriculture & Markets, Environmental Conservation, Transportation, Labor and Taxation & Finance) to appoint an existing employee as the small business liaison to serve as the primary contact for business looking to interact with the agency.
- Additional Reporting on Impact of New Rules: This bill, S.2839A, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan, would require additional reporting on the potential negative effects that new rules or regulations could have on jobs and employment opportunities in New York.
- Small Business Compliance Guide: This bill, S.6800A, sponsored by Senator Jen Metzger, will require Empire State Development (ESD) to provide an annual small business compliance guide outlining various rules, regulations, and laws enacted in the previous year that affect small businesses, as well as be required to conduct a public awareness campaign of those changes.
- Small Business Crime Prevention Services: This bill, S.7123, sponsored by Senator Roxanne Persaud, establishes the small business crime prevention services program to provide small businesses with resources to prevent crimes affecting small businesses. Additionally, the bill authorizes Empire State Development to provide loans to small business municipalities, not-for-profit corporations or other organizations for preventing crimes against small businesses.
- Increase the Excelsior Linked Deposit Program Cap: This bill, S.6165, sponsored by Senator James Sanders Jr., increases the lifetime cap on the total amount a borrower can borrow under the Excelsior Linked Deposit Program (ELDP) from $2 million to $5 million.
Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Senator Kaplan, said, “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, and ensuring that they aren’t overburdened by red tape and confusing regulations. The Small Business Support and Regulatory Relief Agenda that we are advancing will help small businesses to get the assistance they need to grow and thrive, and ensure that lawmakers have the necessary tools to craft smart regulations that are mindful of the impact they have on small businesses.”
Bill Sponsor, Senator Brian Benjamin said, “Local businesses hold our communities together. They keep us employed in our communities, keep us shopping in our communities, and, in many cases, they help us remain living in our communities. But all too often, they face unfair hurdles when it comes to finances. I’m so proud to sponsor this bill which will provide more financing opportunities to the businesses that mean the most to communities like the one I represent.”
Bill Sponsor, Senator Jen Metzger said, “Local Chambers of Commerce and business owners around the Senate District I represent routinely express concerns about a lack of communication from state government when it comes to new laws and regulations that affect them. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy, and my bill requiring the Secretary of State to publish a small business compliance guide, in readable plain English, will give our businesses access to information they need and help them avoid unnecessary penalties.”
Bill Sponsor, Senator Roxanne Persaud said, “Small businesses are the economic engine of New York State. When our local business are subjected to crimes on their premises or in their vicinity, whether it be robbery, vandalism, arson or check/credit card fraud, many small business owners are unable to compete with the crime-prevention strategies already implemented by larger ‘big-box’ companies. As a Member of the Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee, I have heard testimony and concerns from New Yorkers where various crimes against their businesses not only jeopardize their livelihood and quality of life, but in many cases lead to bankruptcy and neighborhood decay. This legislation will help strengthen New York State’s overall business climate by providing for a cost-effective small business crime prevention services program to provide small businesses with the training, assistance, information and best practices to the benefit of the wider community.”
Bill Sponsor, Senator James Sanders said, “The fact the State Legislature needs to increase the borrowing limit of the Excelsior Linked Deposit program is a testament to the effectiveness of this program. This program through Empire State Development has helped a number of small businesses and MWBEs grow and help the State’s economy thrive. In order to continue expand the State’s economy, we need to increase the borrowing limit of the program to help more small businesses and MWBEs prosper.”
Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of New York’s economy and I’m proud to support efforts to make it easier for these vital businesses to thrive.”
Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said, "Small businesses are a critical component in fostering the local economy and job market. This package of bills will give small business owners the necessary tools to better protect their business and greater involvement on matters before the state. The success of these small businesses is essential in creating vibrant communities and a competitive marketplace. I am proud to continue to support initiatives that promote small business."
Senator Alessandra Biaggi said, "From family-owned neighborhood establishments, to budding businesses still developing their idea into a reality, the small businesses that call the Bronx and Westchester home provide essential services and employment opportunities for our community. As small businesses face rising challenges across New York State, we have a responsibility to offer support. I am proud to stand with my colleagues and pass this package of legislation to improve access to existing state resources for small businesses, and expand loan programs to help businesses grow and prepare for the future. I thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the bill sponsors for their leadership.”
Senator Neil Breslin said, “As a state, we need to work with small businesses to provide easy access to information and funding. This legislation makes it simpler for small business owners to access loans, connect with state agencies and get the information they need to operate. I commend Leader Stewart-Cousins and my peers in the Democratic Senate for passing legislation that will help New York’s small businesses.”
Senator John E. Brooks said, “This legislation demonstrates that New York continues to be 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 their representatives in Albany understands their needs.”
Senator David Carlucci said, “We are working to attract small businesses to New York to create good paying jobs for hardworking New Yorkers. We are also taking important steps to keep our small businesses here, by providing them with the key resources and services needed to thrive. Our small businesses will not only benefit our local economies, but our entire State.”
Senator Jim Gaughran said, "These bills will give small businesses tools to support their growth and success. I thank Leader Stewart-Cousins for bringing these bills forward and working to ensure New York is small business friendly.”
Senator Rachel May said, “Small businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them are among the most important contributors to our economy and of our communities. It is great news that New York is continuing to expand funding opportunities and other resources to encourage their success. We must ensure these resources are easily accessible and that we break down barriers by providing direct connections between our state departments and the public.”
Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “Small businesses shape our community life, reflect the diversity of our cities, towns and villages, and are operated by families who live in the communities they serve. I am pleased to join my colleagues in supporting legislation that gives back to these gems in our communities. The small business legislation package passed will enhance access to assistance programs, eases interactions with state agencies, and increases the lifetime cap a small business owner can borrow under the Excelsior Linked Deposit Program, among other measures. I am proud to continue to support policies that support small businesses.”
Senator Kevin Parker said, “Small businesses play a significant role in New York's economy; they provide services and employment opportunities for New York residents. It is therefore vital that we continue to create and pass legislation that will give small businesses opportunity to expanded and have access to resources.”
Senator Julia Salazar said, “Small businesses are at the heart of our communities. Our communities depend on strengthening the small businesses and small business owners who serve my constituents and working class families in New York City. This legislation will help ensure small businesses continue to thrive and grow throughout North Brooklyn, and all of New York State.”
Senator Luis Sepulveda said, "Small businesses are at the heart of New York's healthy economy, as a driving force for local employment, development, and entrepreneurship. We must continue to create the conditions for them to grow and thrive across the state, and I commend my colleague's leadership on this important package of legislation that will provide additional resources and opportunities for small business owners and their wider communities across New York."
Senator Kevin Thomas said, “Small businesses are essential to our communities. They create thousands of jobs and keep our local economies thriving. I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs across our state. The passage of this legislation will ensure that small businesses have the resources they need for continued success.”
Senator Pete Harckham said, “The success of small businesses across New York matters to all of us because these businesses are often the backbone of our communities, creating good paying jobs and bolstering activity on Main Street. I’m proud to support this package of legislation, which will give our small business proprietors and entrepreneurs added financial resources and vital informational tools to achieve prosperity and remain competitive. Truly, this is a big win for all of us.”
Greg Biryla, NFIB’s New York State Director, said, “Small businesses in New York continue to face significant challenges that impede growth and success on Main Streets across the Empire State. Many of these obstacles come in the form of never ending and always changing rules, regulations, and mandates originating from state government and agencies, As Chair of the Senate Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee, Senator Anna Kaplan has made commonsense reform to the state’s regulatory and rulemaking structure a priority. These proposals will make sure the regulatory process is more inclusive and responsive to small businesses and as important, will also significantly improve accessibility and communication between state regulatory agencies and the small businesses they regulate. NFIB has long supported reform measures like those being acted upon by the Senate today and will work tirelessly to see them enacted in 2020.”