Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced the Assembly passed a package of bills designed to help small businesses thrive in New York State while making it easier for women to own businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the state’s economy – they are at the heart of innovation and new technology, and they play a vital role in keeping our state running. In these tough economic times we must be taking every approach to create jobs,” Addie said. “The success of small businesses is absolutely vital to the success and vibrancy of the North Country economy.”
According to federal census data, small businesses are the source of up to 80 percent of all new jobs in the U.S.
Specifically, the Assembly’s legislation:
- makes it easier for small businesses to receive loans through the Small Business Regional Revolving Loan Program (A.3384);
- 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.4550);
- provides zero- or low-interest loans for energy efficiency projects, further allowing small businesses to grow and create new jobs (A.3945); and
- provides start-up and expansion funding for not-for-profit sponsors of small-scale food-processing facilities to foster entrepreneurship, job development and community revitalization, while also improving local farm sustainability by providing an outlet for farmers to sell their products (A.4166).
“The North Country’s niche markets have proven to be an extremely successful means of economic development” Addie added. “Our handmade wood products, textiles and pottery, cheeses, pasta, maple products, and local wine create many local jobs while providing a tourism draw. With funding spread thin, we must look at what works and invest wisely. Our niche markets have been extremely successful and with this additional help we can help these markets prosper.”
Some of the bills devoted to small-business legislation are designed to aid women-owned businesses, in particular. The legislation:
- establishes entrepreneurship assistance centers, primarily for women, individuals with disabilities and dislocated workers (A.4459); and
- improves outreach efforts of the Department of Economic Development’s divisions for Small Business and Women’s Business Development (A.4097).
Addie said these bills will provide women who own small businesses access to vital financial support they would otherwise not be eligible for – or would have trouble obtaining.
“Large corporations have had better access to state and federal benefits, while smaller companies have been overlooked,” Addie said. “Small businesses and new entrepreneurs deserve the same opportunities to succeed that larger companies enjoy, and this kind of assistance – especially in the current economic climate – will help get small businesses up and running, creating and expanding the jobs we need right here at home.”