Hawley’s Albany Update

We must stand up for small business
March 28, 2007

This week, the state Legislature held its annual Small Business Day where we celebrated the achievements of small businesses in New York and their importance to the state’s economy.

While many entrepreneurs have found great success, we must do better in creating a business-friendly environment that will attract new ventures, spur job growth, and stimulate the economy.

As part of Small Business Day, my conference and I introduced two floor amendments targeted toward improving opportunities for small businesses to succeed.

The first amendment offered was our comprehensive Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2007 that provides comprehensive tax relief to small businesses throughout New York state.

The second amendment called for the elimination of the Corporate Franchise Tax and the Personal Income Tax for manufacturers, which would save businesses millions of dollars each year.

Sadly, the Assembly Majority blocked both amendments from a full house vote. Additionally, a bill was held in committee to reduce health care costs for small businesses by nearly 15 percent.

Despite these setbacks, I am committed to fighting for the many businesses that are struggling to afford to operate in New York state, where taxes are outrageous and burdensome regulations hamper development.

As a small-business owner and member of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Small Businesses, I understand the obstacles that face small businesses and vow to work with my Majority counterparts to secure legislation to eliminate those obstacles and help small businesses thrive.

New York state’s economic strength depends greatly on the health of its small businesses. Nearly 98 percent of all businesses in the state are classified as small businesses, with approximately 52 percent of all working New Yorkers being employed by a small business.

For many years, small businesses in New York have been forced to shut down or relocate to other states with more affordable operating costs and fewer regulations. We have to do better in our own state in providing opportunities for those who have the resources and will to succeed as a small-business owner.

If we continue on the same path, fewer small businesses will operate in New York state and those with a desire to start a business here will simply turn elsewhere. The effects of this reality would be devastating to our economy as fewer job opportunities will exist and our economy will stagnate.

The measures introduced by my Assembly Minority colleagues on Tuesday have received sweeping support from the small-business community and as a member of the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, I will continue to champion these measures and others that will improve the business climate for small businesses in New York state.

It is essential that we enact common sense legislation aimed at providing the relief small businesses so desperately need to prosper today and in the future.