New York State Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat (D-72nd AD) was named Chair of the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Small Business by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Thursday, March 4, 2010. The Committee on Small Business works closely with a number of State agencies and public authorities to ensure that they are serving the needs of the small business community, including the Department of Economic Development, the New York Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research, (formerly known as the Science and Technology Foundation), the Job Development Authority, the Empire State Development Corporation, and the Urban Development Corporation, which are the State’s chief economic development entities. The committee also oversees the work of the State University of New York in administering the Small Business Development Centers Program.
“Small businesses are the State economy’s driving force and they employ over 55% of the State’s workforce,” said Assembly Member Espaillat. “I believe the State must focus more attention on this sector of the business community that creates nearly eight out of every ten jobs.” Small businesses are defined in State law as those employing one hundred or fewer people. This includes over one million businesses in New York State comprising 99% of the State's businesses. These companies often need help in advancing to a level of profitability at which they can move forward and create jobs. Small businesses that fail to grow are often unable to gain access to needed capital and other means of assistance. “The committee will be vigorous in Assembly and State efforts to advance the needs of small businesses, while also advocating for reforms to improve New York State’s business climate,” added Assembly Member Espaillat.