The Assembly Minority Conference
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref-Pulaski) and the Assembly Minority Conference today proposed the Small Business Emergency Recovery Act of 2020, which would provide immediate assistance to small businesses and employees as they try to manage the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to take drastic measures that impact nearly every aspect of society, Leader Barclay said. Businesses have been required to limit their hours, restrict the number of customers and basically compromise their ability to meet their bottom lines. While precautionary measures are necessary, New Yorks small businesses are taking a severe and immediate hit. The businesses and employees that are so vital to our communities and our states economy need our help, and they need it now. The Small Business Emergency Recovery Act of 2020 aims to provide that, and provide critical financial help at a time when the survival of many small businesses hangs in the balance.
Small businesses make up nearly 99% of businesses in New York State, and employ approximately half the states workforce, amounting to approximately four million New Yorkers. The impacts of COVID-19 threaten not only public health, but will likely have long-term impacts on New York States economy.
As legislators and the governors office engage in negotiations for a 2020-2021 State Budget, it is incumbent of them to stabilize local and state economies, and offer fiscal relief and protections for small businesses and their employees. The Small Business Emergency Recovery Act of 2020 will:
- Immediately direct the states settlement reserve fund of $890 million to small businesses;
- Create a 0% interest loan program dedicated to helping small businesses meet their payroll commitments;
- Repurpose available tax credits to help the needs of the states existing small businesses;
- Use all economic development discretionary funding for existing small businesses within New York State;
- Move tax deadlines for remittance, business tax and personal income tax ahead 180 days;
- Suspend all regulatory fees on small businesses for 180 days; and
- Suspend the plastic bag ban for grocery stores for 180 days.
Recent directives issued by the state Department of Health and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention severely restrict the day-to-day operations of small businesses. While necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, these measures may cause businesses to lay off employees or close their operations entirely.
What we are experiencing on a day-to-day basis is, for the most part, unprecedented. Realizing many small businesses across the state have been required to close early, limit the number of patrons they are able to serve or even close, to help mitigate the pandemics further effects on the states economy, we must help these businesses and their employees now, said Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats), Ranking Assembly Minority Member on the Committee on Economic Development. The states small businesses employ approximately half of our workforce. To continue to let current events further erode the stability of the small business sector would be irresponsible and has the potential to have long-term economic impacts. We ask our legislative colleagues to join us and come together to support the Small Business Emergency Recovery Act of 2020. There is no time to wait.