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Assemblyman
Brian M. Kolb
Assembly District 131
 
Stand Up For Small Business!
Legislative column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua)
August 10, 2012

Are you optimistic about the economy? According to a recent poll, a majority of small-business owners are! This optimism and confidence are terrific reminders of the can-do spirit of America’s entrepreneurs’ ability to overcome any challenge, innovate, thrive and succeed.

SurePayroll Inc.’s “Small Business Scorecard” surveyed small-business owners this July and found that 62 percent were optimistic about the economy. In addition, the survey reported that 70 percent of entrepreneurs said that they would “encourage others to go into business for themselves, even in the current economic climate.” You can read the SurePayroll Inc. Small Business Scorecard at the Free Enterprise Web site, a digital platform of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

These findings reflect precisely what I have been saying about New York’s economy: after years of stagnation and pessimism, things are steadily getting better and Empire State job creators are poised for a big-time economic comeback. As someone who started and ran successful manufacturing companies, I know for a fact that small-business owners are optimistic by nature, and extremely hardworking, creative people who consistently overcome challenges and take great personal pride in providing a quality product or service to their community.

BIG FACTS ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS

Without a doubt, small businesses will play a major role in fueling New York’s economic comeback. The ability of small businesses to innovate and deliver a first-quality product cannot be understated. For example, did you know that at least five small businesses worked on NASA’s groundbreaking Mars Rover “Curiosity” that recently and successfully touched down on the Red Planet? Here are some other big facts about the importance of small businesses to our future prosperity and growing good-paying jobs, courtesy of the website of the Small Business Town Network. Small businesses:

  • Represent more than 99 percent of all employers;
  • Provide 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs annually;
  • Are 53 percent home-based and three percent franchises;
  • Account for 97 percent of all U.S. exporters of goods; and
  • Produce 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.

STRONGER SMALL BUSINESSES = STRONGER ECONOMY + MORE JOBS

In order to realize New York’s full economic potential, we need to unleash the power and promise of our small-business entrepreneurs. Strengthening our economy requires supporting small businesses by breaking down barriers such as high taxes and costly government regulations, while providing a helping hand in the form of tax credits and technical assistance.

“SMALL BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT ACT” AND “SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF ACT” WILL HELP STRENGTHEN AND SUPPORT OUR SMALL BUSINESSES

Along with my “GrowNY” agenda that would provide assistance for job creators, encourage the retention of high-skilled, high-tech workers, and offer businesses incentives to hire the unemployed, I sponsor two additional measures specifically targeted to assist small businesses: the “Small Business Improvement Act,” Assembly Bill A.6240 and the “Small Business Relief Act,” Assembly Bill A.2075, respectively. Both initiatives would ensure that state government is more responsive to the specialized needs of small businesses and major provisions of each measure include the following:

SMALL BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT ACT

  • Requires that at least 15 percent of state contracts be with businesses employing 100 or fewer employees and reduce payment time to small businesses on state contracts from 60 to 30 days, reflecting the standard used by the federal government;
  • Creates a “one stop shop” service to handle questions from existing or new businesses in the state and direct those questions to the appropriate agencies; and
  • Provides funding for programs that upgrade and renovate downtowns and main streets.

SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF ACT

  • Lowers the income tax rate for certain small businesses;
  • Increases the sales tax vendor credit from five to 10 percent and raises the maximum credit to $1,000 per year to reimburse compliance costs; and
  • Establishes an electric energy tax credit for businesses employing 20 or fewer persons.

SMALL BUSINESSES NEED MORE THAN JUST OPTIMISM – THEY NEED OUR SUPPORT!

Enacted in conjunction with my GrowNY legislative package, the Small Business Improvement Act and the Small Business Relief Act both would provide critical assistance for small businesses and all job creators. The optimism of small-business owners as demonstrated by the SurePayroll Inc. Small Business Scorecard mentioned in this column’s opening is impressive. However, small businesses need more than just optimism; they need Albany to enact a proactive legislative agenda like the one I just outlined. Doing so will send a powerful message that New York is ready to stand up for small business!

NEXT WEEK: The coming unfunded mandate storm that threatens to swamp local governments and taxpayers – and what Albany can do to stop it!

As always, constituents wishing to discuss this topic, or any other state-related matter should contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, or e-mail me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us.

 
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