Assembly Passes Bills to Aid Small Businesses

Bills help businesses get funding, comply with regulations, develop new products
April 7, 2004

The Assembly passed a series of bills today to help small businesses grow and create jobs, Assemblymember Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) said. The legislation comes on the heels of the Assembly’s NY@Work job-creation plan, which was released earlier this month.

"The Governor hasn’t stepped up to the plate with any sort of vision or plan to help small businesses create jobs in New York – but the Assembly repeatedly has," Mr. Cahill said. "Since small businesses create eight out of every 10 jobs in New York, we have to make it easier for them to do business in the state. Now it’s time for the Governor and Senate to get on board."

Helping small businesses get access to needed capital

"Many small businesses have the desire and ability to expand, but lack the capital they need to finance their growth," Mr. Cahill noted. "The Assembly’s small business legislation not only helps them get that capital, but also helps them cover other expensive costs."

One bill the Assembly passed would require the Department of Economic Development to give small businesses and entrepreneurs priority consideration in the awarding of economic development assistance (A.3913).

"Large businesses often have large advantages when it comes to securing state aid," Mr. Cahill said. "But small businesses are the hearts of our communities and we have to help them out. These bills level the playing field, giving small businesses the opportunity to expand and create jobs."

The Assembly’s legislation creates a program authorizing low-interest loans from the Urban Development Corporation to businesses that have been hurt because of an owner, manager or other key employee being sent off to fight in a military conflict (A.1884).

The legislation also helps businesses afford certain expenses that might otherwise drive them out of business. The bills:

  • Help businesses obtain loans for the purchase of pollution control equipment, so they can clean up the environment and comply with state and federal environmental rules (A.1382-A);
  • Allow small businesses to pay for phone installation and maintenance charges over a period of one year (A.4531); and
  • Authorize the installment payment of fees and civil penalties over $300 owed to the state by local governments and small businesses (A.345).

Making it easier for small businesses to comply with state and federal rules

"One of the biggest stumbling blocks a lot of small businesses face is the patchwork of state and federal rules with which they must comply – rules that are often obscure and hard to understand," Assemblymember Cahill said. "It’s critically important that we get them the information they need and in a format they can easily digest."

One of the bills requires agencies issuing new rules to publish compliance guides for small businesses in plain language, so that everyone knows what they need to do to stay within the law (A.149).

Since there are so many environmental laws from both the state and federal governments with which businesses have to comply, the Assembly’s package includes a series of bills to force different state agencies to offer information and assistance on environmental compliance and pollution prevention (A.314; A.1512; A.1005; A.3464-A).

"There are environmental regulations that everyone from dry cleaners to small manufacturers has to deal with. The laws are all important, so government has to make sure small businesses know about them and have whatever they need to be in compliance," Mr. Cahill further noted.

Helping to develop new products – and new jobs

"One of the problems New York has had with its economic development strategy is that it hasn’t been nearly proactive enough," Mr. Cahill said. "The Assembly wants to make sure that new products come from New York – and new jobs come to New York."

Since agriculture is such an important part of our economy and heritage, we have to support businesses that are creating agricultural jobs. The Assembly passed a bill that would establish a loan assistance grant program to help develop agribusinesses (A.6679-A).

Another bill would establish a program for the creation of kitchen incubator facilities for use by municipalities, educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations, particularly in economically-distressed areas. Such a program would allow those groups to teach about food production, as well as management and marketing skills (A.675-A).

The Assembly will keep fighting for small businesses

"New York has almost everything it takes for small businesses to be successful here – great cities and towns, a dedicated workforce, and abundant natural resources," Assemblymember Cahill stated in closing. "The one thing we’ve been lacking for a long time is a cohesive economic development strategy from the Governor. The Assembly is going to keep on fighting for the sort of innovative programs that create jobs and help businesses thrive."