Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) hosted a productive roundtable discussion on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, aimed at supporting small businesses. Joined by Rep. Mike Lawler and County Executive Kevin Byrne, the event provided an open platform for small business owners to candidly address the challenges they currently face. Throughout the discussion, two crucial issues emerged as recurring themes, the need to address the decline in youth employment and the impact of economic competitiveness bordering Connecticut. Business owners expressed growing concerns over the decreasing number of young applicants for entry-level positions, which has become a significant hurdle for sustaining their operations. Additionally, the rising minimum wage has placed a considerable burden on smaller businesses, hindering their growth and progress.
“As a dedicated local official, my utmost priority lies in effectively representing the remarkable individuals who call my district home. I firmly believe in the significance of engaging directly with the community to understand their concerns, thoughts and opinions. Facilitating an open and constructive dialogue between myself, fellow local officials and the hardworking individuals who contribute to small businesses has proven to be an invaluable opportunity. Small businesses serve as vital drivers of economic growth for both local communities and the overall national economy, creating career opportunities and crafting new approaches. Small businesses form the vibrant heart of thriving towns, and it is imperative that we invest our efforts and resources reciprocally, just as they invest in our communities,” said Slater.
“Yesterday I joined my partners in government, Assemblyman Matt Slater and Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne, for a roundtable with small business owners from across Putnam County. I appreciated hearing their stories and the challenges they are facing. Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and here in New York especially, they are facing myriad challenges just to stay afloat. It is incumbent on us at the federal, state and local levels to partner with our business communities to help create an environment where they are able to grow and thrive,” said Rep. Mike Lawler.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in yesterday’s small business roundtable discussion. Small businesses employ nearly 70% of Americans, and it was inspiring to hear firsthand about the challenges they face and the innovative solutions they have implemented. As county executive, I am committed to supporting and advocating for our local small businesses, as they play a vital role in driving our economy and creating job opportunities. Together, we will work to foster an environment where all of our businesses can thrive and continue to contribute to the prosperity of Putnam County. And big thank you to Putnam’s largest employer, Ace Endico, for being such a gracious host for this event,” said Kevin Byrne, Putnam County executive.
“Not only was today's roundtable discussion useful in providing a well-articulated list of issues that concern local business people. It was also hopeful that the spirit of cooperation between the various levels of government demonstrated by Congressman Lawler, Assemblyman Slater and County Executive Byrne will lead to the resolution of many of these issues. The Putnam County Business Council is committed to actively participating in this resolution process,” said Nat Prentice, principal of Prentice Investment Management.