Assembly Passes Legislation to Aid Small Businesses, Encourage Entrepreneurs

Measures help small businesses meet environmental laws, find niche markets
March 28, 2007
The Assembly passed a series of bills to help small businesses achieve success in today’s challenging markets. Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Coney Island, Dyker Heights) said the legislative package is an important tool for small businesses, one of the key foundations of New York’s economy.

The package encourages entrepreneurs; helps businesses comply with environmental policies, reduce energy costs and find niche markets; and creates micro-business outreach centers as well as a grant program for small-scale food operations.

“Small businesses are the backbone of every community,” Brook-Krasny said. “That’s why the Assembly has taken great steps to ensure resources are available to assist new businesses and help existing companies grow.”

Specifically, the legislation:

  • creates the micro business outreach center and program to provide small businesses access to economic development funds and advice (A.2766);
  • creates the Small Business Kitchen Incubator/Shared-Use Kitchen Program, which would provide grants to municipalities, local development corporations, municipalities educational institutions and other not-for-profit entities in order to fund low-cost kitchen incubator facilities (A.3680);
  • establishes a competitive grant program for small businesses to seek new markets and niche products and work with small manufacturers to identify and develop these markets and products (A.2877);
  • creates the “New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” providing $25,000 every December to assist the winner with his or her entrepreneurial efforts (A.1921);
  • authorizes the regional offices of the Department of Economic Development to provide information and assistance to small businesses on environmental compliance requirements and pollution prevention (A.726); and
  • provides zero or low-interest loans for energy efficiency projects, further allowing small businesses to grow and create new jobs (A.5494).

While large corporations have established inroads to gaining state or federal aid, Assemblymember Brook-Krasny said smaller companies are too often overlooked. He said these bills provide equal access to vital financial support.

“Small businesses and budding entrepreneurs deserve every opportunity to thrive that larger companies enjoy,” Brook-Krasny said. “According to U.S. Census data, small businesses are the source of up to 80 percent of all new jobs, but without assistance many of these businesses wouldn’t be able to get off the ground. This legislation bridges the gap between an individual’s vision and actually achieving the American dream.”

The Assembly’s legislation also makes it easier for smaller companies to become responsible environmental stewards. Assemblymember Brook-Krasny said that by providing small businesses with the resources and assistance to be in accordance with environmental laws, the entire state benefits.

“From preventing pollution to conserving energy, all companies must make efforts to protect the environment,” Brook-Krasny said. “The Assembly’s measures help businesses with limited budgets stay in compliance while protecting New York’s natural resources for future generations.”

Assemblymember Brook-Krasny said the package builds on a new law he helped pass this year to reform the state’s workers’ compensation system (Ch. 6 of 2007) as an important step toward making New York’s economy stronger and more competitive.

“These measures will help further reduce the cost of doing business in New York,” Brook-Krasny said.

The workers’ compensation reform law, which is supported by both business and labor groups, will reduce workers’ compensation premiums 10 to 15 percent by:

  • limiting the number of years that permanent partial disability claimants can receive cash benefits – although they will still be eligible for medical benefits and other safety net provisions;
  • creating innovative programs to get workers prompt medical treatment and to help them return to gainful employment; and
  • creating strong anti-fraud measures, including the ability to stop work on a job site and debar an employer from bidding on public works projects where a company has failed to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.

“Whether it’s aiding opportunities for start-up businesses or establishing incentives for self-supporting business people to seek out and develop niche markets, this legislation helps everyone in New York,” Assemblymember Brook-Krasny said. “Small businesses and entrepreneurs should always be encouraged.”