Magnarelli: Small Businesses Play Crucial Role in New York’s Economy

Assembly package of legislation to help New York’s small businesses
March 22, 2004

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

"These bills are part of my effort to boost New York’s economy," Magnarelli said. "As chairman of the Legislative Task Force on University-Industry Cooperation, I’ve been working to stimulate job growth by linking New York’s fine universities with local businesses. Since small businesses create about 80 percent of new jobs in New York, helping them is a sure way to revitalize our economy."

Helping small businesses get access to needed capital

"One of the biggest impediments to small business expansion is lack of access to capital," said Magnarelli. "The Assembly’s legislation helps them get that capital – and cover other major expenses that might otherwise drive them out of state."

Magnarelli sponsored bills that would:

  • Require the Department of Economic Development to give small businesses and entrepreneurs priority consideration in the awarding of economic development assistance (A.3913);
  • 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); and
  • Authorize the installment payment of fees and civil penalties over $300 owed to the state by local governments and small businesses (A.345).

"A lot of the time, the larger the business, the larger the advantage when it comes to getting state help," Magnarelli said. "But small businesses build communities. These bills give small businesses a much fairer shot."

The Assembly’s legislation also 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), and allow small businesses to pay for phone installation and maintenance charges over a period of one year (A.4531).

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

"There are miles of state and federal red tape that small businesses must cut through," Magnarelli said. "We need to do a better job of getting them the information they need and in language they can understand."

Two bills he sponsored would require 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), and the Department of Economic Development to offer information and assistance on environmental compliance and pollution prevention (A.314).

"Everyone has environmental regulations they have to deal with, but it’s easier for large corporations to find out about them and to deal with them," Magnarelli said. "Protecting the environment is obviously very important, so we have to help out small businesses in making sure they’re in compliance with the laws."

Helping to develop new products – and new jobs

"New York’s job creation strategies haven’t been nearly forward-looking enough," Magnarelli said. "If new products come from New York, so will new jobs."

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

"Small businesses can do great things and find great success in New York," Magnarelli said. "But the lack of a real economic development strategy from the governor has made it much harder. The Assembly is going to keep doing all we can to create jobs and help businesses thrive."