Assemblywoman Titus Works Hard to Help Small Businesses
Measures help meet environmental laws, advance technology and create new jobs
May 19, 2006
The Assembly passed an array of bills to help small businesses thrive in today’s challenging marketplace. Assemblywoman Michele Titus (D-Queens) said the legislation package was passed in conjunction with the Assembly’s Small Business Day. The package runs the gamut from helping businesses comply with environmental policies, advancing technological development, reducing energy costs and making contract information more accessible for competing businesses. Since small businesses account for eight out of every 10 jobs in New York, the Assembly’s legislation encourages small business creation and development, according to Assemblymember Titus. “Small businesses are literally the foundation of our local economies,” Assemblymember Titus said. “That’s why the Assembly has taken great steps to ensure resources are available to help new businesses startup and existing companies grow. Whether it is good, local jobs, responsible environmental stewardship, technological development or strong community pride, New York’s small businesses are the epicenter of positive growth.” Helping small businesses get off the ground The Assembly’s measures include several bills to help businesses raise the capital necessary to debut or expand. While large corporations have established inroads to gaining state or federal aid, Assemblymember Titus said smaller companies are too often overlooked. She said these bills provide equal access to vital financial support. “Small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, deserve every opportunity to thrive that larger companies enjoy,” Assemblymember Titus said. “Our legislation helps turn local business potential into profitable reality.” Specifically, the legislation:
- creates the micro business outreach center and program to provide a resource for small businesses (A.6704-A);
- provides grants to small businesses and research institutions in New York to translate discoveries and inventions into commercially viable products (A.6431);
- funds “kitchen incubators” to help local businesses and farms create and market unique food products (A.3717-A);
- allows credit unions to participate in the Excelsior Linked Deposit Program to help businesses gain greater access to capital (A.4970); and
- requires telephone service companies to offer deferred payment plans for small businesses to cover service installation, startup and initial maintenance charges (A.8429); and
- provides zero or low-interest loans for energy efficiency projects, further allowing small businesses to grow and create new jobs (A.8352).
- changes the method of fund allocation for the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research’s Small Business Innovation Research program so small high-tech companies can compete for federal SBIR funds to grow and create new jobs (A.3443); and
- provides grants to businesses to specifically commercialize energy and environmental technology innovations within New York State (A.6758).
- uses the Industrial Effectiveness Program to create funding opportunities for companies to comply with federal and state environmental laws (A.262);
- establishes the Small Business Clean Environment Fund to assist local businesses in obtaining loans to purchase pollution control equipment (A.2657); and
- offers information and assistance on environmental compliance and pollution prevention – including technical and financial assistance – from the Department of Economic Development’s regional offices (A.6332).
- makes the MWBE certification process more efficient by streamlining state, federal and municipal procedures (A.9243-A);
- ensures a level playing field by commissioning a study to determine if a disparity exists between the number of MWBEs ready, willing and able to perform state contracts and the number of such contractors engaged to perform the contracts (A.9256-A);
- increases money for the program by requiring the state Comptroller to establish a specific MWBE (Article 15-A) implementation fund (A.1622-A);
- requires New York agencies to post contractor utilization plans on their Web sites to ensure MWBE members get the work promised to them (A.9067);
- establishes a mentor-protégé program for small-, minority- and women-owned businesses (A.9068);
- creates state and regional MBWE advocates (A.9839); and
- requires free, daily on-line publication of New York State contract reports to expand the notification of business opportunities to MWBE members (A.8873-A).